COVID-19 alert: Travel requirements are changing rapidly, including need for pre-travel COVID-19 testing and quarantine on arrival.

Pikes Peak
Vacation Travel Guide

Pikes Peak which includes mountains

The second-most visited mountain in the world is an easy day trip from Colorado’s capital.

Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain is a 14,000-foot (4,300-meter) high mountain famed for its incredible vistas, high-altitude railroad and opportunities for adventure. It was named after explorer Zebulon Pike, who led an expedition to the area in 1806. Visit the summit of Pikes Peak at any time of the year to gaze across the spectacular Rocky Mountains. The view from here was the inspiration for Katherine Lee Bates' famed poem, America the Beautiful.

Jump on board the famous Pikes Peak Cog Railway for a 190-minute round-trip ride on the world’s highest cog railroad. The train travels beside Ruxton Creek in the Englemann Canyon, past Minnehaha Falls and on through “Hell's Gate,” a natural opening through the mountains. The final half of the trip is a steep climb up Pikes Peak and a traverse above the timberline, with views across valleys, lakes and mountain ranges. You are invited to temporarily disembark at this point but stop-offs are capped at 40 minutes to limit the effects of altitude sickness. Any headaches or feelings of nausea tend to subside on the journey back down the mountain.

If you have an adventurous spirit, climb to the summit on foot via the spectacular Barr Trail, but be warned: it’s not an easy hike. The 12-plus miles (19 kilometers) of gravel trail ascends more than 7,800 feet (2,400 meters). You will wind your way through forests, across meadows, over creeks and up rocky ascents. It can take anywhere between six and 10 hours. Hikers are advised to never attempt the climb alone or during bad weather.

While Pikes Peak is open all year round, it is best to visit in spring and summer. In winter, sections of the railroad can be blocked by snow and the weather drops below 10 F (-12 C) at the summit. There is a small restaurant at the top, but it can get busy so pack a lunch if you don’t want to wait in line. It’s also wise to book tickets for the cog railway online in advance.

Pikes Peak is about 70 miles (113 kilometers) south of Denver. The area around the mountain is popular with outdoor adventurers, particularly for hiking and white-water rafting. If you have a car, you can drive to the Pikes Peak summit via the toll road. The 38-mile (61-kilometer) round-trip ride takes about two hours. Parking at the top is limited.

Top things to do in Pikes Peak

Top Hotels Close to Pikes Peak

Hike Horsethief Falls /pancake Rocks! Enjoy the hot Tub!
Hike Horsethief Falls /pancake Rocks! Enjoy the hot Tub!
Cripple Creek, CO
Get Rates
Situated in a rural location, this cabin is within 9 mi (15 km) of Mueller State Park, Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine, and Wildwood Casino. Cripple Creek and Victor ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (217 reviews)
Wonderfully Romantic
"The property is located in a beautiful, private location. We were able to make easy day trips to Breckenridge and Estes Park, as well as being very close to Manitou Springs and Cripple Creek. The kitchen was nicely appointed, everything you need to cook for two. The music system was great, so nice ..."

Reviewed on May 11, 2021

Hike Horsethief Falls /pancake Rocks! Enjoy the hot Tub!
Historic Olde Poste in Cascade
Historic Olde Poste in Cascade
Cascade, CO
Get Rates
Set in Cascade, this family-friendly vacation home is within 6 mi (10 km) of Arcade Amusements, Cave of the Winds, and Manitou Incline. Miramont Castle and Manitou ...
4.3/5Excellent! (40 reviews)
Nos encantó el lugar y el espascio todo muy bien
"La propiedad esta muy bien lo que falta es un poco más de limpieza y que deben de avisar q la mayoría de los teléfonos no tienen señal en esa área y el wiffi también se va la señal y tienes q esperar como 30 minutos a que regrrese para poder ver televisión Mi compañía de teléfono es att después supimos ..."

