Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cheyenne Mountain Lodge

In 1925, Spencer Penrose built a six mile road to the top of  the northern summit of Cheyenne Mountain. The road ended above "The Horns". The cost was one million dollars to build and it wasn't a big hit with the locals. Nothing like a big zig-zag scar up a pristine mountainside, right?

Upon completion of the road, Penrose constructed a lodge where people could stay and admire the view, breathe the high altitude air and look at his menagerie of animals. It was called the Cheyenne Mountain Lodge or the Honeymoon Lodge. Here is a video:

I heard a rumor that in later years the lodge became a brothel, but I couldn't find any more recent history of it. In the early 1970's, the lodge was bulldozed due to vandalism and the high cost of upkeep and security. Too bad because it would be a really cool place to stay.

Now, it's a really cool place to hike (or hike a bike) and explore. Be warned that it is a no tresspassing area so I can't recommend visiting there. Nor can I give explicit directions on how to get there. I can say that purchasing a Pikes Peak Atlas will be worth the investment.

Here is a cool picture of the lodge:

In the next picture, look just above where the car is parked. I heard it was a mountain lion cage. Today you can see the gate to the cement enclosure and the bars are still intact.

Here is Russ walking up those stairs above the mountain lion cage:

Here are some pictures of the old footprint of the lodge. To the east you can see where they bulldozed the walls over the edge of the cliff.

These old stairs lead to a cool little overlook:

We had to go and check out the free standing overlook with the huge flag pole:

Here is a cool picture of the Horns from the overlook:

Here are our smiling mugs:

I think Russ found the fountain of youth because we look the same age yet he is a decade older than me!

I shot a quick video from our perch:

I made a cool 3D image of our ride route and ride stats:

It was a long day on the bike since the original ride route didn't include the excursion to the top of Cheyenne Mountain. Russ was a great riding companion and never complained about having to carry his bike up a nasty trail 3 hours into the ride (or again, 5 hours into the ride. Ooops). We should all be so lucky to have such a great riding buddy.

I am super lucky because I have several.


  1. great pictures man, i saw the 'curious colorado' back in 1999/2000 time frame on channel 17 of comcast and hadn't been able to find it til now. my family and i had driven to the shrine back before 1994 and they had a white/orange road closed barrier then just after the shrine and when i saw the video about the lodge and shrine i've wanted to get up there ever since.

  2. We stumbled onto the ruins hiking yesterday, so spending some time today researching. Fascinating stuff and I'm left wondering why the place was in such a bad way that vandalism and security were an issue to the extent that they bulldozed it. Seems rather extreme and it's shocking the way the rubble was left there, turning that piece of the hillside into more or less a "dump". Just my observation, I don't expect you to be able to explain it.

  3. Do not disturb the rubble, as it is contaminated with Asbestos. When the bulldozed the site they were unaware of the dangers it posed to health and safety. The site is currently undergoing remediation to remove the hazard.

  4. As a yound boy back in the summer of '69 I got to travel by car with my family to the top of Cheyenne Mountain and visit the still standing lodge. It was a poor day for sightseeing though as a large snow fill cloud moved over the peak and instantly made it into a winter wonderland. Ah but the memories of that lodge structure still remain in my mind! Apparently not long after the road was closed just past the shrine due to NORAD concerns only to never actually reopen to the public again.

  5. I understand now they are in the process of rebuilding the lodge??

  6. While I was stationed at Pete Field from 5-70 till 5-73, myself and two or three friends drove up past the zoo and Will Rogers Shrine, when we got to the summit we saw an old narrow gauge engine on display on the property. The inn was deserted and we hopped the fence and explored.