Pikes Peak

10 things you probably didn’t know about Pikes Peak:

1.) — The mountain is one of two 14ers in Colorado where the summit is reachable by vehicle.

2.) The road leading to the summit, named Pikes Peak Highway, was not fully paved until Oct. 1, 2011.

Pikes Peak Highway. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

3.) Pikes Peak is the easternmost 14er in the United States.

4.) Zebulon Pike, for whom the mountain is named, never actually made it to the summit. A failed attempt in November 1806 prompted this journal entry:

“The summit of the Grand Peak, which was entirely bare of vegetation and covered with snow, now appeared at the distance of 15 or 16 miles (24 or 26 km) from us, and as high again as what we had ascended, and would have taken a whole day’s march to have arrived at its base, when I believed no human being could have ascended to its pinical … ”

He was, however, the first person to chart the mountain, which is why it bears his name.

5.) The first European-American to complete the climb was botanist and student Edwin James, in 1820. It was James who first described the flower columbine, which later became Colorado’s state flower.

6.) The Arapaho name for Pikes Peak is heey-otoyoo, which means “long mountain.”

7.) The mountain is composed of a pink or brick-red granite, now called Pikes Peak granite.

8.) The view from the top of Pikes Peak inspired Katharine Lee Bates to pen the song “America the Beautiful.” A plaque bearing the lyrics can be found on the summit of the mountain.

Pikes Peak seen through the Siamese Twin rock formation in Garden of the Gods park. Photo by Beverly Lussier, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

9.) “Pikes Peak or bust” became the slogan of the 1859 Colorado gold rush, due to the visibility of the mountain to hopeful miners heading west.

10.) Barr Trail is the most popular route up Pikes Peak. A Class 1, the hike is 13 miles one-way, gaining almost 8,000 feet in elevation.

Want to experience the beauty of Pikes Peak for yourself? Call us today and schedule your peak ascent! 720.242.9828

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