Pike's Peak from Garden of the Gods, Colorado.
Wonderful as is the Garden of the Gods, the eyes turn toward Pike's Peak a far grander sight. Rising 14,140 feet above the sea level and 8,000 feet above the plains at its base, it seems to dominate the whole country. It can be seen from Denver seventy miles north and from Pueblo fifty miles south. In the earlier days when the emigrant trains came across the wide plains, their first sight of the mountains was of Pike's Peak, its top, glistening with snow, outlined against the blue sky. There it stands, the mountains stretching away on both sides and behind it, while eastward the level plain lies at the foot.
The peak itself is not a sharp point cutting the sky, but rather a rounded swell in the mountain tops, its slopes stretching out on every side all gashed and seamed with mighty gorges which show deep purple shadows or glitter white under the dazzling sunshine. Other peaks and ridges surround it but Pike's Peak rises far above all the others. At the summit there are about forty acres of nearly level land covered with gigantic blocks and slabs of coarse granite disintegrating under the combined forces of wind and ice, of heat and cold. During the greater part of the year the summit is buried beneath a thick covering of snow and ice.