Pikes Peak Things to Do - Visit Colorado Springs

Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak is America's Mountain.


*Please Note – Pikes Peak is currently closed to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic through May 23 while construction of the new Summit Visitor Center is completed*

  • Throughout the closure and weather permitting, Pikes Peak Highway visitors will be able to park at Devils Playground where they can enjoy views from 13,500 feet and hike various trails.
  • Hikers will not be able to access the summit and must be prepared to hike back down either the Crags Trail or Barr Trail.
  • Signage indicating the temporary summit closure will be present on both trails.
  • The new Summit Visitor Center is expected to open in early summer 2021.

There are several ways to explore Pikes Peak and reach the summit:

1. Driving Your Car

Experience the mountain up close by ascending the scenic Pikes Peak Highway, a spectacular toll road that winds its way up the mountain. 

For additional information, visit www.pikespeakcolorado.com

EXPERIENCE NEW HEIGHTS: THE NEW PIKES PEAK SUMMIT COMPLEX

Opening this summer 2021, the new Summit Complex will offer unobstructed views from the east to the southwest. Reminiscent of the crags and rock formations found above treeline, the design uses materials harmonious with Pikes Peak granite, shade, shadows and fragmentation to integrate into the peak. The new structure will be a “Living Building,” meaning it will mimic nature and natural systems and operate sustainably. 

New permanent indoor and outdoor interpretive exhibits will educate visitors about the mountain’s history, climate and geography, recreational opportunities and conservation initiatives. The exhibit gallery will include interactive digital features that will bring the mountain to life and allow visitors to weave their own personal experiences into the mountain’s story. Outside, interpretive rails around the summit will describe the environment and the views while identifying key landscape features.

Learn more about the new Pikes Peak Summit Complex 

2. The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway

The Cog Railway was closed for nearly four years but reopens in late May 2021. Visitors can book tickets now for rides starting May 27. As the cars ascend the mountain, riders will catch a glimpse of pristine reservoirs nestled among the peaks of the Front Range. 

Book tickets here.

3. Private or Group Shuttle Service

There are several tour companies that can whisk you to the summit of Pikes Peak in a shuttle bus or Jeep. 

4. Cycling

For the truly adventurous, cycling up Pikes Peak provides one of the most intense challenges in the world. There are also companies that will drive you to the top and provide a guided bike tour down the highway.

5. Hiking

There are several hiking options for exploring Pikes Peak. Barr Trail is the most popular way to reach the summit of the mountain, as well as Devil's Playground via The Crags.

6. Polaris Slingshot 

Drive up Pikes Peak in the seat of a Polaris Slingshot vehicle. Stop by Great Outdoors Adventures in Woodland Park, CO for rental information.  

No matter which activity you choose, your time on Pikes Peak – America's Mountain is sure to be memorable. 


HISTORY OF PIKES PEAK - AMERICA'S MOUNTAIN

pikes-peak-history

Pikes Peak in Colorado is an American icon. From Native American tribes to early settlers to modern day travelers, this mountain resonates differently with each individual. Composed of granite and shaped by glaciers over millions of years, Pikes Peak mountain is a stunning backdrop for the modern city of Colorado Springs. The Ute Indians called it "Ta-Wa-Ah-Gath" or “Sun Mountain Sitting Big” and passed by the mountain as they traveled from their summer encampments to their winter hunting grounds. It was discovered by Spanish settlers during the 1700s.

In 1803, Pikes Peak mountain became part of the United States as part of the vast Louisiana Purchase. Three years later in 1806, Lt. Zebulon Pike was sent to explore the borders of the new territory. Pike’s journey was a companion to the Lewis and Clark expedition. On November 24, 1806, Lt. Zebulon Montgomery Pike set out from his stop near modern-day Pueblo, Colorado, to climb the mountain. He was forced back by a blizzard and declared that no man would ever reach the 14,110-foot summit that now bears his name.

Since the time when Lt. Pike first saw the mountain that would eventually carry his name, Pikes Peak mountain has played a significant role in the development and allure of the Pikes Peak region. In the 1850s, gold seekers heading west emblazoned “Pikes Peak or Bust” on the canvas of their covered wagons. Katharine Lee Bates, inspired by what she saw when she arrived at the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado in 1893, immortalized the mountain in her beloved anthem “America the Beautiful.” It is an ageless sentinel that overlooks the peaks and plains of Colorado, an enduring symbol of mountain majesty and western spirit.