As legend has it, Zalmon Simmons, the inventor and founder of Simmons Beautyrest Mattress Company, decided in the late 1800s that donkeys were no longer the best way to make your way to the top of Pikes Peak. This idea spurred the Pikes Peak Railway Company to be founded in 1889, and so track construction began.
The first passenger train—carrying a church choir—made it to the summit of Pikes Peak on June 30th, 1891. Meanwhile, tourists were also traveling to the summit along the Pikes Peak Carriage Road, constructed in 1888. When the Carriage Road closed in 1902, Spencer Penrose knew that visitors would still want to make their way up the world famous mountain, and therefore he financed the construction of the Pikes Peak Highway in 1915.
Over the years, Pikes Peak became the second most visited mountain in the world with over 500,000 visitors per year, 300,000 of which head up on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. After 126 years of operation, the railroad infrastructure and equipment were due for some repairs and replacements, and so The Cog has paused services to determine an action plan for the future.
In spring of 2018, the renowned Gray Line Tours company announced that it would step up to fill this void by bringing back their Pikes Peak Highway Day Tours to continue the tradition of much-needed memory making, sightseeing, and exploring this gorgeous mountain in our beloved state of Colorado.