The road to drive to the top of Pikes Peak is kind of scary. It is very curvy and has sheer drop-offs with no guard rails. The higher we drove the more my palms were sweating on the steering wheel. At one point, the road was so steep it looked like we were going to drive right up into the sky. 14,110 feet is a long way up. I think D had the worst ride because the passenger side was closest to the drop-offs and she was at the mercy of my driving skills. Ha! I told her that she was going to be the one driving down the mountain, not me.
It was a long, hard climb to the top for Boogs. He was gasping for air by the time he reached the summit. Or maybe he was just laying down on the other side of this rock.
We spent some time in the gift shop at the summit. Everyone chose a souvenir. Boogs had to have a Bigfoot Crossing sign. He plans on putting it on his bedroom door. I bought a baseball style t-shirt. The J-boys picked out necklaces with different symbols on them and D got a coffee mug.
We spent about an hour in the gift shop before heading back outside for another walk around the summit.
D took this photo of the cog train. The train would have been a neat way to ride to the top of Pikes Peak but it would have cost us $174.00 + car parking fees. The train also takes about 1 1/2 hours each way. No thank you.
Look at my sweet boy all bundled up with that incredible view behind him.
While we were walking around the summit, you could see the dark clouds rolling in.
When D felt a little piece of ice/sleet hit her, we decided to head back down the mountain. There was a line of cars coming in to the parking area when we were leaving. I am glad we scheduled our visit for early in the day. I am also very glad that D drove us down the mountain. Look at that winding road.
About halfway down the mountain, there is a Ranger Station with a brake check. Every vehicle had to stop and have the temperature of their brake pads taken. If the temperature was more than 300 degrees, you had to pull into the Ranger Station parking area and wait at least twenty minutes for your brakes to cool before continuing down the mountain. Ours had a temperature of 325 so we had to stop and wait. The waiting area was set up very nicely. There was a gem panning water sluice, a gift shop, and several hiking trails. We stayed a lot longer than just twenty minutes.
Boogs had a great time panning for gems. We bought some "Mining Rough" from the gift shop. It was seeded with gems. The kids had to wash away the mining rough to discover what gems they found. It was a very touristy kind of thing to do and the boys loved it.
There was a chart showing the kinds of gems/rocks you might find while panning your mining rough.