Reviewed on Jan 6, 2021

Historic Olde Poste in Cascade
Cascade Ranger Station
Cascade Ranger Station
Cascade, CO
Get Rates
This family-friendly vacation home is in the center of Cascade, within 6 mi (10 km) of Arcade Amusements, Cave of the Winds, and Manitou Incline. Miramont Castle ...
4.6/5Exceptional! (45 reviews)
Loved it!
"We had a wonderful trip!"

Reviewed on Mar 31, 2021

Cascade Ranger Station
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Pikes Peak Flight + Hotel Deals

Hyatt Place Peña Station/Denver Airport
Residence Inn By Marriott Denver Highlands Ranch
Four Seasons Hotel Denver
Don't see what you're looking for?
See all available trips from Ashburn to Pikes Peak
View all trips

Reviews of Pikes Peak

4.7

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
720
5 - Excellent 73.99794450154162%
4 - Good
210
4 - Good 21.58273381294964%
3 - Okay
32
3 - Okay 3.28879753340185%
2 - Disappointing
6
2 - Disappointing 0.6166495375128469%
1 - Terrible
5
1 - Terrible 0.513874614594039%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Feb 26, 2020

Depending on where your room is, you have a nice view of Pikes Peak.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Aug 18, 2019

Took a shuttle to the top from the advice of someone we met from Virginia. She said it would save wear-and-tear on our vehicle and save the brakes! Still lots of construction on top, but it was fun for the kids to be there.

1/5 - Terrible

Rod

Aug 17, 2019

You have to pay to take a shuttle now. They have closed it to cars so they can build a billion dollar facility for the rich at the top.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Aug 11, 2019

due to construction at the top of the mountain, you can drive all the way to the top. They provide free shuttles various stopping/parking lots on the way up to the mountain.

4/5 - Good

Barb

Aug 8, 2019

Go early to avoid chance of rain/snow/clouds

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Aug 6, 2019

Be prepared for long lines, lots of construction at the top, current cafe and store was very very crowded with limited, not very current merchandise. Also, in the summer I would recommend going up in the morning. We were there and a storm blew up, making it cold and so cloudy we couldn't see anything.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Pikes Peak

12 New Places for Your 2020 Bucket List

12 New Places for Your 2020 Bucket List

12 New Places for Your 2020 Bucket List

Popular places to visit in Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak

Choose one or more items to build your trip:

Best Lodging Options Near Pikes Peak

Hike Horsethief Falls /pancake Rocks! Enjoy the hot Tub!
Hike Horsethief Falls /pancake Rocks! Enjoy the hot Tub!
Cripple Creek, CO
Hike Horsethief Falls /pancake Rocks! Enjoy the hot Tub!
Historic Olde Poste in Cascade
Historic Olde Poste in Cascade
Cascade, CO
Historic Olde Poste in Cascade
Cascade Ranger Station
Cascade Ranger Station
Cascade, CO
Cascade Ranger Station
Hwy 24 Unit 2A
Hwy 24 Unit 2A
3 out of 5
8040 U.S. 24, 2A, Cascade, CO
Hwy 24 Unit 2A
Hwy 24 Unit 1A
Hwy 24 Unit 1A
3.5 out of 5
8040 U.S. 24, 1A, Cascade, CO
Hwy 24 Unit 1A
The Cascade Room is a Cozy Creekside Accommodation at the Base of Pikes Peak
The Cascade Room is a Cozy Creekside Accommodation at the Base of Pikes Peak
Cascade, CO
The Cascade Room is a Cozy Creekside Accommodation at the Base of Pikes Peak
Caboose Suite Sleeps 2-3
Caboose Suite Sleeps 2-3
Cascade, CO
Caboose Suite Sleeps 2-3
Family Chateauat The Base Of Pikes Peak3brmountain Escape
Family Chateauat The Base Of Pikes Peak3brmountain Escape
Cascade, CO
Family Chateauat The Base Of Pikes Peak3brmountain Escape
Family Chateauat The Base Of Pikes Peak3brmountain Escape
Family Chateauat The Base Of Pikes Peak3brmountain Escape
4 out of 5
Fountain Avenue 4620, Cascade, CO
Family Chateauat The Base Of Pikes Peak3brmountain Escape
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.