The day after our arrival, we drove out to Manitou Springs. It's a pretty little town and is the terminus of a cog railway to the top of Pikes Peak.

Manitou Springs-Pikes Peak Railway

The Pikes Peak Cog Railway has been in operation since 1891. The first locomotives were steam. Click to see the history of the line.


Cog or rack railways were designed for slopes too steep to allow the trains to move by friction. The cog wheel can be engaged as the slope increases. It meshes with the rack between the two rails.

View from Pikes Peak

As we travel up the mountain we can look down on the prairies stretching toward the east. The Garden of the Gods can just be seen in the center of the image.

(I haven't been very happy with the digitization of my original slides. If you are planning to digitize slides, I can't recommend ScanCafe.)

Above the Tree Line

As we climbed above treeline (c. 11,500 feet), the land became quite barren.

Top of Pikes Peak

We have reached the top at over 14,000 feet! We had some time to explore before heading back down. It is also possible to drive to the summit, but where's the fun in that for railfans?

View south from Pikes Peak

The view to the south includes several reservoirs.

This area has recently been opened for the first time for fishermen and other recreational visitors.

View from the top

Looking east toward Colorado Springs (on the right of the image).


As we started back down the mountain, I spied this yellow-bellied marmot hanging out in the rocks and remnant snow.

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