Road Travel America ... Home Page

Pikes Peak Highway

The towering majesty of Pikes Peak in Colorado ... America's Mountain
The towering majesty of Pikes Peak in Colorado ... America's Mountain

Pikes Peak is the highest summit of the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, in North America. The ultra-prominent 14,115-foot fourteener is located in Pike National Forest, 12 miles west of downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado. The mountain is named in honor of American explorer Zebulon Montgomery Pike.

The peak is commonly called "America's Mountain".

Colorado has 58 mountain peaks exceeding 14,000 feet (known as "Fourteeners"), the most of any state. Outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels will find peaks ranging from easy to very difficult, with hiking trails for exploring the state's scenery, wildlife and rugged beauty. Pikes Peak is one of those "Fourteeners".

First staged in 1916, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second oldest race in America. The invitation-only event, often referred to as The Race to the Clouds, is held annually on the last Sunday of June

New Summit Visitor Center

The new Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center is set to open in June of 2021, pending weather and final construction activity.

View to the distance from Pikes Peak
View to the distance from Pikes Peak

The new building will open in phases, so early visitors can expect to see final construction work taking place and finishing touches being made to the interpretive exhibits and signs. The famous Pikes Peak fresh donuts and brand new menu and retail options will be available starting opening day.

Exterior site work is expected to last through September 2021.

What Can You See from the Summit?

From the summit, alpine views stretch out in all directions to encompass reservoirs, summits of shorter peaks, clouds, the Continental Divide, Garden of the Gods, plus the cities of Woodland Park, Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs.

On a very clear day, you might even glimpse Denver’s skyscrapers, the Great Plains stretching to Kansas and the Sangre de Cristo mountain range stretching toward New Mexico.

Map of the Pikes Peak Highway

Shown to the right is a map of the Pikes Peak Highway.

click the image to view a full size map at the City of Colorado Springs website

Map of the Pikes Peak Highway ... click for a full size image


 

Driving the Pikes Peak Highway

The 19-mile Pikes Peak Highway is a 2-lane road ascending more than 6,000 feet in elevation to 14,115 feet. The highway has a series of switchbacks, treacherous at high speed, called "The W's" for their shape on the northwest side of the mountain. The road is maintained by the city of Colorado Springs as a toll road. A project to pave the remainder of the road was completed in October of 2011.

Entrance area to the Pikes Peak Highway
Entrance area to the Pikes Peak Highway

The Pikes Peak Highway entrance is conveniently located just 15 minutes west of Colorado Springs on Highway 24. Plan for your roundtrip journey to the summit to take 2-3 hours and have at least a half of tank of gas as there are no service stations on the highway.

It is recommended that visitors first drive up to the summit and save picture stops and points of interest for the drive down, as this will be easier on your vehicle. Speed Limit is 30mph unless otherwise posted.

Drive the first two miles past the tollgate in low gear or the low range to allow your vehicle to operate properly. Drive easy grades and short level stretches in intermediate gears to keep your vehicle from overheating. Upon reaching the summit, run your engine at a fast idle for a few minutes to reduce overheating.

Tolls for the highway range from depending on the season and number of passengers in the vehicle. Round trip is a roughly three-hour excursion.

Note: Due to limited parking at the summit due to construction of the Pikes Peak Summit Complex, visitors planning to drive to the top during the busy summer months (May through October) may be required to take a complimentary shuttle from designated parking lots along the highway.

