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.
This page last updated 8/15/06