20 June, 2017

The Top of the world experience - Pikes Peak, CO, USA

The beauty of mountains, snow and the view from higher altitudes always give a wonderful experience. We visited the Pikes Peak summit by train and here are some details about our trip. This is really a "Top of the World " Experience. Pikes Peak is known as 'fourteener', which means one of the peaks in Colorado which is above 14k feet above sea level.

Pikes Peak is the highest summit in the Southern front range of the Rocky Mountains in North America. The summit is at an altitude of 14,100 ft above sea level and it is the second most visited mountain in the world after Japan's Mount Fiji.

Fortunately, it's very nearer to the place where we live.

There are 3 ways to reach the summit -
1. by hiking (through 13 mile Barr trail)
2. by Rail (through 8.9 mile Pikes Peak Cog Railway) - Cog railway is reopening now in 2021.
3. by Road(through 19 mile Pikes Peak Highway)

We went to the summit by Rail and we are yet to explore the other ways. The Pikes Peak Cog Railway is the highest rack railway in the world and unlike conventional railroads which use the friction of wheels upon rails called 'adhesion' to provide locomotive power, the Cog Railway uses a gear or a cog wheel which helps it to climb a steeper grade.

This beautiful red train has 2 to 3 coaches with big windows to experience the best view of the mountains. The top speed of Cog Railway is 9 mph and it uses double cog or abt system.

The train passes through Ruxton Creek and climbs to more height gradually. At the half of the distance, we get to see a view covering over 300 miles and as per the guide, even the Kansas border is seen. We see a lake, lot of Aspen trees and also 2000-year-old bristlecone pine trees. We saw some squirrels and deer too in our trip. Our round trip duration is around 3 hrs 10 mins excluding the time spent on the peak.

The peak of the summit gives excellent views of mountains and the city of Colorado Springs. We also tasted the world famous crispy and tasty donuts on the summit.

The temperature at the summit is around 12-degree centigrade on a summer evening at 6 pm in June. It is always at least half of the temperature at the base. The above photo is taken in summer. You can imagine how it would be in winter! 

So, that's about our train trip to the Pikes Peak. How do you like it? Do let me know in comments. 

More Such Travelogues here:

1. A day with flowers and gardens, Denver, CO, USA

2. Hanging lake and hot springs, Glenwood springs, CO, USA 

3. Golden leaves and Gondola rides, Aspen, CO, USA

4. Rocky mountain national park #day 1

5. Rocky mountain national park #day 2 

6. Limestone caves and cliff dwellings, Colorado springs, CO, USA

7. Unique Statues and Ice Sculptures - Loveland, CO, USA

Until next time,


  1. Beautiful images Ramya. I see you are having quite a good time.

  2. Ramya, what a wonderful experience. Your photos are lovely too. Thank you for sharing. Bring home the Bacon? What does this mean? Where does it come from?

  3. Beautiful pictures and looks like a nice place. Thanks for the virtual trip ramya.

  4. Nice pics and summary of the trip!

  5. Gorgeous views and a lovely account Ramya - looks like you had a great time!


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