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EXPIRES: 12/31/2025Read More
3 hour 15 min. trip to summit of Pikes Peak, 14,115-ft., 360-degree views, wildlife, cascading streams.
When Zalmon G. Simmons (of Simmons Mattress fame and fortune) rode to the top of Pikes Peak on the back of a mule in the early 1880's, he declared the beauty awesome but the journey awful, and he set about making the mountain accessible by rail. Despite the difficult task of heavy labor in the thin atmosphere, the imposing terrain and harsh weather conditions, the railway was completed on October 20, 1890. Due to spring snows, the first passengers, a Denver church choir, reached the summit on June 30, 1891.
From the opening of the line until the 1950's, steam locomotives were used to transport riders, but steam was gradually replaced by diesel between 1939 and 1957. Since 1965, Swiss-made railcars, made exclusively for the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, have been in use. These modern trains meet the rigid safety requirements of the Swiss Bureau of Transport.
The epic journey begins by climbing through steep canyons filled with cascading streams and gigantic boulders. The vistas slowly open to encompass seas of quaking aspen and towering mountains. As the train winds its way above timberline, an unparalleled view of Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs stretches eastward into the Great Plains. Westward, as far as the eye can see, the snow-capped Continental Divide fills the horizon! Traveling at eight miles an hour, the trains give photographers and sightseers ample time to take in the magnificent panoramas.
Once on the summit, passengers may refresh themselves in the spacious Summit House. At the Manitou Station, there is a gift shop and the Steamer Stop Shop, which specializes in unique railroad, Pikes Peak and Colorado related items.Or grab a bite at the cafe.