Visiting the Majestic Pikes Peak
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You are more than welcome to drive the scenic Pikes Peak Highway to the summit, for some breathtaking, views. Some say that the high altitude and thinness of the air makes you giddy. It is definitely something that everyone should experience. You must be prepared for the ride up, of 19 twisting miles. Some say it is a terrifying ride, with many curves, but worth it. Your car must be in great shape, with good brakes, as they will “burn” on the way down. There are some spots where you can park and take a shuttle to the top, to make it less terrifying. Be prepared to pay for the ride up though. It is $15 per adult, and children 6-15 are $5. This helps to maintain the roads year-round.
There are gift shops throughout the ride up, but the best, and last, is at the top. You must try one of their donuts, of which they make several hundred a day. They must be consumed, while at the summit. Once you travel down the road, the donuts “deflate”, and turn mushy, a strange phenomenon. There is construction going on, until sometime in 2021, of a new summit visitor center, as well as a plant Building, CSU Communications Facility, and High-Altitude Research Laboratory. This is necessary, as the weather has taken its toll on older buildings, and need to be safe, for visitors, and workers.
There used to be a Pikes Peak Railway to take you to the top, which ran for 126 years. It was determined to no longer be safe and usable, shutting down in 2018. They are now laying down new tracks and refurbishing the trains. Plans are to have it back and running in January 2021. So if the thought of driving to the Peak terrifies you, wait for the train and take a nice relaxing, scenic ride.
For the truly adventurous, you can hike, walk, or bike up the mountain via the Barr Trail. It is a rather steep 13-mile one-way trip, so be prepared. The Pikes Peak Marathon is an event which has been held since 1956 and occurs late Summer. If you prefer not to be there at that time, please check the Pikes Peak website, for the exact date on the year you go.
If you wish to fish, there are three reservoirs to choose from, although the Southside slope requires permits that must be required beforehand, not at the site. This is because there is limited space on this site, The Northside is a little more user-friendly. No permits required. You can bring a small boat, but it must fit on your vehicle, or in the bed of a truck. Trailers are not permitted on the road. It must be powered by electric motor, paddles, or oars only. No gas propelled engines are allowed. If you love all animals, not just fish, check out the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, just down the road,
It is such a beautiful place, but can also be dangerous. Please heed all the warnings and advice, as it is for your safety, and to preserve the land for future generations. The weather is much different at 14,000 feet, so if it is 90 degrees down in Colorado Springs, it is probably only about 45 degrees at the summit. The website is monitored and changed every 15 minutes to let visitors be aware of. Have fun and enjoy nature!