New Ways to Navigate Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods

What visitors and residents need to know before visiting both attractions this summer.

The purple mountain majesty of Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain and the stunning red rock formations of Garden of the Gods Park have brought travelers to Colorado Springs for centuries. Two of the area’s most-visited attractions combined see upwards of six million annual visitors. High demand for these impeccable views and an anticipated record tourism season means several transportation changes and updates. From a new summit shuttle service and private tours up the Pikes Peak Highway to an optional Garden of the Gods Park shuttle, here's what you need to know before visiting both attractions this summer.  

Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain Summit Shuttle - A new temporary and complimentary shuttle service to the summit of Pikes Peak will transport visitors from one of two parking lots along the highway to the top of the mountain. The shuttle is being implemented May 31-Sept. 15 due to an anticipated record-setting number of visitors combined with limited parking capacity in the summit lot, due to the construction of the new Pikes Peak Summit Complex. Visitors will still drive their own vehicle as high as the 16-mile lot, also known as “Devils Playground,” which sits at an elevation of 12,790 feet above sea level. The shuttle ride from the 16-mile lot is approximately 15 minutes. Highway visitors who don’t plan to reach the summit by car – like fisherman, hikers and cyclists – can utilize the highway as normal. Purchasing online in advance is highly recommended and normal, seasonal highway toll rates apply. Although everyone is welcome to utilize the shuttle service, comprised of 15-passenger vans, not everyone driving to the summit will be required to take the shuttle, including vehicles carrying persons with mobility disabilities or children in car seats. Motorcycles in groups of less than 10 and pre-approved busses and tours can also expect a parking spot on the summit. The shuttles are unable to accommodate pets and bicycles.  For additional information, visit  

Private Tours up Pikes Peak

1. Adventures Out West – Tours are offered for individuals and groups, guests can choose from Jeep, Hummer or van tours, each holding up to six passengers. Adventures Out West offers two morning departures as well as custom tours.  Price per person includes tours, all fees for the highway, free parking in Manitou Springs, wool lap blankets and refreshments. Book online or call 719-578-0935.

When: Daily departures at 7:55 and 8:25 a.m.
Cost: $79 - $99

2. Gray Line Tours –Enjoy a four-hour round-trip tour,14,115 feet high to the summit of Pikes Peak. Depart from the Pikes Peak Depot Gift Shop located in downtown Colorado Springs. Enjoy the comfort of the Gray Line luxury coach and relax, as your professional driver handles the 156 turns of the incredible Pikes Peak Highway. The tour has several stops, including 30 minutes while on the summit. Book online or call 719465-1871. 

When: Through May 24: 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Through September 30: 8 and 9 a.m., 1 and 2 p.m.
October 1 – November 1: 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Cost: Adults $69.50, Children 12 and under $39.50
Groups of 20 or more are eligible for a group rate. Please call 719.465.1871 for more information

3. Manitou Springs Adventures – Tours are offered for individuals and smaller groups. Guests climb into a Jeep Wrangler before heading up the Pikes Peak highway with a variety of scenic stops. Tours include ample water, trail mix, granola bars, and complimentary donuts from the Summit House. Bookings can be made in advance online or by calling 719-761-4100 or 303-204-4950. 

When: Through May 24, 2019, 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.
After May 25, 2019, 7 and 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Cost: Adults $80, Children 12 and under, seniors and military $70, children two and under free.

4. Rocky Mountain Ride – Perfect for large families, smaller vans seat up to eight passengers and larger vans seat up to 12. These shuttles provide transportation for roundtrip sightseers and one-way trips down the mountain for hikers and include gate fees. Reservations can be made two weeks prior to departure at 719-362-6332 or online.

When: Beginning June 1, 2019, departure at 8 a.m., summit departure for hikers at 3 p.m.
Cost: Monday – Thursday $60, Friday – Sunday $80.

Optional Garden of the Gods Park Shuttles - Following a transportation study conducted earlier this year, the Garden of the Gods Foundation and the City of Colorado Springs’ Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department will offer a free public shuttle this summer. The optional shuttle will be offered for approximately 90 days between the end of May and beginning of September, which is when the park experiences the greatest number of visitors. Two 14-passenger vans will take approximately 30 minutes to complete a three-stop loop at Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center and the intersection of Gateway Road and Juniper Way Loop. To accommodate parking for shuttle users, a temporary parking lot with the capacity to hold 400 vehicles will be constructed near the intersection of 30th Street and Gateway Drive at Rock Ledge Ranch. The parking lot, which is located next to a trail that connects to the park, is available to anyone, whether they use the shuttle or not. Shuttles will depart the free Rock Ledge Ranch parking lot approximately every 15 minutes daily from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.