Activities & Resources
Pike's Peak Cog Railway050in Manitou Springs, CO 80829
about Pike's Peak Cog Railway:
As you ascend, you travel through gorgeous forests comprising cascading streams and dense stands of Englemann spruce, Colorado blue spruce, Ponderosa pine trees, and ancient bristlecone pines. Boulder fields are also part of the landscape, and conductors do a great job of pointing out various features and the look-alike "faces" that can be discerned with a little imagination.
After the grade intensifies, the railway breaks out of the trees at timberline, where trees stop growing, and the landscapre turns to alpine tundra - a mixture of mosses, grasses, and wildflowers. Yellow-bellied marmots and Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep call this area home. Make sure to look in all directions; on a clear day you can see east to Kansas, north to Denver and beyond, the Sangre de Christo Mountain Range to the south to New Mexico, and the Collegiate Mountain Range to the west - some of the country's highest peaks.
Prepare for about 30-40 minutes at the top to enjoy the views, scoop up some souvenirs, and grab a bite to eat. However, do be aware of the effects of high altitude (slight nausea, dizziness, and/or headache); increase your water intake before, after, and during the trip to help mitigate the effects!