Talk:Pikes Peak

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Who owns and/or administrates the land of Pikes Peak?[edit]

This article, as of today, say not one word on this subject. I do see in other Wikipedia articles that Pikes Peak is located in a National Forest of the United States, but they do not say which one. Furthermore, even within a National Forest, the ownership of the land is not monolithic, and I am sure that in the case of Pikes Peak, this is true. I have read elsewhere that the road to that top of the mountain is owned by the City of Colorado Springs. Furthermore, I can only make an educated guess that the owners of the cog railroad to the top probably own that strip of land on which it sits. Also, there seems to be a U.S. Army research laboratory up there. Anyway, it might be a patchwork, but it would be good to say something like "the land of Pikes Peak is predominantly part of the X. Y. Z. National Forest. (talk) 23:06, 26 August 2010 (UTC)


In case anybody wants to argue the apostrophe, please review and , which lays out the USGS policy on this issue. Also Google shows 6x as many hits for "pikes peak" as for "pike's peak". Stan 19:51 Apr 28, 2003 (UTC)

The first link doesn't prove anything; the second link is dead. Frequency of "hits" on Google is worthless; all it may prove is that there are lots of semi-literate people writing on the Web who don't know the rules of punctuation and grammar. — QuicksilverT @ 19:32, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Secret message[edit]

Anyone found the "secret message" ( Talk:Steganography ) on this page? -- Aparajit 06:30, Jun 24, 2004 (UTC)

Yes. See Talk:Steganography/Archive_1#Stegonography_Easter_Egg.3F. <>< tbc 04:12, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Woodrow Wilson[edit]

Can anyone confirm the 'Wilson rode along' fact? For I have found a number of online sources noting that he was (none, I believe, are reputable to make it definitive, though). I wouldn't be surprised that it was just a matter of awkward wording/reasoning: like 'Woodrow Wilson rode along. Woodrow Wilson is now a former president. Therefore, former president Woodrow Wilson rode along.' I.e. not that at the time he was former president. --patton1138 14:01, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Woodrow Wilson suffered a debilitating stroke on October 2, 1919, while he was president. Edith, his wife, actually ran the presidency for several months in collusion with cabinet members. After leaving the White House, he was in frail health until his death in 1924, so he most certainly didn't "ride along" as "former president". — QuicksilverT @ 00:22, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

Did Zeb really say nobody had ever or could ever climb it?[edit]

Photograph of a Pikes Peak T-shirt (October 2006).

It's always seemed improbable to me that Pike would have said this. Rather, his claim should be seen in the context foul weather, tired men unprepared for such an excursion, and a mission with other more important objectives yet to complete.

Here is a web reference of the Pike document from which this claim almost certainly comes:

The summit of the Grand Peak, which was entirely bare of vegetation and covered with snow, now appeared at the distance of 15 or 16 miles from us, and as high again as what we had ascended, and would have taken a whole day's march to have arrived at its base, when I believed no human being could have ascended to its pinical. This with the condition of my soldiers who had only light overalls on, and no stockings, and every way ill provided to endure the inclemency of the region; the bad prospect of killing any thing to subsist on, with the further detention of two or three days, which it must occasion, determined us to return.

I've always felt this was a stretch of the truth and somewhat demeans the memory of Lieutenanant Pike in light of today's easy access to the top. I'll hold off any edits to this effect until I see if I get contrary opinions here. --Woody 00:19, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

I think that the determining factor here is when I believed no human being could have ascended to its pinical. In this he seems to say that it's impossible, but I agree with you that this meaning is taken out of context. I'd agree with editing to add this paragraph and make the article less judgemental of Pike. Aspengrey 23:46, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Deleted images[edit]

I wrote, "It is notable for its imposing appearance both from the east (167Kb image) and from the west (179Kb image)." But someone deleted my images. Why? <>< tbc 04:09, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

