Pikes Peak Highway: Cascade to the Summit of Pikes Peak

MODERATE 44 reviews

Pikes Peak Highway: Cascade to the Summit of Pikes Peak is a 17.4 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Cascade, Colorado that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for nature trips, road biking, and scenic driving and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
17.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
6509 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

dogs on leash

kid friendly

nature trips

road biking

scenic driving

forest

views

wildlife

The toll is $12 per person, military discount makes it $10

scenic driving
2 months ago

Awesome drive with great views! View the landscape that prompted the song, "America the Beautiful." I was there in December and it was insanely windy at the top, which froze your ears and hands, so bring warm clothes. If you get car sick, you might have issues during the drive, but there is plenty of horizon (albeit at a 20 degree angle) to gaze at to help calm the stomach. There is a nice gift shop and cafe with hot drinks and comfort food at the top. If coming from sea level, the elevation might make it difficult to breathe. I was able to run a bit at the top without too much trouble except a slight light head. But everyone responds differently to elevation. Bring your camera!

11 months ago

The view from the top is definitely worth the drive. We waited in line for 2-3 hours before we even reached the gate to get into the scenic highway. Use low gear coming off the mountain and be advised some areas do not have guard rails. This will take you about 2 hours from start to finish. Do attempt to take a travel trailer or camper up this highway. Bring warm clothes, temp is much cooler on top of the mountain.

11 months ago

Was here in early June 2017. Loved it!!!

11 months ago

Crowd favorite from our Colorado trip!

scenic driving
Monday, May 29, 2017

This is a beautiful drive up to the top

scenic driving
Saturday, April 08, 2017

Drove up here in my old F-100 ford pickup back in 1980. It's an awesome road and the views are obviously great. This was the first time being at that kind of elevation and I was suckin wind just walking across the parking lot. Crazy. They were checking everyone's brakes at the bottom when you got down to see that you weren't overdoing it. They would make you pull over and wait if you overheated them.

road biking
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Rode the Cog Train up to the Peak and then took a bike ride down... Great views and fun little ride with plenty of places to stop along the way!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

There was plenty of places to pull off the side of the road and take in the beautiful scenery of Colorado. The air is very thin at the top.

scenic driving
Wednesday, November 09, 2016

beautiful views and an amazing drive

scenic driving
Monday, August 22, 2016

Yesterday we went on the Pikes Peak Highway. We were excited to do something that none of us had ever done despite living in Colorado most of my 48 years of life! While the views were breathtaking, I have to tell you that my impressions were in general very poor.

First of all, it’s expensive. They charge per person instead of per vehicle. Something that frustrates me is public places being priced out of the grasp of the average family. We paid $39 to drive past the toll booth. For context, it costs $20 to get into Rocky Mountain National Park for one day.

There's no arguing that the views driving up aren't exhilarating! The summit is basically a bare parking lot with so much trash, it’s heartbreaking. Step to the edges and you know why you came. For sure. It’s amazing!

However, the bathrooms inside the gift shop were filthy. The gift shop itself is tiny. Not a big deal until the cog train arrives, then it's oppressive. If you're claustrophobic, forget about it!

The employee who checked us out was bragging to the guy in front of me that the employees have competitions to see who could drive up and down the mountain the fastest. Unless you've been there and driven the road, you won't understand the audacity of that admission.

The trip down was also mainly uneventful other than following a big diesel truck all the way down despite several stops including those meant simply to get away from said truck. It was the proverbial bad penny although I’m sure the people were nice enough! The contrail was not!

While on our stops, we visited with the rangers, picked up miscellaneous trash we saw (both on the top and along the way…makes me sad) and when people would come up from behind, we'd pull over letting them go past...we weren't in a hurry and didn't want to feel pressure to go too fast.

After several attempts to avoid the diesel truck, we came up on it and it as stopped in the road taking pictures. As we started driving again, I begged my husband to just go past it. It was making all of us inside the car, especially our daughter, sick.

Anyway, as we approached the building where we'd paid to get in, I asked my husband to stop and get a couple of maps to keep as souvenirs.

When he got back in the car, he said that the female ranger he’d talked to had told him that she'd received four complaints about us passing people (plural). And she was really nasty about it too.

Where my husband is calm and rational, I’m fiery and passionate. After the visit we’d had, those we’d let pass, the diesel fumes, the trash we’d picked up, generally been good visitors, the injustice was too much. I made him go back so that I could give her a piece of my mind. I didn't yell, I didn't use bad language, but I basically told her what I thought of that little piece of business.

