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Pikes Peak

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.

Popular Activities at Pikes Peak

Like to make your stop at Pikes Peak even more memorable? Don't miss the chance to try out a few of these things to do:

Your next exciting adventure has been waiting for you! You might like to try a JEEP TOUR - Pikes Peak or Bust or a Pikes Peak & the Air Force Academy.

For many more things to do, have a look at our Colorado Springs things to do page.


Guide to Exploring around Pikes Peak


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Lodging Near Pikes Peak

See all 518 Properties near Pikes Peak
Great Views From the Jacuzzi!!
Reviewed on Feb 27, 2019
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Great Views From the Jacuzzi!!

Great Views From the Jacuzzi!!

Divide, CO
     
    4.7 of 5
    0.0 out of 5.0

    Loved our weekend away at the Hidaway! Fabulous views and loved the hot tub! Very relaxing environment, just what we needed!

    Secluded and Cozy! Breath Taking Views!
    Secluded and Cozy! Breath Taking Views!

    Secluded and Cozy! Breath Taking Views!

    8250 oak street, Cascade, CO
       
      0.0 out of 5.0

      Situated in Cascade, this cabin is within 6 mi (10 km) of Arcade Amusements, Cave of the Winds, and Ruxton's Trading Post. Miramont Castle and Manitou Springs Cave Dwellings are also within 6 mi (10 km).

      The Cascade Room is a Cozy Creekside Accommodation at the Base of Pikes Peak
      Reviewed on Feb 21, 2019
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      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-Chipita Park, CO
         
        4.7 of 5
        0.0 out of 5.0

        Relaxing in front of the fireplace on a snowy day. Enjoying the jacuzzi underneath the stars. Breakfast overlooking the gorgeous property. The bed was very comfortable and the shower amazing. The owners were very friendly and helpful. This property is located in the heart of Colorado activity. We ...

        Caboose Suite Sleeps 2-3
        Reviewed on Jan 30, 2019
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        Caboose Suite Sleeps 2-3

        Caboose Suite Sleeps 2-3

        Cascade-Chipita Park, CO
           
          4.8 of 5
          0.0 out of 5.0

          The more we looked around the converted caboose, the more impressed we were! Connie was very nice and responsive to questions and the caboose was a perfect romantic getaway for us!

          Cliff House at Pikes Peak $172
          Reviewed on May 19, 2019
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          Cliff House at Pikes Peak

          Cliff House at Pikes Peak

          306 Canon Ave, Manitou Springs, CO
             
            4.7 of 5
            4.0 out of 5.0

            Loved everything: the location, the room, free breakfasts, housekeeping, free valet parking

            Enjoy This Home High Above the City on Pikes Peak Mountain Cascade Colorado
            Reviewed on Dec 31, 2018
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            Enjoy This Home High Above the City on Pikes Peak Mountain Cascade Colorado

            Enjoy This Home High Above the City on Pikes Peak Mountain Cascade Colorado

            Cascade-Chipita Park, CO
               
              4.9 of 5
              0.0 out of 5.0

              On Pikes Peak, close to most major attractions. Stop by the pickle shop at the bottom of the hill too.Mike and Betrice were awesome host. Cozy but enough room for 8 to 10.....2 green, pull out sofa, couch, full bunk with single top. Watch for the bears though....jk we didnt see any.

              Cottage Rental in the Mountains at Pikes Peak Near Colorado Springs & Manitou
              Cottage Rental in the Mountains at Pikes Peak Near Colorado Springs & Manitou

              Cottage Rental in the Mountains at Pikes Peak Near Colorado Springs & Manitou

              Cascade-Chipita Park, CO
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0
                2BR Mountain Cabin With Complimentary Breakfast Basket
                2BR Mountain Cabin With Complimentary Breakfast Basket

                2BR Mountain Cabin With Complimentary Breakfast Basket

                Cascade, CO
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0

                  Situated in Cascade, this historic cabin is within 6 mi (10 km) of Arcade Amusements, Cave of the Winds, and Ruxton's Trading Post. Miramont Castle and Manitou Springs Cave Dwellings are also within 6 mi (10 km).