From the gateway at an elevation of 7,400 feet, we encountered some of the most breathtaking scenery as we winded our way through an alpine wonderland of scenic beauty and mountain reservoirs.
DID YOU KNOW?
Pikes Peak, also known as “America’s Mountain," inspired poet, Katherine Lee Bates to write America the Beautiful in 1893. There really are “spacious skies” and “fruited plains” and purple-hued mountains visible from the summit of the 14,115-foot high peak.
~ Although it's hazy, you can still see Pikes Peak in the background ~
Notice the mountain-side speckled with GOLD alpine trees!
The Pikes Peak Highway is 19-miles from the Toll-gate entrance to the Summit, and is a 2-lane road ascending more than 6,000 feet in elevation to 14,115 feet. The views are breathtaking and the drive is truly amazing.
When we drove up to the Toll-date entrance, I saw a blackboard sign that read "Enjoy the Fall foliage." And I remember thinking "Oh, great! Maybe we'll see a few yellow, orange and red trees scattered here and there."
I was beyond surprised when just after a few short minutes we drove around the first bend and saw a grove of GLOWING GOLDEN Alpine Birch trees! My husband and I were in awe.
~ Their leaves are breath-taking ~
~ The forest floor was also afire with RED foliage ~
~ View from above one of the reservoirs ~
~ View of GOLD Aspens looking up from the reservoir ~
After a short stop at one of the reservoirs, we continued to make our climb to the Summit of Pikes Peak.
~ It's no secret . . . I'm terrified of heights, so Pikes Peak's Highway
had my heart racing from Mile Markers 15 to 19 (the TOP)! ~
There were very FEW guard rails!
~ On our way to the SUMMIT ~
~ We made it! ~
~ Although it was hazy, the view from the TOP was quite spectacular ~
We had an incredible day! My "Little Ones" still ask to see "the mountain pictures" every day. Luckily, there is still snow as low as Marker 16, also known as The Devil's Playground, so the kids were able to touch and experience SNOW for the first time.
FUN FACT . . . Devil’s Playground was named for the way lightning here can sometimes be seen jumping from rock to rock during storms.
~ As you can see, we weren't dressed for the SNOW - or the COLD weather,
but that didn't stop us from experiencing all that Pikes Peak had to offer ~
~ My little guy tucked his arms in his jacket for extra warmth! ~
~ Oh, and yes ~ they do sell DONUTS at the TOP of Pikes Peak ~
~ It's just an extra perk for those who make it to the TOP! ~