At an elevation of 14,115' (4,302 meters) Pikes Peak is one of Colorado's 53 fourteeners (peaks that rise to 14,000 feet or more) and the easternmost fourteener in the U.S.
Zebulon Pike was an explorer who never actually made the summit (which he believed was higher than 18,000 feet), but was the first to report it, and so it became Pikes Peak. Pikes Peak served as a landmark to pioneers traveling west in the late 1850's. In fact, the slogan of the Colorado Gold Rush, written on the sides of the wagons announced, "Pikes Peak or Bust." Don't miss the plaque (and virtual cache) commemorating the words to Katharine Lee Bates' song, "America the Beautiful." In July 1893, she wrote that song after admiring the view from the top of Pikes Peak. There is also an earthcache located just outside the Summit House near the NW corner.
The summit of Pikes Peak is accessible to all:
You can take the world's highest cog railway from the depot in Manitou Springs. Note that the Cog Rail is currently closed indefinitely.
Or you can drive up the Pikes Peak Highway – a 19-mile toll road that begins in Cascade,
but make sure you stay on the road.
Or you can hike up the Barr Trail – a 12.6 mile hike with 7,500 feet of elevation gain.
You can shave 3 miles off the hike by climbing the Manitou Incline.
You can print one of the spoiler photos before you go. Hopefully you will see the silver wire that the cache is attached to. Please try to put it back the way you found it as this area gets a lot of traffic. The benchmark is very close by.
Please note that a lot of trackables go missing from this cache. Very disheartening, but the truth is that people on holidays lose or forget things or like to collect memorabilia...or they give them to their kids.
Congratulations to FishwomanIa, HarvestMoon2, and johnsonny for FTF!