Early explorers who expressed doubts that Pike's Peak would ever be climbed would probably be surprised to learn that you can either drive to the top or take a train. Nevertheless, they can perhaps be forgiven because the most easily visible side is also the sheltered and glaciated side.
|Distant view of Pikes Peak from the east.|
|Pikes Peak from Woodland Park These photos were taken in October, 2002. It was cool but pleasant at the base of the mountain but in the teens at the summit.|
|Left and below: the cog rail station in Manitou Springs.|
|The central rack rail. Note the double rack design with offset teeth|
cog from a locomotive. The offset tooth design provides smoother gear
meshing and greater security.
However, guides on the train note that if all else fails, at the bottom of the track are two large springs: Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs. (Thank you, thank you, you're a great audience. Put the bat down, sir.)
|The longest straight segment on the line.|
|Left and below: Spacious skies, check. Purple mountains' majesty, check. Fruited plain, check. It was the view from this vantage point that inspired Katharine Lee Bates to write "America the Beautiful."|
|Left and below: at the summit looking north.|
|When they say "end of the line," they mean it.|
Below are panoramas from the summit looking north, east, south and west respectively. There is no single vantage point offering a complete 360-degree view.
|Left and below, views of the summit terminal.|
|The old summit terminal|
|Looking west. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are on the skyline.|
|The steep north face of Pikes Peak, headwall of a cirque.|
|"In recognition of the notable career of Zebulon Montgomery Pike, soldier - explorer, the people of Colorado have placed this tablet on the summit of the great mountain first seen by Pike November 15, 1806. General Pike was born at Lamberton, now Trenton, New Jersey, January 5, 1779. Died April 27, 1813 after a victorious attack on York, later Toronto, Canada. Buried at Madison Barracks, New York. This tablet commemorates the one hundredth anniversary of Pike's southwestern expedition."|
boulder field on the summit.
Below: descending the mountain.
|Left and below: passengers who were laid back on the trip up are leaning forward on the way down, and vice versa.|
|This is the longest straight stretch on the line.|
|Left and below: occasional spurs allow trains to pass.|
|Jointed granite near Manitou Springs|
|Left and below: Victorian buildings in Manitou Springs.|
|Left and below, antique steam locomotives formerly used on the Pikes Peak cog railroad. Note the tilted cabs and boilers.|
|Pikes Peak Batholith along U.S. 24 west of Manitou Springs|
|Contact between gently dipping Paleozoic sandstone and Precambrian granite along U.S. 24 west of Manitou Springs.|
|Left and below: unconformity between Paleozoic sandstone and Precambrian granite just off U.S. 24 west of Manitou Springs.|
Created 14 July 2003, Last Update 01 July 2012
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