Pikes Peak Highway reservation system

TL/DR: Local mountain bikers seeking shuttles up the PP highway will not need to use the new reservation system if they hold one of the season passes, and get through the gate before 9am

UPDATED: If you have a Pikes Peak Library District library card, you can ‘check out’ a season’s pass from the library during the months between September and April (winter access) – which then gives you FREE (up to 2x per season) entry to the highway, including shuttle drop off as noted below. More info. We see this as another commitment of support for local access.

The new reservation system for the Pikes Peak, American’s Mountain (PPAM) road requires registration in advance and payment of a $2 fee on top of the entry to the road. The reason for the reservation system is an increase in visitation, and crowding, especially at the very top. When the reservation system was announced we contacted PPAM in hopes of finding a way to reduce the impact on locals who are regular users, especially mountain bikers who often shuttle to Elk Park to ride the Plummet, which includes the Lake Moraine trail. PPAM has always been responsive, supportive of recreation, and respectful of locals who connect with Tava and visit it often. PPAM responded with the following statement:

I truly appreciate your feedback on the modifications that PPAM made to our peak season of use timeframe as it pertains to responsibly dispersing recreation throughout the Pikes Peak Highway Recreation Corridor.  Our ultimate goal in these modifications is to sustain the wonderful resource for future generations to come while striking a balance of local and tourism engagement/visitation. 

I have personally received a lot of feedback regarding the initial changes to our timed entry permit requirements within the past week and conducted quite a bit of outreach to a variety of local backcountry users of Pikes Peak including the mountain climbing, biking, hiking, and snow ski/board groups.  Our PPAM team is solution-oriented, and therefore have created what we believe (and all the groups that I contacted agreed) is a compromise that will serve all the populations that want to visit PPAM during the peak use season.      

We recently updated our FAQ section on our website with this information, and I provided that specific FAQ below for your review.

Q: “I am a local annual passholder of PPAM and purchase a pass each year so that I can recreate in the back country along the Pikes Peak Highway.  Will I need to purchase a timed entry permit reservation this year to travel above mile 7?”

A: “PPAM annual passholders that hold a Premier Individual Pass, Pikes Peak 14’er Pass, Pikes Peak 5-Trip Pass, or Pikes Peak Premier Vehicle Pass will not need to purchase a $2 timed-entry permit if these pass holders are through the Gateway no later than 9 AM. For local passholders that are unable to get through the Gateway prior to 9 AM, these passholders will need to purchase a $2-timed entry permit. Local annual passholders entering the Gateway prior to 9 AM shall not park at the summit and take up a timed entry permit parking space. PPAM rangers monitor parking at the summit and maintain a zero-tolerance approach with annual pass holders that choose to violate this accommodation. This regulation is in effect the Friday before Memorial Day through September 30.”

Once again, I appreciate your feedback and look forward to having our locals out at PPAM this peak season!