As soon as I got off the plane and rented a car, I headed for Pike's Peak.  Due to recent fires that devastated Colorado Springs, the road that took you to the top of Pike's Peak was closed.  Luckily, the Cog train was running on schedule.

In the picture you can see where the worm gear pulls the Cog Train up and down the hill.  The climb is quite steep at times.

   
   
At the near half-way point, called Windy Point, stands an old building that used to house workers to keep the tracks clear and in good working condition.

The altitude at this point is 12,129 feet above sea level.

 

   
   
I reached the summit for the second time.  The first time I drove all the way to the top in 1985.

The air at 14,110 feet above sea level is very thin.  I had to take it slow and breathe slowly through my nose.
 

   
   
 The scenery from the summit is quite spectacular.  As previously mentioned, Colorado Springs was devastated by fires.  There were 32,000 people evacuated from the area.  I believe over 350 houses were destroyed.  In this photo, you can see the smoke of the Waldo Canyon fire.

     
     
Looking further down into the valley you can see that Pike's Peak has a lot of rocks.

     
     
A memorial was placed on Pike's Peak to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of Zebulon Montgomery Pike's southwestern expedition.
 

     
     
Looking out towards Colorado Springs.

 
 
The Pike's Peak Cog train at rest on the summit.

 
 
The Pike's Peak sign
     
     
After looking at the scenery, I had to step inside the gift shop and try their world famous doughnuts.

The doughnuts are made from a batter that was designed to cook correctly at 14,110 ft above sea level.

One friend took a couple doughnuts home for his wife.  He found that they were as hard as a rock when he got down to 6,000 ft above sea level.
 

     
     
Here is another look out towards Colorado Springs.
 
     
     
Looking a little to the right of Colorado Springs, I spotted a lake in the mountains.

     
     
On a clear day, the guides say that you can see to Kansas.

The inspiration behind the song America the Beautiful came from a visit to Pike's Peak.

It was time to head down the mountain and drive to Canon City.

     
     
 

Links

  Pike's Peak  (City of Colorado Springs)  
  The Cog Train  
  Area Attractions  
     
 

One video review is available

     
     

Pike's Peak

 
     
     
   

 

 

This page was last enhanced on Sunday, August 12, 2012