DescriptionWest of Denver and Colorado Springs, the 14,110-foot summit of Pikes Peak is visible from a long distance on the Great Plains. The view from the peak inspired poet Katharine Lee Bates in 1893 to write “America the Beautiful.” The sentinel of the Front Range is the prime attraction of 1,105,704-acre Pike National Forest. The summit is reached by highway or cog railway; hikers can climb the 11.7-mile Barr National Recreation Trail.
Pike's proximity to the Denver-Colorado Springs corridor makes it one of the most heavily used national forests in the state. The forest has many developed campgrounds and ample opportunities for fishing, hunting, hiking and winter sports. Scenic drives include the Rampart Range Road and the Pikes Peak Highway. Lost Creek and Mount Evans wildernesses are accessible only by foot or horseback.
The Devil's Head Lookout Tower, the last operational fire lookout along the Front Range, stands atop the highest point in the Rampart Range; it is accessible by a 1.3-mile hiking trail. Remnants of early mining activities are evident near Fairplay in the South Park Valley.
For more information write the Forest Supervisor, Pike National Forest, 2840 Kachina Dr., Pueblo, CO 81008; phone (719) 553-1400.
Things to SeePikes Peak Cog Railwaysee Manitou Springs.
GEM DescriptionThe view from 14,110-foot Pikes Peak is spectacular.