Driving Down the Mountain - Do's & Don'ts

  • Drive down the mountain in low gear (L) or low range (1 or -) to prevent hot brakes or brake failure.

  • Apply brakes firmly to reduce speed. Applying continuous pressure to the brakes causes excessive heat in the brake system. Overheated brakes may fade or fail.

  • Stay on your own side of the road at all times. Do not cut corners. If you cut the corners you might end-up in a head-on collision with another car and drive off the mountain cliff. Survival would be slim and you probably would die a painful death.

  • Uphill traffic has the right-of-way at all times. Don't be a jerk driver. Jackass Driver = Death.

  • As a courtesy to all Pike Peaks visitors, the Pikes Peak Highway Rangers conduct a brake check at Glen Cove during peak periods. They will check the temperature of your brakes for excessive brake heat. Your safety is their business. Don't argue with the Ranger if he ask you to pull over and let your brakes cool down unless you want to be ripped from your car, thrown to the ground, knee in your back, face in the dirt and handcuffs on the tiny little wrist. Be polite at all times and you'll do just fine. They don't call the Rangers (as in Army Rangers) for nothing.

  • If other motorists wish to pass, let them do so. Use a turnout or wide spot to allow them to pass. Your courtesy will be appreciated and you wont have a bunch of pissed-off cars behind you giving you the finger or worse yet pointing a large caliper gun at you.
Audi @ Pikes Peak Highway 7/28/11

Stopping on Pikes Peak Mountain:

  • Use the turnouts provided for stopping. 

  • If you must stop at any place other than a turnout, do it on a straightaway where your vehicle is plainly visible to other motorists.

  • If you plan to leave your vehicle for long periods, leave a visible note concerning your plans and general location.

  • Wedge rocks under the downhill sides of your vehicle wheels to prevent rolling.

  • Overnight parking on Pikes Peak is prohibited. Return to your vehicle prior to the posted closing times.


  • If your engine is hot, run it at a fast idle or pull over at a turnout and let it cool down.

  • Do NOT remove the radiator cap until the engine is cool or will will be injured badly with 3rd degree burns. 

  • If your transmission overheats, pull over and open the hood and wait for it to cool.

  • As always, use common sense and make sure your car is capable of making the trip up Pikes Peak mountain. Calling a tow truck to Pikes Peak will cost you a lot of money. Bring a visa card with you if you drive a beater.