Monument, CO - 10 Great Things to Do (Part 3)
Today, Part 3, in a series of 10!
3. Pikes Peak Cog Railway Official Site
If you're coming to Monument, CO, you must take the trip up to the top of Pikes Peak on the Cog Railway. A visit to the area is incomplete, without experiencing the 14,000 foot elevation, of Pikes Peak, and the ability to see America, the Beautiful. It was in 1893 that Katherine Lee Bates, stood at the top of Pikes Peak looking over the plains below when she was inspired to write the famous poem, America, the Beautiful.
The Cog Railway trip to the top of Pikes Peak takes 3 hours and 10 minutes, round trip, and the track is 8.9 miles long. It departs form the historic depot at the foot of Pikes Peak, in Manitou Springs.
As the railway assends the mountain, it travels thru three distinct areas. The lower elevation consists of pine trees and boulder fields. The middle section is a gentler grade where many animals can be seen. The last part of the journey provides the first glimpse of Pikes Peak. The incline increases dramatically; terrain is stark and barren; the air is extremely thin; and it's a lot colder than at the base of the mountain.
At the top, everyone disembarks and has about 20 minutes in the gift store, while the train takes passengers from the previous load down the mountain. When the second train arrives, it's all aboard and the decent begins.
If you do plan to go, be sure to check in advance, especially in the summer, the train sells out quickly.