The Pikes Peak Summit Complex Project proposal Draft Decision Notice was released by Acting Forest and Grassland Supervisor Charles Oliver. Among other activities, the Draft Decision Notice would authorize a new Summit Visitor Center. The existing Summit House is proposed to be replaced with a larger, two-story facility set into the hillside. It would be positioned to visibly anchor with adjacent Mount Rosa, the location where Zebulon Pike first viewed Pikes Peak.
According to Oliver, “I’m excited to move this major project closer to completion. It follows years of planning and collaboration by many dedicated partners. Once approved, the new Summit House will certainly be a showcase for our nation and the U.S Forest Service.”
The Proposed Action Alternative protects the high-altitude tundra ecosystem and the cultural heritage of the landscape while addressing the need for access to the summit. The high-altitude tundra ecosystem will be protected to prevent damage from human infrastructure and activity. The structures and visitor center interpretive displays will reflect the rich history of Pikes Peak and the cultures that have called this area home.
The new visitor center, designated driving routes, parking areas, walking paths, and interpretive points, will offer a more natural and enhanced experience for all who visit or work at the summit.
Major annual events associated with Pikes Peak summit will continue, including the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon. In addition, the Cog Railway, hiking trails, highway and viewing locations will all continue to be available.
This proposed decision is subject to objections. After this Decision Notice is signed, project implementation may begin as soon as this summer.
The City of Colorado Springs (City), Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain (PPAM), in partnership with Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) and the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM), have proposed to design, construct and operate the Summit Complex in the Pike National Forest, in El Paso County, Colorado. The U.S. Forest Service is the federal lead Agency for this EA. The existing Complex is located on the top of Pikes Peak at an elevation of 14,115 feet.
For additional information concerning this Draft Decision Notice, visit the Project website at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=47229