If you want to see the view from the top of Pikes Peak, the view that Katharine Bates described in "America the Beautiful," head up this 14,115-foot-high mountain on a train, in a car, or in a pair of hiking boots if you've got the stamina. Summit House is a casual café and trading post at the very top of the mountain. Whichever route you choose to take up the prominent peak, you'll understand why the pioneers heading West via wagon train used to say: "Pikes Peak or Bust."
Pikes Peak Highway. You can drive the 19-mile Pikes Peak Highway, which rises nearly 7,000 feet in its precipitous, dizzying climb; stop at the top for lunch and to enjoy the view; then be at the base again in approximately three hours. This is the same route that leading race-car drivers follow every year in the famed Pikes Peak Hill Climb, at speeds that have reached 123 miles per hour. 80809. $12 per person; $40 per vehicle.
Barr Trail. The 12.6-mile hike up Barr Trail gains 7,510 feet in elevation before you reach the summit. Halfway up the steep trail is Barr Camp, where many hikers spend the night. 80809.
U.S. 24, 5 miles west of Manitou Springs, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80901, United States