America's Mountain is open year round - weather permitting. Conditions change frequently, it is recommended to call the pre-recorded information line. The staff updates the info approximately 15 minutes prior to opening and then as conditions change throughout the day. Call 719-385-7325 and select option 1 for current road conditions

Read more about the highway, tickets, FAQs, alerts, construction, and current conditions ... Pikes Peak at the City of Colorado Springs website

Tickets for the highway can be purchased in advance ... Buy Pikes Peak Highway Tickets Online

3/10 mile to the Gateway Entrance
3/10 mile to the Gateway Entrance of Pikes Peak Highway in Colorado
Toll booth on the Pikes Peak Highway
Toll booth on the Pikes Peak Highway

 

Scenes Along the Pikes Peak Highway

Pikes Peak Highway Switchbacks in Summer
Pikes Peak Highway Switchbacks in Summer


Pikes Peak ... America's Mountain
Sign about the route of Pikes Peak Highway ... on America's Mountain
Quiet day on the Pikes Peak Highway
Quiet day on the ascent up Pikes Peak Highway
 Winter snow on the Pikes Peak Highway
Winter snow and ice on the Pikes Peak Highway

 

Pikes Peak Highway Switchbacks in the Spring
Pikes Peak Highway Switchbacks in the Spring

 

Climbing the Highway on a Blue Sky Day
Climbing the Pikes Peak Highway on a Blue Sky Day
Downhill on the Pikes Peak Highway
Downhill on the Pikes Peak Highway

 

You've Reached the Summit!

The Summit of Pikes Peak ... 14,115 feet above sea level, in the Pike National Forest
The Summit of Pikes Peak ... 14,115 feet above sea level, in the Pike National Forest
Welcome to the Summit of Pikes Peak
Welcome to the Summit of Pikes Peak
World famous high-altitude donuts at the summit
World famous donuts at the Pikes Peak Summit

 

Zebulon Montgomery Pike

Zebulon Montgomery Pike was an American brigadier general and explorer for whom Pikes Peak was named.

As he approached the Colorado foothills of the Rocky Mountains during his second exploratory expedition on November 15, 1806, Lieutenant Zebulon Pike spotted a distant mountain peak that looked to him as “a small blue cloud.” The mountain was later named Pike’s Peak in his honor.

Historic marker about Zebulon Montgomery Pike on Pikes Peak in Colorado

US Geologic Survey Pike's Peak Location Marker

USGS Pikes Peak Location Marker

Shown here is a Pikes Peak benchmark location marker placed by the U.S. Geological Survey

Warning: Area of Extreme Danger

Lightning, high winds, snow and thin air can greet visitors to the summit of Pikes Peak! Be prepared!

Warning: Area of Extreme Danger on Pikes Peak ... lightning!


The Other Way to the Top of Pikes Peak

If you're not up to driving your vehicle up Pikes Peak, The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway offers a great alternative to reach the summit. It is sometimes referred to as "The Cog" or the "Pikes Peak Railway".

The Cog has been climbing Pikes Peak since 1891, and offers one of the most unique adventures in the country. As the world’s highest cog railroad, the Railway is an important part of the heritage of the Western United States.

It has reopened in 2021 after a three year project to upgrade the depot in Manitou, the tracks, the cars and the visitor center at the summit.

Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway near the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado
Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway near the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado
Classic red cars of the cog railway
Classic red cars of the cog railway
The cogs on the railway
The cogs on the Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway

 

 

Lodging Near Pikes Peak

Driving the Pikes Peak Highway and staying in Colorado Springs?

Colorado Springs Visitor Guide at TripAdvisor

Things to do in Colorado Springs

TripAdvisor Reviews

Lodging in Colorado Springs

Lodging in Manitou Springs

The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs
The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs

 

Interactive Map of the Pikes Peak Highway Area



 

More Information About Pikes Peak, Manitou and Colorado Springs

Buy Pikes Peak Highway Tickets Online

 

View of the swtichbacks along the Pikes Peak Highway
Pikes Peak on Facebook

 

The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway

 

The Broadmoor Hotel

 

Visit Colorado Springs

 

City of Colorado Springs

 

City of Manitou Springs

 

Manitou Incline

 

Pikes Peak at Colorado.com

 

 

Colorado Springs Visitor Guide at TripAdvisor

 

Pikes Peak Visitor Guide at TripAdvisor

More Travel and Vacation Ideas


HOME | ROUTE 66 | NATIONAL PARKS | SCENIC ROADS | SITE MAP

ABOUT THIS SITE | TERMS OF USE | PRIVACY POLICY | CONTACT US