You didn't give them a free license originally, then later somebody added a standard "fairuse" tag. We've been cracking down on fair use images more recently, which includes deleting orphans (can't be fair use without being used!). It's not clear why User:TheCoffee thought those pics were orphans; I myself lost several and had to re-upload because the one page they were used on had been emptied, and they were marked as orphans before the page was restored. (Yes, I said a few bad words when I discovered that one!) In this case, I don't see vandalism in the time period when TheCoffee marked them as orphans, so I think maybe he was being too hasty/sloppy (or perhaps the db server lied about the linkage, as it sometimes does). We now have a 7-day waiting period in Category:Orphaned fairuse images, gives a last chance for things wrongly orphaned. Yeah, it's all a nuisance, but given WP's recent, ahem, visibility in the press, we need to make sure our image usage is all squeaky clean. You probably want to check all your old uploads, update their license info, and consider moving as much as possible to commons (which seems to be lacking Pikes pictures). Sorry about the snafu. Stan 06:31, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the prompt reply, Stan. I actually just figured out what happened thanks to kate's tool. I came back to this page to note what I learned. But your explanation about the fair use thing fills out the picture. This project has gotten so bloody big that I'm finding it hard to maintain my own work. But I got motivated tonight and started cleaning up my contribs. <>< tbc 07:12, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Closing this issue out for now. I'll get around to re-uploading my images sometime. <>< tbc 07:12, 19 December 2005 (UTC)


I updated Pikes Peak#Pikes Peak today to reflect the "other" hiking route starting at the Crags Campground. It's just plain wrong that there are only three routes to the top. Ironically, I've climbed that route two or three times, but I have yet to set foot on the Barr Trail. <>< tbc 18:27, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

On the Pikes Peak Highway, someone might want to check into this. In a recent program on the Travel Channel, a spokesman for the City of Colorado Springs stated the city was going to pave the road all the way up the mountain. Erzahler 19:34, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Pikes Peak higher than thought?[edit]

View of one of the Manitou and Pike's Peak Railway cog trains leaving the summit of Pikes Peak (October 2006).

According to a Denver Post article in 2002, the United States Geological Survey recalculated the height of Colorado. They state that Pikes Peak gained five feet and is now 14,115 feet in height. Can someone verify this? I was going to change this in the article, but I'd like to have some verification first. Erzahler 17:46, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

I've actually got it at 14,118 based on a high-accuracy GPS transponder that I just took up to the summit. I'm looking for comfirmation, but I was told (by Summit House) that the new "official" height is at 14,117, and I believe that this was performed by CC students using the same method that I used. Maybe give USGS a shout? ~Aesop PS: I changed this and also changed age based on UCCS findings. Will post verification in two days. (When I can access it again)
YES, I can verify that the new official height is 14,115 feet. (Although, an article in the Colorado Springs Gazette said it was currently too expensive to change the USGS maps.) The new elevation was measured by the National Geodetic Survey. See for yourself by checking out PID JK1242 in the National Geodetic Survey Database.
As noted, the National Geodetic Survey's data sheet lists 4,302.31 m, 14,115.2' - but the U.S. Geographical Survey's Geographic Names Information System has 4,303 m, 14,117' for Feature ID 204770. It cites the National Elevation Dataset. I don't know nuthin' 'bout nuthin' - I'm just sayin' I'm confused.  ::wink:: Flagstonia (talk) 20:56, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
The accuracy of GPS is worst in elevation, and unless you average several hundred readings, is rather poor in lateral position as well, unless augmented by a GPS pseudolite. Plus or minus 5 foot of elevation is about as good as it gets with a single instrument operating from the GPS satellite constellation. Changing USGS maps is a non-issue, as they get updated every 10 years, or so, for areas with high human activity. — QuicksilverT @ 19:38, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Flagstonia, the USGS GNIS page citing the National Elevation Dataset is interesting. I had not seen it before. However, its 1978 data is ten years older than the National Geodetic Survey's 1988 data. Also, these 2006 Colorado Springs Gazette and 2002 Denver Post articles both use an elevation of 14,115 feet and cite USGS sources. Kevinwiatrowski (talk) 01:14, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Metric units[edit]

In the comment associated with his edit[1], which converted the Pikes Peak statistics to metric, Adam Clotfelter states that "The metric system is the official legally preferred system of units for the United States of America".

That statement is misleading, at best. The Metric Conversion Act of 1975, as amended by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, "designate[s] the metric system of measurement as the preferred system of weights and measures for United States trade and commerce" [emphasis added]. The act goes on to "permit the continued use of traditional systems of weights and measures in non-business activities".

