Family Vacations in Colorado

Family Vacations in Colorado: The Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway

Photo courtesy of Pikes Peak Cog Railway Getting to the top of Pikes Peak is half the fun aboard Pikes Peak Cog Railway.

Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs is second only to Mount Fuji in Japan for having the most travelers to its summit. Although you can get there on foot or by car, the best way to get to the top is to take a ride on the delightful old-fashioned cog railway.

The railway began service in 1891, and it hasn't changed much since then. During the ride, which lasts just over three hours round-trip, visitors often catch glimpses of the state's largest herd of bighorn sheep, as well as marmots, deer, and elk.

The view from the 14,110-foot summit is astonishing and offers a panorama of Denver from 60 miles away, as well as the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the historic Cripple Creek Gold Camp, and the majestic mountains that form the Continental Divide. It so inspired Katherine Lee Bates, a Massachusetts author and teacher who visited the summit in1893, that she composed the lyrics to America the Beautiful.

At the top of Pikes Peak, be sure to sample the world-famous high-altitude donuts. These tasty treats have been made with the same recipe since the early 1900s.

The Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway Information

Address: 515 Ruxton Ave

Manitou Springs, CO

Telephone: 719/685-5401

Hours of Operation: Nov - March, limited operating schedule

Admission: $32 adults; $17.50 kids

From the top of a mountain to the bottom of a pool, Glenwood Hot Springs Pool in Colorado is a three-block long natural hot spring. Learn about taking a naturally warm dip on the next page.

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Denver City Guide: Find out where to stay, what to do, and where to eat when you visit Mile High City.
  • Colorado State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Colorado, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.