New Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center opens to the public

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If it’s been awhile since you’ve visited the summit of Pikes Peak, or if you’ve never experienced the breathtaking view from 14,115 feet, now is the time to plan a hike, drive, or Cog Railway ride to the top of America’s Mountain.
 

After three years of construction, the new state-of-the-art visitor center is open and ready to offer locals and tourists of all ages and abilities an immersive visitor experience.

The permanent indoor and outdoor interpretive exhibits educate visitors about the mountain’s history, climate and geography, recreational opportunities, conservation initiatives, and more.

The exhibit gallery inside the visitor center includes interactive digital features that bring the mountain to life and allows guests to weave their own personal experiences into the mountain’s story.

And, of course, the donuts. These delicious sweet treats are waiting to delight your taste buds. Made with a top-secret, high altitude recipe passed down since 1916, this signature summit treat can only be enjoyed at 14,115-feet, where the air is thinner and the water has a lower boiling point.

Know before you go

Construction outside the visitor center is ongoing

The new building will open in phases, so early visitors can expect to see final construction work taking place and finishing touches being made to the interpretive exhibits and signs throughout the site.
 

Ongoing construction will be most noticeable outside the visitor center. Crews are still constructing the walkways, parking lots, and outdoor interpretive displays, which will include interpretive rails around the summit describing the environment and the views, identifying key landscape features, and educating visitors with related side stories.

This exterior site work is expected to last through September 2021.

You probably won’t be able to drive yourself all the way to the summit this summer

Because of the ongoing construction, parking is very limited. Visitors driving the Pikes Peak Highway will be able to go as far as Devils Playground (Devils Playground is three miles from the summit, allowing visitors to drive 16 of the 19 mile Pikes Peak Highway). A complimentary shuttle is available to take people the rest of the way*.
 

Vehicles carrying a person with mobility disabilities or children in car seats will be allowed to drive their personal vehicle to the summit, if there is parking available. There is no guaranteed access to the summit for any vehicles, including motorcycles.

Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain is providing a 20% discount to highway guests during this time when summit access cannot be guaranteed.

As always, plan ahead and call 719-385-7325 for current highway conditions. Hours of operation and other information about the highway, can be found at PikesPeakColorado.com.

Another option to reach the summit is the newly reopened Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway. Ticket pricing and schedules are available at CogRailway.Com.

More about the new summit complex

The new summit complex is the most sustainable high-altitude structure in the country, if not the world. The building uses solar energy and materials sourced from environmentally responsible companies. All of the pre-fabricated components used in construction meet and exceed green, sustainable certifications. You can learn more about these initiatives through the Our Road to Sustainability video series

Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain is a City Enterprise. That means city tax dollars were not used to build the new complex. The $65 million project was funded by donations and from reserves from Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, which generates revenue through toll fees and concession sales, and revenue bonds taken by Pikes Peak. 

*The shuttle will not be available on July 13 and 19. On these days, a limited number of guests will be allowed to the summit based on parking capacity, others will only be allowed to Devils Playground. These summit parking spots will be first come, first served. Hikers should plan to hike to Devils Playground if they have coordinated a ride down from the summit.

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