Visiting Colorado's Pike's Peak is a wonderful idea, but here are five things you should know about driving up the Pike's Peak Highway.
Colorado Springs is one of the state's premier tourist attractions with an array of things to do and see, including Garden of the Gods, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and, of course, the iconic Pikes Peak. In 2017, nearly half a million people visited the famous mountain.
It's a cool thing to do for sure, but there are some things you should know before decide to take a trek up the Pike's Peak Highway.
The Pike's Peak Highway is open year-round, with the keywords "weather permitting." They do keep the road plowed during the winter, but you definitely want to check weather and road conditions before you go, especially if you aren't going during the summer. They do keep the road plowed during the winter so it's always going to be safe. (719-385-7325)
The road is open 7:30am-8pm, but you have to be on the road by 6pm in order to get in. After Labor Day, the hours are 7:30am-7pm and October to Memorial Day weekend it's 9am-3pm.
Someone has to pay for that nice road, and that someone is going to be you if you are going to use it.
May 1 - November 30 it's $15 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6-15, or $50 per vehicle up to five people. From December through April it will be slightly cheaper - $10 for adults, $5 for kids, and $35 per car.
Parking at the summit is extremely limited due to construction on the visitor center. So, you will be asked to park your car at mile 16 and take the free shuttle that runs every 5-10 minutes.
The shuttle runs until September 15 and will start up again in May.
Your Car Might Not Make It
The Pike's Peak Highway is a long, steady climb with a maximum grade of 10.5%. You're probably going to be okay, but a Colorado Reddit reader suggests using a lower grade gas if you normally use premium. Beyond that, just make sure your car is tuned up and in good working order and you should be fine.
At least half the fun of visiting Pike's Peak has traditionally been the ride on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. Unfortunately, you're out of luck. The train has been shut down for "maintenance" and they hope it will be able to reopen in 2020.