We have the privilege of working with the City of Colorado Springs as a client. We’ve got a soft spot for all things travel and tourism, and anytime we have the opportunity to work with the great outdoors, it’s even better.

Last month we had the chance to travel to Pikes Peak to capture the changing fall colors of the mountain for an upcoming campaign. Here’s a few shots from our side of the lens.

Never ones to miss a good photo op, we sent Garrett and Matt to film the famous route, renting a jeep for the trek.

Pikes Peak, also known as “America’s Mountain,” sits snugly as the highest summit among the southern Front Range of the Rockies. It’s a short drive from Colorado Springs and just under two hours from the heart of Denver. It’s famously the site of inspiration for Katharine Lee Bates’s “America the Beautiful” and the Colorado Gold Rush.

But what makes Pikes Peak unique isn’t its elevation of 14,115 feet or its rich history of pioneering Americans who wrote of its grandeur. What makes this mountain special is the fact that since 1913, people have come from far and wide to drive to its summit.

Today, the Pikes Peak Highway carves a 19-mile road up the mountainside, which takes about 3 hours round-trip. You travel at a constant incline: an average grade of 7%.

You can also catch a ride on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the bright red cog train that has been scaling the mountainside since 1891. Biking and hiking to the peak is an option for the braver of adventurers. But no matter which way you travel, breath-taking views follow you every inch of the way.

At every turn in the road is a new sight to see, from reservoirs to hiking trails. At the top, you can enjoy a famous donut and likely a few gusts of mountain air.

The ascent is accessible year-round, and we wanted to shed some light on the mountain’s quieter but no less beautiful current season.

In late September, the sun begins to set a little earlier. Pines needles and leaves still cling to their branches but many trees are flushed with bursts of crimson, lime, gold, and amber.
As you climb, the terrain of Pikes Peak progresses from luscious woodland growth to high alpine tundra. The air grows thinner and the temperature trickles down as you rise closer to the clouds, yet tuffs of grass and tiny flowers bravely grow from loose soil and cracks in the rocks.

Wildlife such as yellow-bellied marmot and bighorn sheep wander out from behind rocky ridges, accustomed to the mountain’s high winds and steep ledges.

Pikes Peak leaves you in a special kind of awe. The kind that comes from standing where many have before you, reveling in the incredible insignificance you feel at its peak. From this height you can see a breadth of Colorado unlike anywhere else.

Our photos do little justice to its beauty, but we tried to capture every contour of its surrounding slopes, foliage, and dramatic rock formations. But Pikes Peak is one of those places you have to see to truly believe.