Bill Hammons: Writing and Running in Boulder, Colorado


Pikes Peak, Colorado

Pikes Peak's Elevation: 14,110 Feet

Pikes Peak's Rank Among Colorado's Fourteeners in Terms of Elevation: #30

Pikes Peak is located along the Front Range

Pikes Peak requires a scramble

Best months for climbing Pikes Peak are June through September

Click here for a Mapquest map of Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak, with an elevation of 14,110 feet, is the 30th highest peak in the state of Colorado. This peak has been designated a National Historic Landmark and was named for Zebulon Pike, an explorer of the southern Colorado area in 1806 and the progenitor of today's "Fourteener Obsession." Pikes (when seen from the east) forms a massive backdrop against the city of Colorado Springs, and, along with Mount Evans, is one of only two Colorado Fourteeners accessible by road. The Pikes Peak Toll Road was completed in 1916, and a cog railway to the summit has been in operation since 1891. The view from the summit of Pikes Peak was the inspiration for Katherine Lee Bates' "America the Beautiful" in 1893.

Pikes is also accessible by foot, along the Barr Trail (which is the route of the annual Pikes Peak Marathon held every August). To reach the trailhead, head west half a mile from Manitou Springs to Ruxton, then turn left 3/4 of a mile past the cog railway to a parking lot by a hydroelectric plant. A pre-dawn start is recommended for those hikers who wish to avoid afternoon thunderstorms (not to mention the crowds of cars at the trailhead parking lot). Note that this hike is 26 miles roundtrip and takes an average of 15 hours.

Sources:,,, Dawson's Guide to Colorado's Fourteeners, Volume 2: The Southern Peaks

This page last updated 8/15/06

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