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Answering The Most Commonly Asked Questions About Pike’s Peak, CO

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While we generally spend our time hiking and taking scenic drives through the Smoky Mountains, we recently ventured to higher elevations in Colorado and were blown away by the views, beauty, and grandeur of God’s creation in the Rocky Mountains. Pike’s Peak is located in Cascade, CO about an hour south of Denver and 20 minutes from Colorado Springs. 

Pike’s Peak, also commonly called America’s Mountain, is one of Colorado’s 14ers. There are 58 mountains over 14,000 feet in elevation in Colorado known as the 14ers.  Driving to the top of Pike’s Peak is an exhilarating experience.  Every outdoor family should experience it at least once. It was a highlight of my visit to the beautiful state of Colorado.  

Driving Pike's Peak

How long will the drive to Pike’s Peak take?

According to you should allow about 1.5 hours for a round trip drive to Pike’s Peak.  We recommend you allow an additional hour for picture taking, bathroom breaks, and souvenir shopping.  

How much does it cost to drive to Pike’s Peak?

There is a fee to enter Pike’s Peak

May 1- Nov 30:

$15 per person over age 16

$5 for children between 6-15

$50 Family rate for 5 or more in a vehicle

Dec 1- Apr 30

$10 per person over age 16

$ 5 for children between 6-15

$35 Family rate for 5 or more in a vehicle

What are the Hours of Operation of Pike’s Peak?

Weather permitting, Pike’s Peak is open 9am-5pm daily. However, last entry into the park is 3pm and all cars must be exiting the summit no later than 4pm

What should I bring with me on my drive to Pikes Peak?

It’s important on any road trip to pack the right things. Remember, you are going to be climbing from an elevation of 7400 feet to over 14,000 feet.  Temperatures, weather, winds, and altitude will all be changing. At a minimum, we recommend you do the following. 

  • Have at least 1/2 tank of gas before entering the park. There are no gas stations inside. 
  • Bring and DRINK plenty of water. I know you think you are going to be driving and not hiking, BUT YOU STILL NEED WATER!  The altitude change is significant.  
  • Layer your clothing.  We visited in October.  It was near 60°F when we entered the park, but a cool 30’s when we arrived at the summit.  A coat, scarf, gloves, and hat would all make it a more enjoyable experience. 
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • CAMERA!!
Pike's Peak Entrance Sign

What Will I See At The Top Of Pike’s Peak?

Stunning Scenery & Unbelievable Views

We were fortunate to arrive at Pike’s Peak on an extremely beautiful October day.  The skies could not have been bluer.  In fact, the day after we were there, a storm front moved in and we woke up in Denver to snow and gray skies.  We were so glad we chose the day before to visit Pike’s Peak.

Valley view at Pike's Peak

The Interesting Residents of Pike’s Peak

This guy gets around everywhere.

Of course, we had to stop and take a picture with Big Foot…well, at least with his sign!

Big Foot Sign in Pike's Peak

I was surprised to discover that Santa also lives on Pike’s Peak!  Who knew?  

North Pole at Pike's Peak

There were moments where the sky was so blue and the grade was so steep, that it felt as if we would drive right over the edge of the world.  I imagined it was what the ancient world believed would happen when Christopher Columbus set out to sail off the edge of the earth. 

The World Is A Vast Place and We Are But A Speck

Pike's Peak curvy road

It’s hard to explain which is more exhilarating, the view of the streaming flash of cars  2-3 thousand feet above or the view back down when you are one of the flashing cars yourself. 

View from pike's peak drive

We did experience some mild altitude sickness as we ascended Pike’s Peak, but we continued drinking water and it was manageable.  I will say I was in awe of those we passed biking their way up the mountain.  In the words of Garth and Wayne, “We are not worthy, we are not worthy”. 

Pike’s Peak Is The Ultimate Road Trip

It was very cold and windy, but very beautiful at the top.  Ranking up there with the views of Glacier Point, it was one of the most breathtaking sights I have ever seen.   Only thing that would have made it more majestic would be snow.  You can see what that looks like over at Nomad by Trade’s review of driving to Pike’s Peak 

Pike's Peak Summit Sign

If you are in the Colorado Springs area and can make time for this adventure, don’t miss it!  It’s one to remember.

Campfires & Concierges also has some great ideas if you plan to visit Colorado in the summer and if you love scenic mountain roads like Pike’s Peak, don’t miss Rocky Mountain’s Trail Ridge Road and here’s another one to conquer from Quirky Travel Guy. 

If you plan to spend some time in Denver, here is an article to read aboutHistorical places to visit in downtown Denver.  

Royal Blue Skies overlooking Colorado from 14,115 feet elevation of Pike's Peak

How many Colorado 14ers have you been to?

You Might Also Be Interested In our Other Outdoor Living Posts

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Monday 22nd of January 2018

This looks like a fun drive. I'd love to visit Colorado sometimes and maybe get to hike some of the trails there. #TheWeeklyPostcard


Sunday 21st of January 2018

Beautiful! So nice that you can drive up, sounds much easier than hiking. You really got lucky with the weather. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

Richard Givens

Sunday 21st of January 2018

I couldn't have added anything to your post. Gorgeous! Seeing PP from Colorado Springs, to me, is just not that impressive... just a giant hill... without realizing that you are already over 7,000 ft.... but what a vista from the top! I would love to watch one of the timed road race events they have there. They run all classes of motorcycles, dune buggies, souped up jalopies, Formula 1 race cars and big semi-truck rigs. Thanks for your virtual tour!


Saturday 20th of January 2018

Well this is about the most thorough travelogue of PP I've ever seen!! Fantastic!! We drove up PP in 2012 with the kids...and then way back before kids, just hubby and I, in 1992. We have ALL the same sign pics and some of the same pics of the ascent as you...brings back memories!! -----And we think we offended the toll booth ranger when we were dying laughing about the Big Foot sign as we drove off the was getting dark...we stopped to be cordial and say hi instead of breezing right thru and one thing the kids mentioned to the ranger how "funny" it was to see that sign---Boy the highway workers in CO really have a sense of humor, they said!! Um---the ranger was baffled that we thought it FUNNY!!!! No, really, he told us. Beware of BF!! Of course we thought he was continuing the prank. Suddenly we realized that he truly was offended! My then 7 yo son said...wait you actually BELIEVE BF is in the woods?? Yikes. Try to be friendly and have a conversation and you never know who'll offend, my son tells us afterward in the car! LOL) That's basically my main memory of that day! Oh, and how gorgeous that Walmart is at the bottom of the highway! Wow, talk about really designing stores/buildings to "fit" that western theme. In NY, we just have the crummy old typical looking Walmarts around here........ LOL Loved this tons, my friend!! Keep the posts coming! So happy I "found" you in the travel bloggers' group!! Sorry my comment is so insanely long!


Saturday 20th of January 2018

We've driven Pikes Peak twice now - once in the fall and once in the winter when the top was closed (6 miles from the top) Both were great and I'd say it's definitely worth it. I'm not sure I like the "no guardrail" thing near the top, though :) I almost think that I liked the winter drive better - the scenery was breathtaking and we were the only ones on the road. I'd recommend it if you don't mind reaching the tippy top - plus they discount the price.

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