How our Family Explored Pikes Peak
If you just found this page, you might want to read other ways to explore Pikes Peak and while you’re there you can also read about Pikes Peak namesake, Zebulon Montgomery Pike.
Our family decided to explore America’s Mountain from the Pikes Peak Highway.
The Pikes Peak Highway
- was constructed in 1915
- is a 19-mile toll road which costs $10 per person (2012 price)
- if you look online, you might be able to find a coupon – using a coupon we paid only $8 per person
- begins in the Cascade and climbs 6,715 feet before reaching the summit.
- includes a visitor center, picnic grounds, interpretive tails, and educational programs (depending on the season)
On a Road Trip Adventure across the USA,
I missed America’s Mountain.
Since I was suffering from a headache (questionable altitude sickness) and am an acute sufferer of motion sickness, I decided to stay at the campsite at 5,990 feet instead of riding along Pikes Peak Highway, which
is known for its switchbacks, and climbing to an elevation of 14,100 feet.
A Virtual Tour of Pikes Peak from our Family’s time on Pikes Peak Highway
Entering Pikes Peak Highway through the Tollgate
Took a Left Turn and Drove Up and Up and Up a Steep Hill
Entered the Mountain Life Zone at about 8,000 ft.
Passed but did not stop at the first outlook, Camera Point
Passed but did not stop at the second outlook, Crowe Gulch
but did snap pictures through the Window
Entered Pike National Forest
Saw the Sign for Big Foot, but decided not to Stop
Gained little elevation along the Winding highway through the Aspen Forests
Passed every Pull-Out and every Trail Head because my Family wanted to Reach the Summit
Saw Crystal Reservoir
Drove over the Dam and Passed the Crystal Reservoir Visitor Center
Saw the sign for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
(Just FYI – at top speeds the summit can be reached in under 10 mins)
Continued the Drive to the Summit on a Twisting and Turning highway
Passed the Halfway Picnic Grounds between Mile Markers 9 and 10
Saw lots and lots of Snow, but did not Stop
Entered the Subalpine Life Zone at Mile Marker 10
Reached an Elevation of 11,000 feet at Mile Marker 11
Stopped at 11,000 feet
for Belle, Buddy, and Fannie to play in the Snow
Continued the Drive and Gary enjoyed navigating the Switchbacks
Passed the Ski Area and Entered the Alpine Life Zone
somewhere around Mile Marker 12
Saw a metal Gate across the Road at Mile Marker 13 –
the Pikes Peak Highway had been CLOSED
due to High Winds
and Played in the Snow
then my Family began their Descent down Pikes Peak Highway
Stopped at Mile Marker 12 to play in the Snow again
Made snow Caves and snow Angels
Turned Fannie into a snow Dog
Resumed the Descent
Stopped at Crystal Reservoir Visitor Center
and walked to the frozen edge
Saw the sign for Big Foot a second time
and Stopped for a Photo-Op
Left Pike National Forest
Passed the Tollgate and Exited Pikes Peak Highway
Said Good-bye to Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain
Returned to the campground and Me
and Told me all about Exploring Pikes Peak
but First my Family had a Surprise for me
they Brought home Snow from Pikes Peak to Show me (and Throw at me)
On a Road Trip Adventure across the USA, I might have missed America’s Mountain in person.
But after learning about Pikes Peak, hearing their stories, and seeing the pictures they took,
I feel like I got a glimpse of America’s mountain.
I hope this Virtual Tour of Pikes Peak Highway gave you a glimpse of America’s Mountain.