Pike's Peak

38°50’26”N
105°02’39”W
14,110 FEET
(4302.31 M)
Pike's Peak Elevation

Pikes Peak is the highest summit of the southern Front Range and is in the Pike National Forest. Pikes Peak is one of Colorado's 53 fourteeners

Suggested Route (Paved) 38.6 miles

Begin in Cascade
Riding west on FR 334, Pikes Peak Toll Road
Keep on going on FR 334 to Pikes Peak Summit--mile 19.3
Turn around and begin your descent. You earned it!

THE CLIMB

There is no relief on this climb! For about 13 miles you ride from 9,230’ to 14,110’ with some 8.0% grades, plus altitude, equals HARD. Pike's Peak is the most difficult climb in Colorado with Mt. Evans coming in at a close second. Pikes Peak’s weather can change in an instant including a summer snowstorm at the top. There is no bike lane on Pikes Peak, and the rangers are known to get upset if your bicycle wanders or zig zags.

NEARBY TOWNS

Colorado Springs, 19.4 miles to the east
Manitou Springs, 13.3 miles to the east

FUN FACTS

The summit is higher than any point in the United States east of its longitude.

 

Pike’s Peak or Bust became the slogan of the Colorado Gold Rush (1858).

 

In 1893, Katharine Lee Bates wrote the song “America the Beautiful” after admiring the view from the top of Pikes Peak.

HISTORY

Pikes Peak was first name “Tava” or “sun” by the Ute. The Ute people first arrived in Colorado around 500 A.D. and made Pikes Peak region their home. These people were called the “Tabeguache,” meaning the “People of Sun Mountain.” The Arapaho people arrived in Colorado in the 1800’s, and named the mountain “Heey-otoyoo” meaning “Long Mountain”.  Early Spanish explorers called the mountain “El Capitán” meaning “The Leader”.  In 1806, American explorer Zebulon Pike referred to the mountain as “Highest Peak”. Despite Pike’s attempted climb, he never reached the summit. American explorer Stephen Harriman Long named the mountain “James Peak” in honor of Edwin James who climbed to the summit in 1820. The mountain was later official renamed Pikes Peak in honor of Zebulon Pike.

 

Gold was discovered near the present-day Denver in 1858, and newspapers referred to the gold-mining area as “Pike’s Peak”.  This was due to Pikes Peak’s visibility to gold seekers traveling west across the plains towards Denver. There wasn’t any significant gold in the actual Pikes Peak area until 1893. Cripple Creek Mining District was discovered southwest of Pikes Peak and became one of the last major gold rushes in the lower 48 states.

 

In 1863, the U.S. Treasury purchased the minting equipment for $25,000 to open the Denver Mint.  The equipment was purchased from Clark, Gruber and Company which minting gold coins in Denver bearing the phrase “Pike’s Peak Gold”.

 

During 1899, the Serbian physicist, Nikola Tesla built his first working version of the Magnifying Transmitter and proved that Earth is a good conductor, and he produced artificial bolt of 40 meters and millions of volts.

 

Pikes Peak was the home of a ski resort from 1939 until 1984.