Guide to Pikes Peak 

One of the most iconic peaks in the Rocky Mountains is Pikes Peak. The mountaintop stands at 14,115 feet above sea level and is the highest summit of the southern Front Range of the Rockies. Pikes Peak serves as a center point for the area near Cripple Creek, making it well worth the visit. Come explore what makes Pikes Peak unique with our travel guide to the idyllic landmark.

General Information

Pikes Peak sits just northeast of Cripple Creek and just west of Colorado Springs. In order to access the scenic drive, visitors need to circle around the mountain to the northern end. This is about a 50-mile trip from Cripple Creek.

Before exploring Pikes Peak, take a look at this highway map and this trail map.

Driving Up Pikes Peak

One of the reasons Pikes Peak is so popular is how accessible it is to all. You don't need to embark on a grueling hike to reach the summit. Visitors can start in Cascade and take a 19-mile drive to the top of this iconic mountain, enjoying mountain scenery, reservoirs, forests and views along the way. At the top sits the Summit View House where you can grab fresh donuts, coffee, gifts or fudge.

The drive takes about three hours to do roundtrip. There are a few for the road that includes $10 per adult (16+) and $5 per child (6-15). Guests can also pay $35 for a carload of up to five people. The mountain is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last entry being at 3 p.m. All hours are weather permitting.

Pikes Peak Hiking

While the scenic drive is the most popular way to reach the summit, it isn't the only way. Outdoor enthusiasts can take a hike to the top of the mountain via the Barr Trail. This 13-mile route starts in Manitou Springs and gains 8,000 feet in elevation. Barr Trail isn't the only hiking trail available.

There are plenty of other trails for hikers to try when they visit Pikes Peak with all trails being 5 miles or less. Several of the trails branch off of the Barr Trail. Be sure to reference the Pikes Peak hiking trails guide before venturing out on the mountain.

Pikes Peak Train Ride

Not a fan of hiking or driving? Take a train ride to the summit of Pikes Peak. The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway is a 9-mile journey that takes guests through the gorgeous scenery of the mountain. Tickets start at $58.50 for adults and $48.50 for children 12 and under. While there is no rule on how early you should reserve your tickets, it's recommended to make a reservation a couple of weeks in advance.

Pikes Peak Tours

There's so much to see when you visit Pikes Peak that it can be hard to take it all in. One option is to take a tour via bus. Bus tours allow you to better take in the scenery of the mountain while also learning about the history and the area from a knowledgeable expert. Gray Line Tours has been showcasing the beauty of Colorado for 42 years. Participants should plan on about four hours for the entire bus ride to the summit. Tickets start at $79.50 for adults and $59.50 for children 12 and under. Those wanting to take a bus tour will want to head to downtown Colorado Springs. All times are weather permitting and are subject to change. Those interested can call ahead or book online.

Need More Information?

Check with us. We have local information on the easiest (and shortest) hikes to the top of Pikes Peak, fishing and boating off Pikes Peak Highway, and much more. And, don't forget that Pikes Peak is just one attraction in Pike National Forest. We can point you to some of the often-overlooked aspects of the forest. We look forward to meeting you!