Driving down Pikes Peak Highway is even more thrilling than driving up. Or should I say nerve-wrecking?
The Colorado mountain Pikes Peak is the highest mountain in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains – with the summit being at 14,115 feet (4,302.31 m), which makes it one of the 53 fourteeners in the Rocky Mountains. It’s also a US National Historic Landmark.
Once you’ve made it up to the Pikes Peak Summit, you must come back down… either with the Broadmoor’s Pikes Peak Cog Railroad, hiking down the trails or taking a car or bike down Pikes Peak Highway. On your way down, you get to see breathtaking views of the mountains, valleys and lakes below and travel through four life zones (defined by the species of plants and animals that inhabit them, and the temperature and humidity): the alpine, sub-alpine, montane, and foothills zones.
During week 279 (in September), Scott, GJ, Judith and Christoph drove up and down this mountain as part of our Manitou Springs Road Trip. Actually, I should specify that Scott did the white-knuckle driving and I left the filming on the way down up to the GoPro strapped to the front of the car.
Something I especially enjoyed about the 19-mile Pikes Peak Highway is that due to the way it approaches Pikes Peak, you actually get to see the mountain peak several times while driving. Something that may or may not be comforting: on the way down there is a required stop where the temperature of your breaks get tested to ensure they aren’t overheating and are still working properly. Yikes.
If you want to see more from this trip, please check out these videos.
Last but definitely not least, I highly recommend watching this video in HD – even if it takes a little longer to load. The low-rez version looks way too chunky to enjoy it.