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Scenic Drives

Drive the Pikes Peak Highway 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 to reach Pikes Peak, the only 14,000-foot peak in Colorado that you can drive all the way up to the summit. You’ll cruise 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, and for good reason. Keep your eyes peeled for bighorn sheep, elk, deer and yellow-bellied marmots.

Switchbacks on the Pikes Peak Highway
Switchbacks on the Pikes Peak Highway (Photo: Courtesy Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain)

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 Center , the historic Glen Cove Inn, a dining area and gift shop at mile marker 13 and the new Summit Visitor Center at the top. The Summit House is known for its “world-famous” donuts but also serves pulled pork sandwiches, gourmet grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, salads, grab-and-go food, coffee and more.

Crystal Reservoir off the Pikes Peak Highway in Colorado Springs
Crystal Reservoir off the Pikes Peak Highway in Colorado Springs (Photo: Courtesy Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain)

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, experience the new interpretive exhibit space 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.

The summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs
The summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs (Photo: by Vic Moss courtesy of Colorado Springs)

Because this is not a national park, your national park pass will not work here. Prices and hours are based on the season, so check the website to learn more before visiting. You will also find important announcements on the websites to know before you go. 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 at 5089 Pikes Peak Hwy., Cascade, Colo., 80809.

Pikes Peak by the Numbers

19 Number of miles long the road is
14,115 Feet is the height of the summit of pikes peak
15 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
3 Number of lakes you will pass on your way to the summit

For more information:
pikespeakcolorado.com