For my 40th birthday in May, Rueben got me some awesome hiking boots, and a weekend in Colorado Springs! That’s all I wanted – some good waterproof boots (the ones I wore for this weekend in Colorado Springs were…not good) and to see more of Colorado. First stop – gorgeous Pikes Peak!
First, I have to tell you about the drive to Pikes Peak, which is about an hour and a half drive from Cripple Creek. It’s a gorgeous scenic drive through the mountains, on winding roads that are just amazing.
A bighorn sheep right on the shoulder!
The scenery was crazy! We stopped for breakfast in Woodland Park and the mountains were in view from pretty much the whole town, it was nuts.
Tip #1 for going to Pikes Peak: know where you’re buying your tickets. There are a couple of different places to buy them online, and I realized that I never got an email with my payment confirmation, and couldn’t figure out where I bought them! Luckily the man at the entrance to the peak was really awesome and believed that we bought them.
Tip #2: Know how to use the engine break on your vehicle, and take a lighter vehicle if you can. It’s a 19 mile drive to the top, and you ascend 6,000 feet in elevation to 14,115 feet! If you don’t want to burn out your breaks, it’s a good idea to use your engine break. Rueben learned how to really drive our truck on this trip, which was great for the rest of our mountain drives.
Due to high winds (up to 70 mph!) at the top of the peak, we were only able to go mile 13, but still, look at these views!
Tip #3: Wear layers. It wasn’t cold at the bottom of the peak, but once we got to mile 13 I was glad I took a sweatshirt! If you’re able to make it to the top, you know it’s going to be super windy and cold.
On the way down, we took a seemingly random dirt road to a reservoir that turned out to be amazing! Apparently only locals go to this beautiful, serene spot, so we were really lucky to have stumbled upon it.
Of course we had to get our photo at this amazing stop!
If you are in the area, Pikes Peak is a must! This was the start of such an amazing few months in Colorado, and such a great, great birthday present.
Next up: Garden of the Gods!