The weather can change very quickly on Pikes Peak. While it might be cloudy or raining at the base of the mountain, it might be sunny and clear at the top. How is this possible? Because, at the summit, you might be higher than the weather-producing clouds!
Though a typical summer day may mean warm weather in Colorado Springs and at the base of the mountain, it’s likely 30 degrees colder on the summit. Please be sure to bring a jacket or sweater along on your trip.
Thunderstorms can pop up at any time in the front range of the Rocky Mountains, but even more so in the summer. If you hear thunder, retreat from high ground and seek shelter immediately. Staying in your vehicle is a safer option than remaining outside.
At the summit, you’ll be breathing air that has only half the oxygen found at sea level. This lack of oxygen may cause a condition called hypoxia, or altitude sickness, and its symptoms can include headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath and disorientation. Most symptoms dissipate once you return to lower elevations. Drinking plenty of water may also help. If you have time before your trip to the summit of Pikes Peak, you may want to consider acclimatizing yourself to the 6,400-ft. altitude of Colorado Springs for couple of days first.
Because of the lack of oxygen at this altitude, it is recommended that you do not make the ascent to the summit if you have a history of cardiac or respiratory problems, or if you have a newborn baby (three months or younger) in your vehicle.
If you need help during your visit, Pikes Peak Rangers, who patrol the road at all times when the highway is open, may be able to assist you or call for help if needed. Also, emergency medical personnel are usually stationed in the Summit House during the summer season.
If you have any kind of trouble, send another motorist for assistance or wait for a ranger. Stay with your vehicle. If you have a cell phone, call the Ranger Station at (719) 684-9138.