Visiting Pikes Peak in Colorado? Read these tips to plan a safe and enjoyable visit for the whole family.
We have visited Mount Evans multiple times, but had only been to Pikes Peak (PP) once, during the winter when we rode the Cog Railroad. Sadly the railroad closed this year, so we decided it was time to visit America’s Mountain by car and this summer.
PP is shorter than Mount Evans standing at 14,115 ft instead of 14,271ft, however, it is the most visited mountain in the Americas.
In fact it is the second most visited mountain in the world, only behind Mount Fuji.
This trip was quite special for me for three reasons:
- When I rode the Cog Railway in the winter, we didn’t actually make it all the way to the peak. There was too much snow on the railroad.
- I actually climbed Mt. Fuji in Japan a few years ago. Now I can say I’ve been to the two most visited peaks in the world. Maybe one day, I will attempt to hike Pikes Peak too.
- I was able to share this experience with my little one, who loved riding the shuttle to the top and collecting rocks.
Tips for visiting Pikes Peak[ 1 ] Fill up the gas tank before heading up the Scenic Byway. If your gas tank is not full, the park rangers will not allow you to drive in, so be prepared! [ 2 ] Ride with friends. At Mount Evans, it costs U$15 per car to drive to the peak regardless of how many riders there are. Here it will cost you a hefty U$15 per person up to U$50 per car. If you would like a discount on the tickets and other nearby attractions, check out this website. [ 3 ] Take the shuttle to the top from the 16th station. It’s included in the price and you don’t have to try to find parking at the top. Some visitors are exempt from taking the shuttle (disability or parents with have small children). [ 4 ] Bring some money for souvenirs and food at the top. However, be prepared for to wait in line. [ 5 ] Drink plenty of water to fight off altitude sickness. [ 6 ] Drive in low gear on the way down to avoid overheating the breaks.
People make the mistake of solely using the breaks while descending the mountain.
To prevent this, there is a mandatory break check halfway down at the ranger station.
If your breaks are too hot, you will be asked to park and wait for an hour until it cools off.[ 7 ] Stop at the reservoirs at the bottom of the mountain. They are absolutely beautiful. People fish and practice water sports here.
To watch a video of our day driving up the scenic highway, click here.
For more travel tips on Colorado, click here.