Know Before You Go
Life at the Top of the World
A Few Tips and Tricks
Beautiful sunny skies, high mountain elevation, an unforgettable journey. We want you to remember your Cog adventure for all the right reasons. To help you make the most of your experience, here are a few tips and tricks so you can plan your trip and be ready to come aboard the Cog to summit Pikes Peak.
Manitou Springs is a mountain town, so you can expect some snowy days in the winter, but a lovely high of 85 degrees is typical in July. In fact, we average more than 300 days of sunshine a year. That being said, temperatures and conditions can change quickly here, especially at the top, where you can experience a 10-20 degree drop.
At higher altitudes, people use more calories and burn more fat. And while this sounds like great news, it also means that our bodies need some time to adjust. Manitou Springs itself sits at 6,320 feet and Pikes Peak climbs to 14,115 feet and the difference can make you feel some unusual sensations. Give yourself time to acclimate at lower altitude before heading up, avoid strenuous exercise on your first day, and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drinking lots of water is the best way to avoid the effects of altitude.
Altitude Warning: You will be traveling to 14,115 feet above sea level. Regardless of age and fitness level, lightheadedness and disorientation can occur at this elevation. If you experience any of these symptoms, you may be experiencing altitude sickness. Children or people with existing health issues and people who cannot communicate their symptoms, should proceed with caution. Young children may not be effectively able to communicate their symptoms.
3. Timing is everything
The ride to the top of the Pikes Peak Visitor Center is a little over one hour, and once we arrive, we spend 40 minutes on the Summit before we depart. In the summer, we operate daily, with departures every 40 minutes. Fall and winter schedules will offer a condensed number of departures that can be seen in the Buy Tickets section. We recommend arriving 30 minutes ahead of your departure time, and you’ll want some time after you come down to grab a souvenir in the gift shop.
4. Take a seat
We encourage you to purchase your tickets online, as we cannot guarantee that walk up tickets will be available at the Depot. You may reserve specific seats on the train by upgrading through our Reserved Seating for the best views. All other tickets will be assigned by the railroad. In addition, there are no restrooms on board, so please make sure you make a stop at the Depot restrooms beforehand.
Our conductors aren’t just responsible for getting you up and down the mountain safely, they have a long history of tall tales and big charm aboard the cog. So pull up a seat (well, sit in the one you booked!) and get ready for some good stories, historical facts, and enjoy having someone to point out the wildlife, views and landmarks you’re seeing along the way. And if you’re lucky, maybe when you reach the spot we call Inspiration Point, your conductor just might break into song. Not an ordinary tour, there’s a bit of magic aboard the cog that makes this a meaningful and personal experience.