Any argument that this act is justification for forcing a conversion to metric units for U.S. Wikipedia pages is, in my opinion, weak to the point of overreaching. At any rate, the Wikipedia Manual of Style covers this: "If for some reason the choice of units is arbitrary, choose SI units as the main unit, with other units in parentheses. For subjects dealing with the United States, it might be more appropriate to use U.S. measurements first, i.e. mile, foot, U.S. gallon."

--JFreeman (talk) 22:23, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Why not metric?[edit]

Sure, people in this country (USA) still use traditional units for a lot of things, but the fact of the matter is that since the Mendenhall Order of 1893, metric units have been declared to be the "fundamental standards of length and mass" in the United States. As such, all Imperial units that remain in use in this country are actually defined in terms of metric base units. This is not a personal attack on anyone who still uses Imperial units in their daily lives, but the fact of the matter is that metric units are the basis of measurement across the globe... including the US. I certainly agree that traditional units should still co-exist for the time being next to metric units for backward-compatibility, but in the area of factual reference, metric should prevail. Wikipedia is an international resource, and it makes sense that the default form of measurement should be SI. The Wikipedia guidelines do not take a hard stance on this one way or the other, but do state that metric units should be utilized as primary units unless there is a compelling reason not to utilize them. As a citizen of the US, you use metric all the time... and you're using it more and more often each day. Metric is not something to be feared, it’s all around us, and not at all hard to use. If you estimate the size of an object, you may do it in inches, but the truth is that often times it is probably made to metric specifications. People fear change, this is natural, but that doesn’t mean that we should stop evolving. EnsRedShirt's name indicates that they are a fellow trekkie ("trekker", if you prefer), so you are probably a pretty forward-looking person. If you want to look at it from this standpoint, it only makes sense that we should help people get even more used to using metric in their daily lives. For our “growth” as a people, it only makes sense that we should use a rational and internationally agreed-upon system of measure. The longer we bicker and fight about this inevitable change, the more time we waste. I believe that this change is warranted, and in reality, required. A focus on promoting metric measures will help promote our favorite knowledgebase as a viable and credible resource for professionals around the world.

Thank You.

- Adam Clotfelter

I am all in favor of metrics it just plain makes more sense, but, the primary unit of elevation measurment in the U.S. and Colorado in particular is imperial. Most people reading this article are going to be Americans. The primary numbers should be in the system used by the country, and any other systems should be secondary. You wouldn't put the distance of two point in the US (or UK) in KM as the primary would you? EnsRedShirt 18:00, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
As a matter of fact, I would use metric to denote the distance. I think it's a common misconception that "America doesn't use metric". Metric is all around us every day. I think that people believe that America will always use the imperial system... this is not the case. Due to a number of factors, the metrication process in this country has taken far longer than it should, but don't believe for a second that it will always be that way. But, also think of it this way: On Wikipedia, we go out of our way to try and make sure that articles do not have a cultural/national bias. We like our information to be objective and balanced. When you time-stamped your post, you used UTC. Metric measures are no less "valid" than Imperial ones... they are perfectly acceptable for use in the U.S.... and widely understood around the world. Imperial units should be presented as well for the time being for the small percentage of the world-wide audience that might not yet be comfortable with metric. I believe that as an international resource, we should be giving preference to metric measures... but it does seem that I am out-voted for the time being. Adam Clotfelter 05:59, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Lots of you miss the entire point of the laws, executive orders, etc., regarding the the Metric System (S.I.) in the United States. A key point is that in the U.S., the length of an inch, for over 100 years, has been defined by this equation:

One meter = 39.37 inches, exactly. In other words, that conversion factor is 39.370000000000000...

Then, one foot is defined as 12 inches, exactly, and one yard is defined as 36 inches, exactly. To convert a distance, D, in meters into yards, then that distance is found by D = (39.37/36.00) x D , exactly. Once the length of the meter has been defined (in Paris) by the (speed of light) x (a certain length of time), then no laboratory work needs to be done to define the length of a yard - just calculations.

Then likewise, the quart is defined in terms of the liter; the acre is defined in terms of the square meter; the pound of mass is defined in terms of the kilogram; and the horsepower is defined in terms of the kilowatt, etc.

