Daily Archives: June 10, 2009

Landscape: Sunrise on Pike’s Peak

Seeing a sunrise like this is one of the benefits of getting out on the trail by five o’clock in the morning:

Pikes Peak Sunrise 1

My NYC sister flew out to meet me for a hike up Colorado’s Pike’s Peak this weekend, and when we started up the trailhead in Manitou Springs, we were barely able to see one foot in front of the other. But an hour into the switchbacks, the sun splashed some pretty spectacular color across the Colorado Springs skies:

Pike Sunrise 2

Pike’s Peak is one of Colorado’s most well-known fourteeners. Its summit is at an elevation of 14,110 feet, and hikers can plod up the frontside trail while cars race up a windy dirt road on its backside. The Pike’s Peak marathon is one of the most famous distance running events, and a cog railway chugs tourists to a rest stop on the summit during the summer months.

Pike Far Away

For all of these reasons, my sister was psyched to make the thirteen-mile trek to the summit as part of her Mount Rainier training regime. But as soon as the sun lit the scene, we realized how far away thirteen miles to a summit looks when it’s also 7,510 feet higher than the trailhead…and covered in snow.