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There's nothing quite like The Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway.

No other train can take visitors up a 14,115-foot mountain with one-of-a-kind views along the way, including a cascading stream, mountainous terrains, wildlife and spruce and pine trees.

And once you're at the top, you get to explore a summit that features breathtaking vistas of nearby mountains and faraway towns and cities.

The cog railway is a popular tourist destination throughout the year - but especially during the summer, when seats on the train fill up on an almost daily basis. Last year, the railway celebrated its 125th anniversary.

Zalmon Simmons was the mastermind behind the railway. In the late 1880s, the entrepreneur from Wisconsin recognize the potential of a railway after a mule ride up Pikes Peak. So, he decided to invest more than $1 million in the railway that now serves about 2,300 passengers every day in the summer months.

What's unique about is that the railway uses a gear - or a cog wheel - that allows the train to conquer steep grades.

A ride in the summer starts at $40 for adults and $22 for children. The trip lasts just over three hours and covers nearly 9 miles. Riders pass a forest of trees, boulder fields, Englemann Canyon and Deer Park, where passengers occasionally catch mule deer grazing.

At 10,012 feet is the Mountain View stop, where a nearby trail leads to Barr Camp - the famous midway resting stop for hikers before proceeding to the summit of Pikes Peak.

Once the train gets above timberline, the view becomes expansive. Passengers have spotted marmots and bighorn sheep. At this point, the possible of elevation sickness is real, so stay hydrated before and during the ride.

Once on the Pikes Peak summit, enjoy your stay. Check out the Summit House for snacks, drinks and souvenirs.

But remember, the fun's not over.

There's still the ride back down to Manitou Springs.


Chhun Sun is a sports reporter with an emphasis in preps. He joined The Gazette in April 2015 and covered public safety for three years before joining @gazettepreps staff. The Thailand-born Cambodian-American has been in journalism for nearly two decades.

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