It is very nice that all of the units that are used in electricity and magnetism are always S.I. units: volt, ampere, ohm, farad, henry, coulomb, weber, and tesla. I am an electronics engineer myself, and I am endlessly thankful that the electical units used are only the S.I. units. I just need to remeber a few things like the speed of light = 299,797,000 meters per second, and I've got it. (talk) 22:52, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

You got it exactly backward, anonymous user Imperial units today are derived units, and they are defined in terms of the governing metric standards. 1 inch = 25.4 mm, exactly. The reciprocal of 25.4 is 0.0393700787401574803149606299212598425196..., not 0.03937. — QuicksilverT @ 20:03, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Article requests[edit]

We need one on the Pikes Peak Range Riders, the AdAMan Club, Barr Camp... Chris 01:47, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

Zebulon Pike not the first to see Pikes Peak[edit]

Zebulon Pike and members of his expedition were undoubtedly NOT the first "non-native" to see Pike's Peak. Spanish and French had been in and out of Colorado for 80 to 140 years before Pike. Probably the first non-native to see Pikes Peak are undocumented, forgotten souls. However there are many who preceded Pike that we do know about. These are a few... 1660s. Juan Archuleta. 1706. Juan de Ulibarri. 1714. Joseph Naranjo. 1720. Don Pedro de Villasur. 1739. Pierre and Paul Mallet. (first recorded French explorers, but there were other French probably as early as 1719).

Even in Pike's own journal there are references to those that preceded him in traveling across the plains, that he met in Santa Fe. Baptiste La Lande left Kaskaskia, IL in 1804. James Pursley arrived in Santa Fe June 1805. This is my first message posted to Wikipedia. I am a total newbie. I am not sure how to edit the article to correct the error. Perhaps the best solution is to simply remove the statement that says the Pike expedition was the first to see Pikes Peak. Or maybe change it to read something like: "Zebulon Pike was the first to popularize the existence of Pikes Peak by writing about it extensively in his journal, including his attempt to climb it." One source says, "His written description of the mountain that would later bear his name was perhaps the first printed in the English language" — Leah Davis Witherow, "Marketing the Mountain: Pikes Peak in the Popular Imagination". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:32, 25 April 2008 (UTC) Oops, I forgot to sign my post. Marco Mann (talk) 20:48, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Cultural references[edit]

To my mind, the recently added cultural reference is too trivial for inclusion in the article. It is an offhand line in a movie having nothing to do with Pikes Peak. I don't think that it belongs. Plazak (talk) 20:44, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

First ascent[edit]

In the infobox, the first ascent is credited outright to Edwin James and his party. Later, in the text, we describe James only as "the first European to climb the peak." But he wasn't European, was he? He was American. I assume that what we mean is that he was the first European-American (i.e., the first "white man") to make the ascent. Is there evidence for prior ascents by Native Americans? If so, that should be made clear. If not, let's describe James as the person who made the first known ascent. Certainly Pikes is non-technical enough that any number of people could feasibly have climbed it in the millennia leading up to James's ascent. (talk) 21:14, 8 July 2009 (UTC)


From the article: "Conditions at the top are, for the most part, not hospitable." They're joking, right? The human body easily adapts to the thin air; snow hasn't seemed to stop humans - ask somebody from Wisconsin; lightening... ask somebody from Florida; low summer temps "rarely higher than 40 deg" is just plain wrong - I work there! Along with about 30 others from Manitou and Colo Sprgs. It gets into the 60s quite often. I think someone's making a mountain out of a molehill. 07:08, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Pikes Peak today - The thin air contains only 60% of the oxygen available at sea level.[edit]


The air at a 14,115 ft has the exact same percentage of oxygen at sea level.


The causes of altitude sickness are not fully understood.[2][6] The percentage of oxygen in air, at 21%, remains almost unchanged up to 70,000 feet (21,000 m).[7] The RMS velocities of diatomic nitrogen and oxygen are very similar and thus no change occurs in the ratio of oxygen to nitrogen. However, it is the air pressure itself, the number of molecules (of both oxygen and nitrogen) per given volume, which drops as altitude increases. Consequently, the available amount of oxygen to sustain mental and physical alertness decreases above 10,000 feet (3,000 m).[8] Although the cabin altitude in modern passenger aircraft is kept to 8,000 feet (2,400 m) or lower, some passengers on long-haul flights may experience some symptoms of altitude sickness.[9] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:59, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Depends entirely on how you define "percentage". If you define it as percentage of total air, then the statement is incorrect. However, as written, the statement says it has 60 percent of the oxygen as compared to air at sea level, which is technically correct.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Famartin (talkcontribs) 09:19, 12 September 2011 UTC
The wording of the sentence is misleading and technically incorrect. The partial pressure of oxygen at 14,000 feet is 60% of that at sea level. I've rewritten the sentence accordingly. — QuicksilverT @ 19:46, 21 February 2012 (UTC)


