Pikes Peak is the historic landmark mountain of the Colorado Rockies. The 14,115-foot peak lifts its massive shoulders high above Colorado Springs and dominates the Front Range. The mountain, called Tava by the Ute Indians, was named for explorer Lt. Zebulon Pike, who described it on an 1806 expedition and failed to climb it. Pikes Peak is the most visited high mountain in the United States, with over 600,000 visitors annually who climb to the summit on two feet, in autos, and up a cog railway. “America the Beautiful,” the unofficial anthem of the United States, was written in 1893 by Katharine Lee Bates after a summit visit.
Recommended season: Year-round.
—Stewart M. Green