At 14,115 feet Pikes Peak is just one of Colorado’s more than 50 'fourteeners' or mountains that are more than 14,000 feet (4,267.2 meters) above sea level. Most of them, however, are deep in the mountains and require some hiking to get to. Pikes Peak is an exception, though! Not only is Pikes Peak conveniently located just outside Colorado Springs, driving Pikes Peak is actually possible.
Can You Drive Up Pikes Peak?
For everyone wondering- can you drive to the top of Pikes Peak? It's true! You can actually DRIVE to the Pikes Peak Summit. Hiking all day up the side of a mountain is great if you’re 22 and built like an action figure. But what about the rest of us?! What about the families with small kids? What if you’re simply in a time crunch and don’t want to sacrifice your time when you only have one or two days for vacation? That's why being able to drive Pikes Peak is awesome.
The list of reasons why you won’t want to miss out on driving Pikes Peak pass is just about as long as the mountain is high. So let’s focus on just the main one, time. If you’re looking for a day trip or even a half day trip, Pikes Peak highway is for you.
If you are staying for more than a day or you would rather get out and do some hiking beside just driving up to Pikes Peak, be sure to check out The Best Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Getting to Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak is located just outside Colorado Springs. If flying, Colorado Springs has its own local airport. If you can't find a flight to Colorado Springs, Denver International Airport is only about an hour and fifteen-minute drive away.
Pikes Peak Hours
Cost To Drive Up Pikes Peak
**Driving up Pikes Peak cost was accurate when this article was written. Please confirm before you go by visiting the Pikes Peak National Park website.
How Long To Drive Up Pikes Peak?
For the people wondering how long does it take to drive up Pikes Peak- it's a little more than one hour to get to the top and approximately a half hour to drive back down. This is without taking any stops along the way. It will probably take you longer to drive the Pikes Peak mountain drive because you will stop along the way for pictures.
Driving Pikes Peak Tips
When driving up Pikes Peak you will want to make sure that you have plenty of gas before you head out. The drive to Pikes Peak is only 39 miles round trip but you will use more than ½ a tank of gas. Never pass other vehicles, especially on the turns. Only stop at designated stopping areas to take pictures on your way up or down. The gate attendant will review all other Pikes Peak driving instructions with you before you begin your trip.
The drive up Pikes Peak is cold. Make sure you dress in layers. It might be sunny and warm down at the front gate, but trust me, it will be cold at the Pikes Peak summit. It doesn’t matter what time of year you are doing the Pikes Peak drive. Also, remember to wear sunscreen as well as a hat with a brim.
Take your time when you get out to take pictures, especially if you find yourself out of breath. How high is Pikes Peak above sea level you might wonder? At the summit, you will be standing at an elevation that is more than double what it was down in Colorado Springs, which is already over 6,000 feet (1,828.8 meters) above sea level!
Pikes Peak Gate Hours
The Pikes Peak gate hours change by season and also the summit closes at a different time than the uphill and downhill gates. It is best to check here for the Pikes Peak open hours.
Pikes Peak Cog Railway
Not interested in driving to Pikes Peak summit? That’s okay! You can take advantage of the Pikes Peak Cog Railway instead of driving to the top of Pikes Peak. This conveniently located train will take you straight to the top while you relax and enjoy the view!
Pikes Peak Train Prices & Hours
The tickets for the train fill up in advance so we recommend you reserve tickets at least 3-5 days ahead of time.
Pikes Peak parking is located at the summit along with a gift shop and some pretty delicious donuts. The bakers won't disclose their secret but supposedly the donuts are made using a special technique since the altitude causes issues when using traditional methods.
Pikes Peak Colorado is a great way for anyone to experience the beauty of the Rocky Mountains! The gate fees may seem a bit high at first glance just to drive the Pikes Peak road, but trust me when I say that it is well worth it. You really can't beat the opportunity to drive to the top Pikes Peak! Remember, drive safe, take it slow, bring a sweater, and take tons of pictures!
Have you driven to the top of a fourteener before? Leave a comment below and let us know which one!