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Driving Tips

To make your trip more pleasant, review these hints and techniques. Take your time and enjoy the drive. The trip to the summit and back is 38 miles. Please plan on a minimum of 2-hours for the round trip drive and have at least a half of tank of gas. We recommend that you drive straight up to the summit, and save picture stops and points of interest for the drive down. This will be easier on your vehicle.

  • Speed limit is 30mph unless otherwise posted
  • Maximum speed limit 30mph where posted
  • Uphill traffic has the right of way at all times

Ascending the Mountain:

  • Drive the first two miles past the tollgate in low gear or the low range to allow your vehicle to operate properly.
  • Drive easy grades and short level stretches in intermediate gears to keep your vehicle from overheating.
  • Roll down the windows and let the fresh air in. Please Do Not run your air conditioner while driving uphill, this may cause your engine to overheat.
  • If you vehicle starts to labor on grades, shift to a lower gear to maintain constant speed. This will assist in keeping your engine cooler. Shift automatics manually into a lower range to lock in the gear.
  • Please stay on your side of the road, including the straight stretches and the curves. Please Do Not cut the corners.
  • If your vehicle is slowing other traffic, please pull off at a turnout to let them pass. Your courtesy will be appreciated.
  • Upon reaching the summit, run your engine at a fast idle for a few minutes to reduce overheating.

Descending the Mountain:

  • Drive down the mountain in low gear or low range. Let your transmission do the work. Save your brakes.
  • Apply brakes firmly to reduce speed. Applying continuous pressure to the brakes causes excessive heat in the brake system. Overheated brakes will fade or fail.
  • Stay on your own side of the road at all times -do not cut corners.
  • Uphill traffic has the right-of-way at all times. Be prepared to give it a "brake".
  • As a courtesy to descending visitors, the Pikes Peak Highway Rangers conduct a brake check at Glen Cove during peak periods. They will check the temperature of your brakes for excessive brake heat. Your safety is our concern as well as yours.
  • If other motorists wish to pass, let them do so. Use a turnout or wide spot to allow them to pass.


  • Use the turnouts provided for stopping.
  • If you must stop at any place other than a turnout, do it on a straight where your vehicle is plainly visible to other motorists.
  • If you plan to leave your vehicle for long periods, leave a visible note concerning your plans and general location.
  • Wedge rocks under the downhill sides of your vehicle wheels to prevent rolling.
  • Overnight parking on Pikes Peak is prohibited. Return to your vehicle prior to closing times posted.


  • If your engine is hot, run it at a fast idle. Consult your driver's manual for proper cooling procedures.
  • You may wish to run water on your radiator core to condense steam and reduce heat.
  • Do NOT remove the radiator cap until the engine is cool. Follow the manual procedures when adding water or other coolants.