With the grand opening of the new Summit Visitor’s Center atop Pikes Peak, a revamped Cog Railway, the city’s 150th birthday AND the Tokyo Games, it’s going to be an exciting summer around the Pikes Peak Region!
Visitors and locals alike will soon get a chance to experience iconic Pikes Peak — America’s Mountain like never before. This summer, The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway returns along with a brand-new Summit Visitor Center awaiting adventurers at the top.
The Cog, which has been climbing Pikes Peak since 1891, offers countless breathtaking views of the Pikes Peak Wonders Region. After being closed for more than four years for renovations, The Cog will soon resume service with 19 miles of newly constructed track and new and refurbished Swiss cog rail cars. As the cars ascend the mountain, riders will catch a glimpse of unique biomes and pristine reservoirs nestled among the peaks of the Front Range, as well as the city below.
The brand-new sustainably built Summit Visitor Center has something to offer everyone. The inside contains new accessible and interpretive exhibits that share fun facts on the mountain’s history, geography, recreational opportunities, conservation initiatives and more. The exhibit gives visitors the chance to weave their own personal experiences into the mountain’s story. Outdoors, interpretive rails around the summit will describe the environment and views and identify key landscape features.
And of course, a visit to the top would not be complete without a world-famous Pikes Peak donut, made fresh daily with the same recipe that has been passed down since 1916. But for the first time ever, guests can now customize their donuts – adding toppings including sugar, cinnamon, cocoa and nutmeg. A new and improved food court offers a variety of new fresh food options and beverages, including a Pikes Peak Melt sandwich that uses locally sourced ingredients and a trail mix bar that allows visitors to customize their snack experience. Guests can also visit the gift shop to grab some souvenirs from their trip to the summit.
A top priority when planning and building the Visitor Center was caring for the summit’s environment. Development and construction teams worked tirelessly to preserve the natural state of the mountain while accommodating the ever-growing number of visitors. The project is also striving to become the first Living Building Challenge certified project in Colorado – an initiative that encourages design solutions that improve surrounding environments. The Visitor Center focused on sustainable aspects of the project involving energy, building materials, resilience, site ecology, site water and wastewater. The Center aims to achieve net-zero energy, net-zero waste and net-zero water consumption and is designed to save more than 350,000 gallons of water per year over the current system.
As visitors enjoy the many new experiences on top and surrounding America’s Mountain, they can begin checking off activities from The Ultimate Pikes Peak Challenge! Think you have what it takes to call yourself a true Pikes Peak Adventurer? See if you can complete a list of 25 challenges around the Pikes Peak Wonders Region. Challenges include activities such as visiting the Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center, kayaking across a reservoir and locating the Big Foot crossing sign on the Pikes Peak Highway. Participants can earn limited-edition merit badges for completing a combination of tasks. Wear the badges with pride and show the world you conquered America’s Mountain! Learn more about the Ultimate Pikes Peak Challenge here.
July 31, 2021, marks the 150-year anniversary of the founding of Colorado Springs! William Jackson Palmer is credited as the founder of the city. Now the 39th largest city in the United States, Colorado Springs has come a long way.
- Pedal our Past
To celebrate Bike Month and the city’s 150th anniversary, the city put together a historic bike tour, with stops throughout five historic Pikes Peak Region neighborhoods.
- COS@150 Exhibit at the Pioneers Museum
The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum has compiled 150 objects to illuminate 150 stories that will commemorate… you guessed it, 150 years. The exhibit explores the community’s history and culture through people, places and events that helped shape the city.
- Festival on 31st
To top it all off, the city is throwing a big birthday bash on July 31. Complete with a parade, a Team USA pep rally, live music, food and more - it’s time to #PartyLikeIts1871! Find more event details here.
Voted the ‘Best New Attraction’ in 2020 by USA Today, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum is a must-see experience in Colorado Springs. As we gear up for the Tokyo Games later this summer, spend some time reflecting on the history of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USOPM is one of the most accessible and inclusive museums in the world, relying on RFID technology to provide guests with a completely customizable experience through the journeys of U.S. Olympians and Paralympians.