At the very least, we were a paying guest. We could have been gently reminded of the rules. In my interaction with the establishment since, it turns out that the calls they received were for a “dark blue” van. Ours is grey.

I have no doubt that there was one call regarding us going past the truck. And I stand by our going past it. We were able to see the road ahead and didn’t endanger anyone. It wasn’t a race, and we weren’t doing it simply to get down faster.

I'll spare you the details of my conversation with the ranger, but I will never ever go back. We’ve been all over the state of Colorado and never been treated like this. And while being charged more than a little? No thank you. There are many places you can see sweeping vistas and such.

scenic driving
Friday, August 19, 2016

Taken this drive a couple of times. Its okay, and you have great views from the top, but not really something I care to do again. A very crowded area!

scenic driving
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Very scenic, but next time I'm taking the train so I can sightsee

road biking
Sunday, July 17, 2016

Made the climb on my road bike. Tough climb particularly considering the altitude, but totally worth it for the ride down. Can't wait to do it again...

scenic driving
Monday, June 06, 2016

Gorgeous scenery plenty of pit stops to take pics and your driving on a race track!!!!

scenic driving
Monday, September 14, 2015

Great drive but costs a bit and is busy.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Too many people. In parking lot at the top exhaust fumes from all the cars will have you gasping for air, if you weren't already from lack of oxygen. In spite of that, the views are awe inspiring and if you hike away from the road and the very damaged ecosystem it is very beautiful. Maybe it is a good thing that most people will never make it that high into the mountains. The delicate ecosystem above timberline can't handle the abuse. The whole trip made me sad. I'll never drive to the top of a mountain again. Hiked it in my 20's. I guess I'll aspire to that again in the future.

scenic driving
Sunday, March 22, 2015

Beautiful drive... we went during the beginning of February so the restaurant at the top was closed. We went 19 miles into the park. The last mile was closed due to road conditions which is understandable for that time of year. Unbeatable views for as far as the eyes can see!

scenic driving
Sunday, March 22, 2015

wonderful drive up the mountain with great views of the surrounding area. I recommend going in the spring summer or fall because it gets closed in winter

Monday, February 23, 2015

I drove up when I was there, but I'm for sure going back to hike it! So pretty, and a little scary! Loved!

scenic driving
Sunday, August 24, 2014

Stunning scenery! At times my fear of heights kicked in towards the top. But! The entire trip to the summit is well worth those 3 or 4 times I found myself gripping the seat. The reservoirs, the trees, the fresh smelling air...beautiful!!

mountain biking
Monday, June 30, 2014

Rode the Cog Train to the top and rode (braked!) mountain bikes 20 miles to the bottom

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Nice drive very beautiful at the top! Hard to believe that a woman made that climb, was so inspired of the beautiful scene that she wrote AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL! True story, and would love to hike this one day!

Monday, February 03, 2014

Fun drive and awesome view at the top! I would recommend doing the drive over taking the cog railway if you can.

scenic driving
Tuesday, December 03, 2013

A nice drive to the top of this famous 14'er. For many of us driving is the only well we'll make the top of a mountain this high! Great views, gift shop, etc at the top. Cool diversion.

scenic driving
Thursday, November 07, 2013

The toll is $12 per person, military discount makes it $10. Nice drive, very scenic with many photo ops. Much more fun on a motorcycle! It is paved all the way to the top where the parking lot is dirt/gravel.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Really quite a nice scenic drive. Well worth it! Time may change but the view will always remain

scenic driving
Sunday, September 08, 2013

Such an amazing drive with wonderful sceneries. I just moved from California, and I never understood why my husband was always raving about Pikes Peak until He drove me there. I have to admit that I have fear of heights, so the drive kind of scared me at certain spots. It was worth it, and will go back there again and again. Saw lots of mountain goats, marmot & chipmunks. Crystal Reservoir is a great place to stop & snap pictures.

scenic driving
Saturday, July 20, 2013

Beautiful scenic drive. Loved the changed of weather that you experience from the bottom to the top if the peak.

hiking
Sunday, June 02, 2013

Nice road, last section is well maintained gravel. One of those traditional must see destinations but you won't be disappointed. Of course stunning views. A cog train provides an interesting trip to the top but I prefer the drive (you can stop along the way and enjoy the scenery). Side note: in the past, a check point was active about halfway down the mountain road, workers were checking the temperature of car brakes using infrared thermometer "pistols" just to make sure "flat land" drivers hadn't dangerously ridden their brakes on the way down.

scenic driving
Friday, March 29, 2013

Been up Pikes Peak both as a kid in the 60's and later as an adult. Great scenic drive. But, it is more fun to get out and hike.

Load More