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The 38,000-square-foot Summit Visitor Center is scheduled for a June 24 opening. And yes, there will be donuts.   

The new Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center is on track to open on June 24, pending weather and final construction activity.

The summit itself, which was closed for construction activities, will reopen to visitors June 15.

A grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting will be held June 30. The cohosted celebration will also recognize the grand reopening and 130th anniversary of The Broadmoor Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway. The gateway of the Pikes Peak Highway will open to the public at noon that day.

Until the new building opens, visitors will be able to access the exterior walkway and the new summit marker.

The visitor center, which replaces the 1964 Summit House, has been under construction since June 2018. 

“With the opening of the new Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center, one of America’s most famous mountains will have a summit facility worthy of its stature,”  Mayor John Suthers said. 

“Building at such a high altitude is a difficult undertaking, and I am proud of the vision and foresight that has created this very impressive, highly accessible and sustainable venue that blends so well into its natural environment,” Suthers said. “We look forward with great anticipation to providing visitors from all over the world a breathtaking new experience at the top of America’s Mountain.”

In addition to the views, made even more dramatic by the new elevated pathway and overlook that was designed to help protect the summit’s fragile tundra, guests can expect digitally interactive displays that bring the history, significance and geology of the mountain to life.

The entire site was designed to meet the latest Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

The building is being constructed by local contractor GE Johnson Construction Co. and was designed by Baltimore-based GWWO Architects in collaboration with RTA Architects of Colorado Springs.

It incorporates input from hundreds of Pikes Peak-area residents from 2015-17. It was designed to achieve LEED Silver certification, a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.

The design also strives to achieve the Living Building Challenge, a two-year certification process, as a highly sustainable, net-zero-energy building. Currently, no other buildings in Colorado are fully LBC certified.

The new building will open in phases, so early visitors can expect to see final construction work taking place and finishing touches being made to the interpretive exhibits and signs.

Fresh donuts and new menu and retail options will be available starting opening day. Exterior site work is expected to last through September 2021.

Parking for guests will be very limited while the final site work is completed from June 15 to the end of July. Only 35 parking spots will be available for visitors on the summit while this site work is underway, and construction could extend the timeline.

Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain is providing a 20 percent discount to highway guests during this time when summit access cannot be guaranteed. 

To help as many guests as possible reach the summit, most visitors will be required to board a free shuttle from Devils Playground, located at mile 16 on the 19-mile highway.

Vehicles carrying persons with disabilities or young children in car seats may be permitted to drive to the summit if there is parking available. Only 35 parking spots will be available for visitors on the summit while this site work is underway.

Shuttles will run every 15-20 minutes. Guests should anticipate long wait times for the shuttle due to the limited service. Pets and bicycles are not allowed on the shuttle.

The shuttle will not be available on June 17, July 13 and July 19. On these days, a limited number of guests will be allowed to the summit based on parking capacity, and others will only be allowed to Devils Playground. These summit parking spots will be first come, first served. Hikers should plan to hike to Devils Playground if they have coordinated a ride down from the summit.

Visitors should plan ahead and call 719-385-7325 for current highway conditions. Hours of operation and other information about the highway can be found at PikesPeakColorado.com.