Devils Playground Peak
Pikes Peak P5K

Tue, Jul 18, 2006

With: Ryan Burd
Jackie Burd
Rachel Burd

Story Photos / Slideshow Map

Pikes Peak in Colorado is the classic high altitude drive of the United States. Nowhere else does pavement reach above the 14,000-foot level. Because of this, and also because Pikes Peak is the county highpoint of El Paso, Ryan was eager to reach the summit. So a short detour while driving through Colorado Springs on our motorhome trip saw us lumbering up the long and winding road. There was construction going on as we drove up, and by the looks of this amazingly well-maintained road I'd guess there is continual maintainence to keep this popular tourist attraction in top form.

We stopped alongside the road at a saddle before reaching the summit in order to take in the Teller County highpoint located a short ten minute walk from the road. It was rather cold and windy in the morning, and bundled up the four of us headed for the highpoint among a jumble of rocks called the "Devils Playground." Along with my two children, we had one of my nieces, Rachel, in tow with us. We huddled briefly at the summit, long enough to take a picture or two, then quickly headed back. Jackie, the youngest at age 7, had had enough of the cold and refused to get out of the motorhome the rest of our time on Pikes Peak.

From Devils Playground we drove the remaining 15 minutes to the top. There was a swarm of tourists there to no surprise. Some like ourselves had driven to the top, others had just arrived on the cog train. The summit gift shop, a huge affair that sold everything imaginable commemorating Pikes Peak and the State of Colorado, was crammed with folks jostling for goods and trinkets. I felt nauseous inside there, and it had nothing to do with the altitude. Escaping the gift shop, Ryan, Rachel and myself found what looked like the highpoint in a pile of rocks near the parking lot, took a photo, and beat a hasty retreat down the mountain. I hope they don't pave any more roads like this one.

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For more information see these SummitPost pages: Devils Playground Peak - Pikes Peak

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