We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Santa Train 2013” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Pikes Peak Cog Railway

Pikes Peak Cog Railway
Ranked #1 of 2 Tours in Manitou Springs
Certificate of Excellence
Type: Rail Tours, Tours
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: For more than a hundred years, this railway, the highest "cog" railroad in the world and the highest train in the U.S., has been transporting passengers to the summit of Pikes Peak.
Fort Collins, CO
Level Contributor
122 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Santa Train 2013”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2013

This was our first ride on the Santa Train, and I must say that it is the best value in the state. At $25 per ticket, it's about the cheapest Santa ride around, and at about 2 hours, its the longest adventure. Features that make it stand out from the other Santa trains include elaborate costuming of the elves and the Clauses, an outfitted minstrel playing guitar, a great ride up a mountain, and most notably, a real "stop" at the North Pole. After a half hour ride, we arrived at the North Pole, complete with an indoor space to meet with Santa. Hot chocolate and cookies were served outdoors, and you could also get holiday temporary tattoos. The layover lasts an hour, long enough to partake in all the festivities and even go for a short hike. But don't worry, you can also retreat to the warmth of the car if it's too cold or windy.

Definitely the best value around. Not the most "magical," but certainly worth your time for some holiday fun.

One issue: You can prepay for parking online, which I did, but that particular day, they were not charging for parking. So there went $5...

Visited December 2013
3 Thank BlakKat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,586 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
30 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2013 via mobile

We had great time on the train up to and back from the peak. Only disappointment was the cloud cover at the top. Skies were clear until the summit, but that can't be blamed on anyone but Mother Nature. Definite return trip if the opportunity presents itself.

Thank Kermmy803
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, NC
Level Contributor
100 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Neat adventure - best in the summer”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2013

We enjoyed the attraction, but I'm sure it is better in the summer. The train takes 1-1/2 hours to get to the summit. Be prepared if you are not used to the climate. Many people on our train (including ourselves) had a hard time with the altitude once we reached the summit (shortness of breath, light-headed, dizziness). We went in December and the temp at the top was -2 degrees with wind chill. Also, the train is not heated so if you go in winter, be sure to dress warmly. Once we reached the top it was snowing a lot and the fog was so thick that it wasn't possible to see anything. The ride up was narrated by an on board tour guide, but your view was limited to whatever happened to be on your side of the train. There is no bathroom on the train, but you are warned to go before the train leaves the top & bottom of the mountain.

Visited December 2013
1 Thank travelover000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irving, Texas
Level Contributor
75 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“A must do!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2013

Took this with my brothers & sisters and loved it. We were unable to go all the way to the top due to the snowfall, but the scenery is gorgeous.

Visited November 2013
Thank Golferths111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
118 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Good to do this on a sunny, clear day!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 20, 2013

We decided to take the cog railway instead of driving to the top so that we could both enjoy the view from Pike's Peak. The rail cars have you sitting in very close quarters to others, which can be awkward since on the two-seat side, your knees are practically touching. Dress warmly as the higher you go the colder it gets, and undoubtedly, there will be someone wanting to pull down the large windows to get better photos (think hat, gloves, parka). Have a water bottle and remember to breathe.
You probably don't need that can of O2 they try to sell you in the gift shop. Just don't over-do it when you get to the top - walk normally, sit when you need to, don't run around - you'll be fine. The view is spectacular but I would caution against people with mobility or breathing issues taking this trip. We are skiers and regularly experience altitude and cold, but some can be adversely affected. There were a few on the train who never got off at the top. There is a large gift shop at the top, and a place where you can get snacks and drinks. Other than that, everyone pretty much walked around looking out in every direction, taking photos, etc. because you can see such amazing vistas from there :)

Next trip, we would drive, though the road looks pretty sketchy with no barriers at the edges and quite curvy, windy. We visited Garden of the Gods on the way to Pike's Peak and were very glad we did that first. You can see Garden of the Gods from the top.

Visited October 2013
Thank tuscany885
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Pikes Peak Cog Railway also viewed

Colorado Springs, El Paso County
Colorado Springs, El Paso County
Manitou Springs, El Paso County
Manitou Springs, El Paso County

Been to Pikes Peak Cog Railway? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing