Climbing Pikes Peak (in a Car)
Pikes Peak is super-close to Colorado Springs. It’s a 14,000+ peak to which you can drive. It is the highest elevation to which I have ever driven. It’s sort of like a toll road operated by the NFS.
At the edge of civilization before you start climbing up to the pass toward where the entry booth is located, there’s a gas station+barbecue place. I used their restroom and bought a rice krispie treat there. The bathroom was the better of the two experiences.
- 19 miles from the toll booth to the top (IIRC).
- Somehow takes about an hour-plus to get up there.
- Most people driving up it are totally reasonable, but it only takes one Minnesotan without the self-awareness to use turnouts to ruin everything.
- Which is how it takes an hour-plus to get up there.
- I get a little dizzy and light-headed at 14,000 feet.
- Also my fingers get a little numb and tingly.
- There are a lot of hairpin turns.
- They tell you to only ever use first gear on the way down.
- Halfway down there’s a checkpoint where an NFS employee tests the temperature of your brakes and if you’re over 300, they make you stop. Mine were 293.0 degrees (Fahrenheit I hope).
- Here are some other photos: