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Is Trail Ridge Rd enough "mtn views" to skip Pikes/Evans?

Rockford, Illinois
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1,033 posts
212 reviews
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Is Trail Ridge Rd enough "mtn views" to skip Pikes/Evans?

We definitely plan on driving the Trail Ridge Rd next summer during our vacation. I'm just trying to plan what we have time for and what to prioritize.......so are the views from Trail Ridge Rd very similar to what we'd see at Mt Evans or Pikes Peak? I am not super keen on heights and roads without guardrails, etc.....but I don't want to miss out either if we skipped Pikes or Evans.

Nederland, Colorado
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11,083 posts
15 reviews
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1. Re: Is Trail Ridge Rd enough "mtn views" to skip Pikes/Evans?

The views are very different. Each part of our state has different geography so no two places are alike. I would advise that if you are "not super keen on heights and roads without guardrails" you should probably avoid Pikes Peak and Mt. Evans. No matter which drive you decide to take, you will see spectacular views.

Edited: 21 December 2013, 01:38
WestSlope,CO
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for Colorado
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10,500 posts
166 reviews
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2. Re: Is Trail Ridge Rd enough "mtn views" to skip Pikes/Evans?

If you are visiting Colorado Springs, maybe you'd like to take the Pike's Peak cog railway rather than driving yourself.

Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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131 reviews
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3. Re: Is Trail Ridge Rd enough "mtn views" to skip Pikes/Evans?

When you are judging what you have time for, do remember (I think I have mentioned this on some of your previous posts) to allow enough time to drive and explore Trail Ridge Road. There are lots of overlooks and family friendly trails along the way which greatly enhance your views and your wildlife viewing opportunities. Trail Ridge Road is actually pretty tame with only a few spots that give people the jitters. If you drive Trail Ridge Road one way from Estes Park to Grand Lake as Missp suggested on one of your earlier posts, you will avoid the section of Trail Ridge Road that people find most troublesome because you will be on the inside lane.

Mount Evans is a white knuckle drive especially between Summit Lake and the parking lot at the summit - 1/4 mile from the summit actually. I am always the designated driver for Mount Evans - and not for alcohol reasons. My brother-in-law drove Pike's Peak and said never again.

I agree with Babalax and Missp. Avoid driving Mount Evans and Pikes Peak if you have a fear of high mountain driving and take the cog if you want to see Pike's Peak.

Rockford, Illinois
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212 reviews
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4. Re: Is Trail Ridge Rd enough "mtn views" to skip Pikes/Evans?

Thank you! I watched some youtube clips of all three drives and just watching the Pikes Peak and Mt Evans drives makes me tense.....LOL! But watching the Trail Ridge Road clips from the highest areas didn't make me very nervous at all. So maybe just the Trail Ridge will be for us.

The Pikes Peak Cog might be a good alternative, but I'm not sure if we should take the time to drive down to that area when everything else we will be doing will be around Estes Park/Denver. Although I am interested in Garden of the Gods down that way.......so we might end up down there anyways.......decisions, decisions!

Delavan, Illinois
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5. Re: Is Trail Ridge Rd enough "mtn views" to skip Pikes/Evans?

From Trail Ridge Road you will be looking out over other mountains one ridge hiding behind another stretching off into the distance. From Pike's Peak you will be looking out over a broad plain far below (at least if you look east) and can see as far as Denver to the north (I could even take a picture of it with just my 300mm telephoto lens).

6. Re: Is Trail Ridge Rd enough "mtn views" to skip Pikes/Evans?

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