The Broadmoor’s Pikes Peak Cog Railway climbs from an elevation of 6,412 feet in Manitou Springs to 14,115 feet at the summit of Pikes Peak. This 125-year-old railway made its first ascent via steam engine on June 30, 1891. Though the locomotive technology has improved (the passenger trains are now diesel-hydraulic trains), the awe-inspiring route has remained the same.
The 8.9 mile journey to the summit passes through pine forest, aspen groves, and rolling high-alpine fields above the 12,000 foot tree line. At moments, the route is steep—some sections of the track ascend at an almost 26% grade—giving you a taste of the adventures of the 1806 Pike expedition, the first American pioneers to summit the peak. Be sure to look for the elk, deer, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, and marmots that live up there throughout your trip.
The summit of Pikes Peak is a designated National Historic Landmark—Katharine Lee Bates wrote the lyrics to “America the Beautiful” after her 1893 experience of the peak and its beauty. Come aboard, the views will take your breath away.
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