Two RV Gypsies: Full-Time RVers
eyeball window screen for the RV
den sign for the two RV gypsies eturn to the home page of the two RV Gypsies
History of the two RV Gypsies
e-mail the two RV Gypsies
Please sign the Guestbook of the Two RV Gypsies. Thanks. links to other full-time RV sites and more helpful and important information for RVers sign: The two RV Gypsies
Learn about Brian Duquette
index to the photos on this website
see  travel photos of the two RV Gypsies in the continental USA
see the photos the two RV Gypsies took during their travels in Canada see the photos the two RV Gypsies took during their travels in Canada find out what's new on this website
go to the Table of Contents for this website
The two RV Gypsies at
Pikes Peak - America's Mountain
August 29, 2012
map of Colorado showing where Pikes Peak is located in Colorado

Pikes Peak is the most visited mountain in North America and the second most visited mountain in the world behind Japan's Mount Fuji.

Pikes Peak (originally Pike's Peak) is a mountain in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains within Pike National Forest, 10 miles west of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Originally called "El Capitán" by Spanish settlers, the mountain was renamed Pike's Peak after Zebulon Pike, Jr., an explorer who led an expedition to the southern Colorado area in 1806. The Arapaho name is heey-otoyoo’ ("long mountain").

At 14,115 feet, it is one of Colorado's 54 fourteeners, mountains that rise more than 14,000 feet above mean sea level, and rises up to 8,400 feet above the city of Colorado Springs. Pikes Peak is a designated National Historic Landmark.

Pikes Peak is the 31st highest peak out of 54 Colorado Peaks. It is the farthest east of the big peaks in the Rocky Mountain chain, which contributed to its early fame among explorers, pioneers and immigrants and made it the symbol of the 1859 Gold Rush to Colorado with the slogan, "Pikes Peak or Bust".

The Manitou and Pike's Peak Railway is a 8.9 mile cog railway operating from Manitou Springs to the summit year-round, conditions permitting.

Here comes the Cog Train, ready to take the two RV Gypsies up Pikes Peak.

The Cog Train passed Crystal Lake on the way up Pikes Peak.

Crystal Lake on way up Pikes Peak

Scenery out the window of the Cog Train as it chugs its way up Pikes Peak.

Scenery out the window of the Cog Train
Scenery out the window of the Cog Train

Oil Creek Mine in the far distance

Oil Creek Mine

Automobiles can be driven to the summit via the Pikes Peak Highway, a 19 mile road that starts a few miles up Ute Pass at Cascade. The cog train passes over the curvy road. This road, which until October 2011 was unpaved after the halfway point, has steep, twisty slopes, and a series of switchbacks that are treacherous at high speed, called "The W's" for their shape on the side of the mountain. The road is maintained by the City of Colorado Springs as a toll road.

Pikes Peak Highway

ImportantAt the peak, the partial pressure of oxygen is only 60% of that at sea level, so a faster rate of respiration is required by those not regularly at high altitudes. Those familiar with altitude training know that prolonged exposure to the reduced pressures of high altitudes will produce more red blood cells to offset the lower oxygen availability. For the unacclimatized, altitude sickness may develop in those who are sensitive or who over-exert themselves.

Conditions at the top are typical of a high alpine environment. Snow is a possibility any time year-round, and thunderstorms are common in the summer, bringing hail and wind gusts occasionally of over 100 mph. (Actually, some pea size hail did fall upon Karen while she was on Pikes Peak, but the hail only lasted about one minute). Lee was inside buying donuts that turned out to be very stale; guess that's why the doughnuts were on sale..

Pikes Peak was the home of a ski resort from 1939 until 1984.

Manitou cog train

The two RV Gypsies at the summit of Pikes Peak - 14, 110 feet

Karen Duquette at the summit of Pikes Peak
The two RV Gypsies at the summit of Pikes Peak

View from the summit of Pikes Peak

View from the summit of Pikes Peak

Some people were crazy and got really close to the edge.

crazy people on Pikes Peak
crazy people on Pikes Peak

Even people with their dogs got really close to the edge.

crazy people on Pikes Peak
crazy people on Pikes Peak
divider bar

USA flagPikes Peak - America's Mountain: The Inspiration for America The Beautiful, Penned by Katharine Lee Bates

America the Beautiful plaque and words
plaque about Katharine Lee Bates and America the Beautiful
plaque
plaque commemorating the 100th anniversary of America the Beautiful
divider bar

Karen Duquette at yet another Great Continental Divide sign

the Great Continental Divide sign
Karen Duquette at the Great Continental Divide sign
view from the summit of Pikes Peak
Karen Duquette on the summit of Pikes Peak
view from the summit of Pikes Peak
Lee Duquette at the summit of Pikes Peak
view from the summit of Pikes Peak
view from the summit of Pikes Peak
Crystal Lake
view from the summit of Pikes Peak
view from the summit of Pikes Peak
view from the summit of Pikes Peak
view from the summit of Pikes Peak

Lee checked out the view below

Lee Duquette on Pikes Pieak
Lee Duquette on Pikes Piea
view from Pikes Peak

The Manitou Cog Train on the summit of Pikes Peak.

the Manitou cog train on Pikes Peak
the Manitou cog train on Pikes Peak

Watch out Karen - there's a cog train right behind you!

Karen Duquette on the tracks in front of the Manitou cog train
Karen Duquette on the tracks in front of the Manitou cog train

Karen Duquette safely back on the cog train and headed back down the Pikes Peak.

Karen Duquette safely back on the cog train
Mountain view at elevation 10,012

The camera is not crooked - the Cog Train TRACK IS SLANTED. The Manitou Incline averages almost a 40% grade—gaining 2,011 feet in elevation over a length of approximately 1 mile with the maximum grade being 68%.

the slanted cog train
the tracks of the cog train
the tracks of the cog train
rocky view descending Pikes Peak
view descending Pikes Peak
view descending Pikes Peak

Nearing the bottom of Pikes Peak, the scenery was no longer all rocky, and had more trees.

trees nearing the bottom of Pikes Peak
trees nearing the bottom of Pikes Peak
trees nearing the bottom of Pikes Peak
trees nearing the bottom of Pikes Peak
trees nearing the bottom of Pikes Peak
trees nearing the bottom of Pikes Peak

Wildlife on Pikes Peak: One of the most magnificent creatures seen at these elevations is Colorado’s state mammal - the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep.

bighorn sheep
nighorn sheep
bighorn sheep
bighorn sheep

Another mammal the two RV Gypsies saw on Pikes Peak is the Yellow-bellied Marmot; a small furry animal about the same size as a woodchuck, but their unmistakable yellow underbelly clearly identifies this mammal. The gregarious Marmots live in colonies with a very strict social order. When members of the colony are feeding or basking in the sun, one of the them stands watch for predators. If a predator is seen, they let out a sharp chirp or whistle to alert the other members of the colony. In fact, this sound is so distinct, the marmot has earned the nickname Whistle Pig.

the Yellow-bellied Marmot
the Yellow-bellied Marmot
look below

go back to the Colorado Menu page Please return to the Colorado menu page for more adventures of the two RV Gypsies in Colorado, or you can jump ahead to Arizona if you so choose.