I've just pulled two images from the Pikes Peak Today section. The first is the poor image of the Visitor Center which is seen from the side, through a fence line and from a distance. The best images of such places are the main entrance with signage. The second image isn't really necessary as there is already another in the article that references the Garden of the Gods and implies the same thing. Thebladesofchaos (talk) 01:11, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb[edit]

The hill climb event should really be at least mentioned in the article — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:43, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Several omissions[edit]

I live at the base of Pike's Peak (okay, I live in Colorado Springs) and I've noticed some glaring omissions:

  1. No mention that Pikes Peak is a significant fourteener for at least one very big reason: it's the only fourteener in the vicinity. From the top of the Peak, you can gaze in any direction for an unobstructed view. There are other fourteeners in Colorado, but they're in the vicinity of other fourteeners, so from their summits you can see some, but a lot of the view is blocked by other large mountains.
  2. What was the name of the alleged ski resort at its summit? I know of the restaurant that used to be at the top (which no longer operates and is now the gift shop)--which isn't mentioned either--but I've never heard of a ski resort at the top except here.
  3. Related to the above, why is there no mention of the now-defunct restaurant? Though I've lived in this area for some time, information on it is hard to come by.

I know the rule of Wikipedia is to be bold and make the changes yourself, but I'm rather poor at researching this type of information. If any other editors have a talent for this type of research, please add it. I, for one, would be extremely grateful! : ) — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 20:03, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Elevation above Colorado Springs[edit] changed the phrase in the lead from "rises 8,400 feet (2,600 m) above the city of Colorado Springs" to 8,500 feet (2,600 m) with the edit summary of "Lowest point in Colorado Springs area is 5,600 feet, about 20 miles southeast of Pikes Peak". I don't know where got their data from, but the article on Colorado Springs states the lowest point in Colorado Springs is 5,740 ft. I don't really want to quibble, but since the elevation of the city isn't uniform--it goes from 5,740' to 7,200'--I suggest we split the difference and state:

"...rises about 7,600 feet (2,300 m) above the city of Colorado Springs."

If no one has a problem with this, I'll make the change in the next few days. Discuss. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 13:35, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

The USGS 15' topo map shows a bench mark at 6008 ft next to the post office. The map is from 1951 so a bit dated, but doubt the elevation has changed much (newer surveys ... might vary a bit). Anyway should just say 6000 ft for a difference of 8000 ft. Made the change. Vsmith (talk) 14:11, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Pikes Peak and Mount Evans[edit]

Both can't be the highest. You say Mt Evans is 14271 and Pikes Peak 14115 and say both are "highest" in the Front Range. thx -pf- — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:645:4200:D0EA:31DD:F0AB:240F:5664 (talk) 19:16, 20 September 2015 (UTC)

"It takes 12 hours to boil an egg at the summit"[edit]

This seems to refute the claim that it would take 12 hours to boil an egg at the summmit: -- Firefishy (talk) 22:19, 17 December 2015 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Pikes Peak/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

*While there are a number of inline citations, there are still many paragraphs without any so I have only given it class C until this issue is fixed. RedWolf (talk) 01:09, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
I suspect that the 1978 Colorado state law prohibiting the use of "Pike's Peak" is actually an urban legend. I was confirming this 'fact' and contacted two of the Pikes Peak tourists organizations. One scanned the 384 laws passed in Colorado in 1978 and could not find it. The other is an expert on Pikes Peak and he refuted it. I suggest that this be removed unless someone can provide a reference.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Alexanderlombard (talkcontribs) 23:11, April 24, 2009

Last edited at 08:12, 12 October 2010 (UTC). Substituted at 03:02, 30 April 2016 (UTC)