If you're planning on driving up to Pikes Peak this summer, you should be aware of some changes happening -- including a new shuttle service to the summit.
The times they are a-changin'! And Pikes Peak is definitely a-changin'! Between the Cog Railway closing permanently and now the Pikes Peak Highway restricting the number of drivers allowed (if any at all), guests will notice that one of Colorado's most-visited destinations is going to look a bit different this summer. Not to mention crowded. Like really crowded.
A three-year, $13.5-million renovation is set to begin on the new summit house in the coming months, with half of the top-parking becoming completely useless, just in the time for the busy season -- only 100 spaces will be available at any given time. And due to the lack of parking, there won't be enough available spaces for the influx of visitors that usually drive up to the summit.
On average, Pikes Peak sees close to one million people every year.
So, instead of using the Cog Railway or the Pikes Peak Highway, guests will have to take a shuttle to the top, which is a service that'll start around Memorial Day. The free shuttle program will be temporary, remaining in service until construction is complete.
"We're going to do improvements to hopefully get people quickly through the gate, get them safely into those parking lots, transport them up there to the summit so they can have an enjoyable experience at 14,000 feet," Jack Glavan, Pikes Peak Highway manager, said in a statement.
Glavan estimates that around 30-35 shuttle buses will provide the service, each seating up to 24 passengers, and will make pick-ups and drop-offs every hour. "Our goal is no longer than a five-minute wait if we can do that." It's important to note that some personal vehicles will be allowed to drive to the top, including vehicles carrying persons with disabilities or children seated in car seats.
It's still not clear whether or not motorcyclists will be able to bypass the shuttles, though. We're expecting more information to be released soon.
To learn more about the summit house construction project, click here.
What do you think? Are you for or against the shuttle service? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, and let's get the conversation started. See you at the top!