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Pikes Peak

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Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The breathtaking scenery when one steps off the Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway after making the 9-mile ride to the 14,115 feet summit of Pikes Peak, Tuesday, June 8, 2021.
Climbing America’s mountain, Pikes Peak

Standing tall and broad-shouldered, Pikes Peak is Colorado’s best known mountain. The Ute called it “Sun Mountain.” Oral history says their ancestors walked the summit a long time ago. These days, people get to the top of Pikes Peak by foot, by car, and by train. A wagon and a mule took Katherine Lee Bates up the mountain in 1893. Inspired by its purple majesty, she wrote the poem that became “America the Beautiful.” The founder of the Beautyrest Mattress Company thought there should be a more comfortable way to reach the top. He financed the first cog railway. But one person who never got to the summit: Lieutenant Zebulon Pike. In 1806, mired in deep snow, his expedition abandoned their attempt to climb the mountain that today bears his name. As Pike later wrote: “No human being could have ascended to its pinnacle."

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.