The Pikes Peak Marathon is arguably the most elevating marathon in the world.
Pikes Peak is America's Mountain.
Named for Lt. Zebulon Pike — who never actually reached the peak — and the inspiration for Katharine Lee Bates' iconic American anthem, "America the Beautiful," Pikes Peak is an American icon whose 14,115-foot summit challenges and inspires visitors from around the globe.
There are several ways — all awe-inspiring — to explore Pikes Peak and reach the summit:
Experience the mountain up close by ascending the scenic Pikes Peak Highway, a spectacular winding toll road.
The Cog Railway has been climbing Pikes Peak since 1891, offering visitors incredible views of Pikes Peak.
There are several tour companies that whisk you to the summit of Pikes Peak in a shuttle bus or jeep.
For the truly adventurous, cycling up Pikes Peak provides one of the most intense challenges in the world.
No matter which activity you choose, your time on Pikes Peak – America's Mountain is sure to be memorable.
Opened in June 2021, the new Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center (also known as the Summit House) offers unobstructed views from the east to the southwest. Reminiscent of the crags and rock formations found above tree line, the design uses materials harmonious with Pikes Peak granite, shade, shadows and fragmentation to integrate into the peak. The new structure acts as a “Living Building,” mimicking nature and natural systems and operate sustainably.
New permanent indoor and outdoor interpretive exhibits educate visitors about the mountain’s history, climate and geography, recreational opportunities and conservation initiatives. The exhibit gallery includes interactive digital features that 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.
Upon reaching the Summit House, be it by foot, car, jeep or bicycle, be sure to reward yourself with a hot, fresh donut — a tradition among those who've ascended America's Mountain.
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.
Pikes Peak is located in the Rocky Mountains, West of Colorado Springs.
Pikes Peak is 95 miles away from Denver, Colorado.
Pikes Peak's elevation is 14,115 feet above sea level and it stands 8,000 feet above Colorado Springs.
Round trip, to drive up to the summit and back, on Pikes Peak Highway is 38 miles so plan to spend a minimum of 2-3 hours to complete the drive.
To drive the Pikes Peak Highway this is a $15 fee per adult and $5 fee per child (ages 6-15). There is a carload rate of $50 for up to 5 passengers.
It can take roughly 8-14 hours to hike to the summit of Pikes Peak via the Barr Trail.
It is highly recommend hikers begin their ascent before sunrise so they can begin their decent before noon.
Pikes Peak is open year-round, weather permitting, from 7:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
The next Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will take place on June 25, 2023.
Pikes Peak is named after Lieutenant Zebulon Pike.
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