Colorado is a destination for nature lovers, from its dramatic mountains to its incredible wildlife. Specifically, Pikes Peak is a natural wonder worth seeing. Being the highest peak in the Front Range of the Rockies, the beauty of this landscape is one of the best in Colorado.
Plus, visitors can enjoy this stunning view thanks to the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. Since 1890, America’s tallest cog railway carried visitors from the base of Manitou Spring to the summit of Pikes Peak. Interested in the Pikes Peak Cog Railway? Before you hop on the train, here are some important things to note about Colorado’s most scenic train ride!
ten First stop: Manitou depot
To take the train to the top of Pikes Peak, visitors must go to the Manitou Depot. This is where travelers can park their cars, use the restrooms, grab a bite to eat, and shop for locomotive-related collectibles.
Depot Manitou staff can also help travelers with any questions relating to the train journey.
|REMARK: Although there is parking through Manitou Depot, spaces are limited and are likely to be full during peak season. Thus, many people resort to parking at Hiawatha Gardens (in Manitou Springs) and to the shuttle to get to the train station.|
9 Anticipate changes in altitude!
The Pikes Peak Cog Railway will take riders to the summit of Pikes Peak, which rises to over 14,115 feet! Thus, customers must anticipate changes in altitude, with some experiencing the side effects of this change.
Visitors (regardless of age or physical condition) may experience nausea, lightheadedness or lightheadedness. It is recommended that you set aside time to acclimatize to the high elevations of Manitou Depot before progressing to the summit of Pikes Peak.
Additionally, visitors should stay well hydrated and drink plenty of water to avoid any unpleasant symptoms of altitude change.
|REMARK: Although there is no age limit for boarding the train, the ride is not suitable for infants under six months or people with a history of heart or respiratory medical conditions due to altitude changes .|
8 Dress for the weather at the top
Manitou Springs can be nice during the summer, but even in the warm months Pikes Peak can get chilly as it is a high altitude destination.
In fact, the weather can even drop to 20 degrees on some days! Before setting off, dress appropriately for the summit, which may include wearing a warm sweater, jacket, and hat (depending on the season).
seven There is a LOT to see along the way
Although the highlight of the train ride is the summit of Pikes Peak, the ride itself is a feast for the senses! Along the way, be sure to admire the beauty of Colorado’s mountain ranges, vast rock fields, and diverse local wildlife.
Along the way, riders will also encounter sights such as Minnehaha Falls, Ruxton Creek, Englemann Canyon, Diamond Rock and more!
6 There is a seasonal schedule for the train
Although the Pikes Peak Cog Railway operates year-round, departure and arrival times change depending on the season. For example, during the summer, the train leaves every 40 minutes a day.
On the other hand, the train runs less frequently (and at specific times) during the fall and winter months. Check the Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway websites for more information on seasonal departures and arrivals.
5 Some things are NOT allowed on the train
There are a few considerations for riding the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. Firstly, due to the limited space capacity inside the train, bicycles and strollers are not allowed on board.
Additionally, with the exception of service animals, the train is not a pet-friendly accommodation.
4 Learn something at the Pikes Peak Visitor Center
The Pikes Peak Visitor Center is one of the park’s newest facilities, featuring interactive exhibits that showcase the area’s history, geography, and climate.
The center also offers stunning views of the summit while offering facilities such as restrooms, free Wi-Fi and restaurants for restless travellers. Before returning to Manitou Depot, stretch out and explore this spacious visitor center.
3 Try Pikes Peak donuts!
In addition to enjoying the view, don’t forget to try the famous Summit donuts! These donuts may look ordinary, but they’re the only ones made at 14,000 feet in the world.
In addition to being delicious, these donuts taste better at the summit itself; grab a few of these sugary snacks down the mountain, and they’ll deflate from the changing elevation, losing their airy texture!
2 Explore other amazing sites
Pikes Peak is amazing, but other attractions also highlight Colorado’s scenic landscapes.
After visiting Pikes Peak, plan an excursion to see the majestic Seven Falls, a site for exhilarating zipline challenges, rappelling adventures, and admiring views of the 181-foot waterfall.
The Pikes Peak area is also blessed with amazing parks and trails including Palmer Park and Red Rock Canyon.
1 Visit Manitou Springs!
Don’t leave Colorado without exploring Manitou Springs. This city has everything to please: heritage, history, charm and majestic views of the mountains.
Explore this cozy mountain town while strolling along Garden of the Gods City Park, explore art at the Creative District, or learn about the Manitou Cliff Dwellings.