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Driving up pikes peak

Kansas City
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Driving up pikes peak

Is there a point when driving up pikes peak where the road turns to a gravel and dirt road? I wanna drive my family up the mountain, but we dont really want to go on the dirt no guardrails. Does a regular guardrail road go at least halfway up?

Kansas City
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1. Re: Driving up pikes peak

Also, what will the weather be like in late October? On pikes peak and in the city.

florida
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2. Re: Driving up pikes peak

I can't answer your question about the weather, but we just drove Pike's Peak last week on our family vacation to Colorado. The road is paved a little over half way - I would guess. They are currently paving some of the dirt road above the timberline. The attendent at the gate told us there would be about 45 minute delays each way and she was right. We had to wait at least 45 minutes going up the mountain and coming back down, because the road was closed down to one way traffic, due to the paving project. My guess is that if will be done by October when you get there - perhaps not the whole road, but a major portion.

Either way, it is a good and wide road - better than most of the other mountain roads we drove while in Colorado. There are not alot of guard rails, but plenty of room, not too many sheer drop offs. I wouldn't worry about it. Just take seriously the advice to put your car in 1st gear on the way down. We did it in 2nd and our Durango was fine, but the guys in front of us in a minivan had to pull off and wait for their brakes to cool down. There is a checkpoint halfway down the mountain where they make you stop and a ranger will check your brakes - it's a good thing!

Have fun and don't miss it! The view was incredible and the trip was worth it even with all the waits.

Colorado Western...
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for Ouray, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Montrose
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3. Re: Driving up pikes peak

Weather: I'd expect cold temperatures on top of the peak; the city could be having a lovely, sunny fall day (50s or 60s), or it could possibly snow. There's no way to predict that this far in advance.

Driving part way: Why would you even bother? There are many beautiful mountain roads in Colorado that do not go to the top of a 14er (peak over 14,000' elevation), and that don't cost anything to drive. So, if you don't want to drive to the top of Pikes Peak because it is partly a gravel road, and because there are sections without guardrails, why drive the lower portion? The most interesting thing about the trip (and most unique part) is the portion above treeline, and the views from the summit.

And the homemade doughnuts in the shop on top, but I digress. ;-)

Kansas City
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4. Re: Driving up pikes peak

Good ideas, what other mountains would be good to drive all the way with no toll?

Detroit, Michigan
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5. Re: Driving up pikes peak

Fall River Road and Trail Ridge Road in RMNP. Fall River is one way so you don't have to worry about on coming traffic. Both roads are beautiful and take you to the Alpine Visitors Center at 11,700+ feet. Also the road from Ouray to Silverton is absolutely specatluar. Worth the trip to the southwest side of the state.

Have fun planning.

Sally

Littleton, Colorado
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6. Re: Driving up pikes peak

Another 14,000+ foot road is to the top of Mt. Evans, west of Denver. It's paved all the way to the top - I think it's the highest paved road in North America. Keep in mind that if you are visiting in late October, it is entirely possible that some or all these roads will be closed once the snow starts. I'm not sure, but maybe they close Mt. Evans road on a certain date, as opposed to waiting until it's too snow covered to drive, like they do Trail Ridge Road.

Colorado Western...
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7. Re: Driving up pikes peak

Good point, Shaken. The Mount Evans road does generally close after Labor Day, according to this:

www.denvergov.org/Mountain_Parks/88faq370.asp

Gnejs, what part of the state are you planning to visit aside from including a beautiful drive in the mountains? And, are you specifically wanting to drive to a high spot somewhere, or are you mostly looking for great mountain scenery?

Colorado Western...
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for Ouray, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Montrose
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8. Re: Driving up pikes peak

Here's a good resource for very scenic drives (officially "Scenic Byways") throughout Colorado:

http://www.coloradobyways.org/Main.cfm

Kansas City
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9. Re: Driving up pikes peak

We are driving from Kansas City to Colorado Springs. So far about all I know is we want to see the Garden of the gods and some drives up mountain scenery. Doesnt have to be 14+ high, but high enough for some good views. Thanks everyone for your replys, this is helpoing us a lot!

Bonn, Germany
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10. Re: Driving up pikes peak

I suggest driving to the top. Start in the morning. There are storms in the afternoon including snow and lightining storms but the drive is great and so is the top. There is also a tram that goes up to the top.

I got caught in a big storm in August. Snowed liked a blizzard, Had to follow a ranger down to get out of it. And yeah there are no guardrails. It was a life experience.

But mornings tend to be real good. If you are gun shy about a drive, take a tram. Driving half way up is a waste.

Yeah Rocky MTN Nartional Park is also great and the drive is worth it.