This book begins in 1888, with the first efforts to get wheeled vehicles and their passengers to the summit of Pikes Peak. 15 years earlier, the U. S. Army established a weather station at the top of the mountain and manned it all year round with human observers. These two activities have resulted in the mountain being an attraction for visitors, innkeepers, skiers, hunters, and fishermen. Individuals and corporations have been motivated by the challenge of the highway to get their horseless carriages, automobiles, race cars, motorcycles, bicycles, basketballs, wheelbarrows, peanuts, and pianos to the top of the mountain. People have attempted to get rich by selling a piece of the mountain.
The summit has been the site of experiments in meteorology, aircraft engine design, human physiology, and the processing of human waste. It has been the host for numerous proposals for sheltering those visitors and residents. Over the years five structures have been built for this purpose. There have been several struggles for control including an attempt to homestead the summit. It has been the source of tall tales, stories of hardship, and of failure.
The book includes 13 maps and is illustrated with 123 images, most of them vintage photographs, many that have never been published before.