We packed a lunch and ventured off to see Garden of the Gods and Pike’s Peak. We had the most amazing day.
First Up – Garden of the Gods
We drove through Garden of the Gods stopping occasionally to walk a little and take some photos. It’s a great park. There is no admission charge to enter the park and dogs are welcome provided you follow the normal leash and waste rules. The red rocks against the vivid blue sky were something to behold.
Garden of the Gods is surrounded by neighborhoods and there are homes overlooking the rock formations but you don’t even realize they are there until you are near the park boundaries.
We waited a while to get a picture of balanced rock without any other tourists climbing up to get their photos taken on the rocks.
Our Drive Up Pike’s Peak
Our visit to Garden of the Gods took much less time than we expected so we decided to drive up to Pike’s Peak.
It was only a few miles to the entrance of the Pike’s Peak Toll Road. As of this update in January 2022 the toll road cost during peak season is $15 per person or $50 per car (up to 5 passengers). This road takes you all the way to the top of Pike’s Peak.
Alternatively, you can ride The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway. We did not take the railway but I’d love to at some point. It looks like a beautiful ride.
I laughed when I saw this sign warning us not to run over Big Foot. He kind of looks like Elvis in this image.
We camped at an altitude of about 6,500 feet. The first altitude sign I saw in the park said 8,000 feet and we climbed to the top at over 14,000 feet.
Above the tree line looking down at the switchbacks on the road to the peak. The road is narrow and steep with a lot of hairpin turns.
The views were absolutely amazing. Be sure to bring your jacket because it was cold up there. I didn’t have mine as we hadn’t planned to go up to the Peak. The thin air at that altitude made me dizzy.
The roads were narrow, steep, and had no shoulder or guard rails. There was a lot of snow on the ground in June.
We made it to the top. What an experience it was. On the way back down the rangers stop you and check the temperature of your brakes to let you know how you did and if you need to let them cool off for a while. Downshift to slow your speed as much as possible, rather than using your brakes.
If you ever get a chance to visit Pike’s Peak or Garden of the Gods, take it. Both are experiences you’ll never forget.
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