The State of Colorado is known for its abundance of historic railroads which still exist today, primarily for the enjoyment of tourists, railroad enthusiasts and technical historians. The Pikes Peak Region hosts the majority of these tourist attractions, thus Colorado Springs is always included within the statewide rail tours. The most famous is the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, operating year round, carrying passengers to the famous summit of Pikes Peak at 4300 m. The majestic scenery inspired Katharine Lee Bates to compose the famous, “America the Beautiful” verse.
Address: Cog Railway Depot: 515 Ruxton Ave., Manitou Springs, CO 80829
"O beautiful, for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain. For purple mountain majesties, above the fruited
plain. America! America! God shed His grace on thee and crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to
While this anthem is one most Americans know by heart, many may not be familiar with the poem's author or the inspiration behind these words. The year was 1893 and Katharine Lee Bates, a professor and poet invited to lecture at the summer session at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado, agreed to join a wagon expedition to the summit of Pikes Peak. Once at the summit of the mountain, the view she saw left her in complete awe and admiration. With pen in hand, she immediately wrote the poem that was years later set to the music for "America the Beautiful." For these reasons, Pikes Peak is known today as "America's Mountain.