Pikes Peak is America’s Mountain, perhaps the most famous peak in the country; it’s named for (but was never climbed by) early explorer Zebulon Pike. Katharine Lee Bates once ascended it and wrote America the Beautiful, inspired by the views from its 14,115-foot summit. Pikes Peak looms over the city as a stunning landmark, affects its weather, and defines the region. You can ascend it by car, via the 19-mile Pikes Peak Highway, or by riding the Pikes Peak Cog Railway (the world’s highest). The train takes 3 hours and 10 minutes, round trip, with a stop for as long as you want on the top. Along the way, riders get panoramic views of the region as well as close-up views of such critters as bighorn sheep and marmots. On foot, Barr Trail is 13 miles from base to summit, but it’s straight up, so it’s only for the athletic, and it typically takes all day—thousands do it every year. You also can ride down on a bike with Challenge Unlimited. However you do it, pack a jacket and hat; no matter how warm it is in the city below, it will be chilly and windy on the peak. At the top, the Summit House serves its famous doughnuts.
Attractions & Landmarks
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