Today I think we were at the highest place we have ever been while standing on the ground.
The top of Pike’s Peak is at 14,100 feet and you can get right to the top. You can drive, bike, hike or take the cog railway. The railway is the easy way but they never give you much time at the top. The hiking trail is 13 miles long while the drive or bike trip on the road is 19 miles long and both climb 7000 feet in elevation. We drove.
Today was perfect weather-wise. The forecast called for the possibility of afternoon showers so we got up early, for us, to completely clear skies. The long distance visibility looked great as well.
The start of the Pike’s Peak Highway is about 18 miles northwest of the campground.
We first had to pay our $12 per person toll.
The bottom section was not terribly scenic as you are in the trees.
There were a few pullouts with views. The first looked back down on the main highway.
A hazard to watch for on the way up.
We could finally see above the tree line but that is not the peak.
There is a gift shop part way up. On the way down you have to stop at the booth on the road. They use an infrared thermometer to check your brake temperature. If you have been riding the brakes too much and they are too hot you will be asked to pull over to let them cool off before you can continue down.
From here the really twisty and steep section begins.
We zigzagged our way up this hill.
This marmot just sat in the middle of the road and didn’t budge as we went by.
There was a crew filming a commercial on the road. We got stopped for a short time but every once in a while they have to let people through.
Another way to do the mountain is to get driven to the top and then bike down. I guess they have really good brakes.
These people looked cold.
And we are there.
Since we were so early there had not been much traffic on the way up so we could take it slow and enjoy the views. We only bunched up the one time for the film crew but quickly spread out again.
At the top there is a huge parking lot. When we got there I would guess that there were about 30 cars. The train was also just leaving so for a short while it was not that busy.
Looking down at Colorado Springs.
We could also see Cheyenne mountain to the south, at the center in the picture below.
The end of the hiking trail from the bottom.
The parking lot got much busier before we left.
There were some interesting cars. I have no idea what was up with these two.
This gorgeous E-Type Jaguar. I wonder if you can tow one behind a motorhome. It wouldn’t be much good on the 4wd roads though.
And there must have been a rally for MG’s and TR6’s. There was even one from Ontario.
Being so high it was kind of weird to be almost looking across at the clouds.
The place got really busy when a train arrived.
The end of the line.
You couldn’t see much of the tracks from the top so I walked out on the rocks.
Off they go.
Jennie came down and we had lunch in a flat spot in the rocks.
There is a huge strip mine off in the distance.
Heading back up we made a weird discovery. A plastic box with a label on it.
It had held someone’s cremated remains. I guess they wanted their ashes spread up here and whoever did it just threw the box away. I checked that it was empty. Very strange.
The next set of trains came up.
Everybody waved at me as they went by.
On the north hill side there was a plaque commemorating Captain Pike. Nice first name “Zebulon”.
It looks like the stone that the plaque is mounted on has started to slide down the hill.
Jennie got a picture of this moth that had landed on someone’s hand.
I was amazed at how clear the air was. I have no idea how far off these mountains are but even in a long zoom there were pretty visible.
We had been at the top since before 10:00. Even though it was only around 12:30 we decided to head back down.
We stopped at this lookout.
Jennie saw these Bighorn Sheep just down the road.
They looked pretty scruffy.
Farther down was a large parking lot and people climbing the hill behind it. I have no idea why.
We got back to the RV about 1:30 which is really early for us. During our relaxing afternoon I saw some very dark clouds in the direction of Pike’s Peak. I even heard some thunder. I am not sure if we dodged a bullet.