This past September, I visited the beautiful state of Colorado for the first time. I flew into Denver for a few days, drove around Rocky Mountain National Park, and headed south toward Colorado Springs for the final stretch of the trip.
I didn’t know exactly what to expect with Pike’s Peak, but I knew as the tallest peak in the Southern front range of the Rockies, I had to go.
There are multiple ways to get to the top of the mountain. I chose to drive it in a rental car. You can also take the train, or go full mountain-man and climb the thing (a little extreme for me lol).
The drive to the top was somewhat terrifying, I’m going to be honest. If you’re not a confident driver or if you don’t feel safe in your rental car, I would not recommend it. The train looks fun, too!
However, if you take the train, you miss out on the 6-8 sightseeing stops driving to the top. There are reservoirs to hike, mountain goat overlooks, and even cozy cabins with hot chocolate.
Do be warned: it is $15 per person to drive to the top of Pike’s Peak. Though it’s well worth the cost, have cash handy for when you go through the toll.
Since Pike’s Peak is 14,114 feet above sea level, altitude sickness is definitely a thing you should keep in mind. The best way to avoid it is by staying hydrated. Colorado is one dry place, so even if you think you’ve had enough water for the day, think again. I personally didn’t have altitude any problems at the top of the mountain, but I did get a headache while descending. I would recommend going down slowly to allow your body to readjust to the drops in altitude. Plus, if you drive, you have to turn the car off every few thousand feet before you set the break pads on fire.
My last recommendation is that even though it may be 75-degrees down in Colorado Springs, it’s still windy and chilly at the top of this mountain. Bring a hat, gloves, and windbreaker so you aren’t forced to huddle inside.
Overall, Pike’s Peak was such an incredible experience that I’d do it again in a heartbeat – I might even consider the hike… maybe.
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