Drive the Pikes Peak Highway to the Summit

Pikes Peak behind the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Colorado Springs' Garden of the Gods at the foot of Pikes Peak

There’s only one 14,000-foot peak in Colorado that you can reach by driving all the way up to the summit. 

Want to reach the summit of one of Colorado’s famous 14,000-foot peaks the easy way?

Point your wheels to the Pikes Peak Highway. You’ll drive a stunning 19 miles up Pikes Peak, beginning at 7,400 feet and ending at the top of the 14,115-foot summit. It’s one of North America’s most visited mountains. Keep your eyes peeled for bighorn sheep, elk, deer and yellow-bellied marmots.

Along the way, stop at the many pull-offs, including three lakes where you can fish or kayak. Don't forget to purchase a Colorado fishing license in town to fish. There’s also the Crystal Reservoir Visitor’s Center with ranger-led talks at mile marker 6, the historic Glen Cove Inn with ranger programs, a dining area and gift shop at mile marker 13 and the Summit House at the top. The Summit House is known for its "world-famous" donuts but also serves burger, hot dogs, salads, coffee and more.

Crystal Reservoir at Pikes Peak in Colorado

Crystal Reservoir at Pikes Peak

Allow for at least two to three hours for this adventure: you’ll spend about an hour each way driving, depending how often you stop. And be sure to fill up your gas tank before you reach the Pikes Peak entrance. There’s no gas station on the road, and you’ll need a minimum of a half tank of gas for the entire trip.

At the top, head to a “Meet the Ranger” program to learn more about this gorgeous mountain’s history, geology, wildlife and beyond. If you begin to feel light-headed or dizzy, you may be feeling the effects of high altitude and should immediately go to a lower altitude. Drinking plenty of water before and during the drive can help combat the effects of altitude.

Pikes Peak twin hairpin turns known as Double Cut on the Pikes Peak Highway near Colorado Springs

Pikes Peak twin hairpin turns known as Double Cut

Because this is not a national park, your national park pass will not work here. Prices are based on the season, so check the website to learn about fees for when you'll be visiting. This drive to a very high elevation is not recommended for infants under 6 months.

The entrance to Pikes Peak-America's Mountain road is west of Colorado Springs. It's is at 5089 Pikes Peak Hwy., Cascade, Colo., 80809. 

Pikes Peak by the Numbers


Number of miles long the road is


Feet is the height of the summit of pikes peak


Number of miles the entrance is west of Colorado Springs

2-3 Hours

Amount of time round rip to drive up and down the road


Number of lakes you will pass on your way to the summit

For more information:


Sightseeing from the road in Park County, Colorado

Drive Colorado’s Best-Kept Secret Road in Park County

Point your wheels towards evergreen forests, pristine rivers and abundant wildlife opening up to a beautiful high alpine valley, guarded by breathtaking peaks.

Park Avenue rock formations in Arches National Park, Utah

5 Stops on Arches National Park's Scenic Drive

Don't miss these five awe-inspiring formations in Arches National Park that can be seen after a short stroll from their parking areas.

Inside one of the three cars at The Train Cars Coffee & Yogurt Company in Nederland

Top 10 Things to Do on a Day Trip to Nederland

Forty miles south of Estes Park along the Peak to Peak scenic byway, sits the small mountain town of Nederland, Colo. Nicknamed “Ned.”

Sunrise reflection at Grand Lake, Colo.

Grand Lake at the West Entrance Town to Rocky Mountain National Park

Grand Lake, Colo. is located just one mile from the West Entrance of the park and is home to the largest and deepest natural alpine lake in the state.

Kayaking on Grand Lake in Grand County Colorado

Grand Adventures in Grand County, Colorado

Leaning up against the national park's west side, Grand County offers unparalleled outdoor opportunities without the crowds most ski towns have.

Garden of the Gods in front of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs

6 Adventures in Colorado Springs

From Bigfoot sightings to driving to the top of a 14,000-foot-peak, here are our tips to making the most of your time. The bonus? Most are free.

Overlooking Ouray, Colo., a small town in the San Juan Mountains

Ouray, Colorado is the Switzerland of America

Do the spectacular 6-mile Parameter Trail, then soak in the hot springs pool in this Victorian-era mining town surrounded by the San Juan Mountains.

Great Sand Dunes National Park in Springtime

Sand-Filled Stay in Alamosa and San Luis Valley

Base in Alamosa to tackle the top 6 things to do in and near Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve plus two quirky side trips.

Estes Park Aerial Tramway.

6 Things to Do in Estes Park

Known for its lodging, small-town charm, and knowledgeable outfitters, Estes Park serves Rocky Mountain National Park and access to the national forest.