Get to the summit of Pikes Peak

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On the web: https://www.pikes-peak.com/attractions/pikes-peak-americas-mountain/

Hours: The Pikes Peak Highway hours of operation vary by season according to hours of daylight.

  • From Oct. 1 until the Thursday before Memorial Day, the highway opens at 9 a.m., the uphill gates close at 3 p.m., the summit closes at 4 p.m. and the downhill gate closes at 5 p.m.
  • From the Friday before Memorial Day until Labor Day, the highway opens at 7:30 a.m., uphill gates close at 6 p.m., the summit closes at 7 p.m. and the downhill gate closes at 8 p.m.
  • After Labor Day through the end of September, uphill gates open at 7:30 a.m., uphill gates close at 5 p.m., the summit closes at 6 p.m. and the downhill gate closes at 7 p.m.

Location: 5089 Pikes Peak Highway, 10 miles northwest of the U.S Olympic & Paralympic Museum.

Cost: $15 per adult, $5 per child or $50 per car up to five passengers from May 1 to Nov. 30; $10 per adult, $5 per child or $35 per car up to five passengers from Dec. 1 to April 30.

Go here because: It is known as America’s Mountain, with views so spectacular they inspired the words to America the Beautiful. While the summit is at an elevation of 14,115 feet above sea level, it is one of the most accessible mountains in the world, with visitors able to ride a car/bus, bike or hike to the summit. (The Pikes Peak Cog Railway will reopen in 2021.) It is home of the second-oldest road race, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

You must:

  • Stop frequently on your way to the summit, including Crystal Reservoir and Glen Cove Inn, to enjoy the spectacular scenery.
  • Go fishing in the Catamount Reservoirs (bring your own gear and don’t forget your fishing license).
  • Get a donut in the Summit House snack bar – simple and simply delicious.
  • Drink a lot of water, don’t over exert yourself and dress in layers – it’s always at least 30 degrees cooler at the summit.
  • Ride in a tour company van to the summit and take a guided bike ride down the Pikes Peak Highway.
  • Be on the lookout for Bigfoot!
  • See the construction progress on the new Summit Complex, scheduled to open in late 2020.
  • Hike to summit on Barr Trail if you’re an advanced hiker.
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