Thursday, September 22, 2022

Pikes Peak - What's in a Name


Post by Doris McCraw aka Angela Raines

Pikes Peak
Photo Property of the Author

Most have heard of Pikes Peak, but do you know the other names that this mountain has had? Read On.

1. Tava - this is the name that the Ute called the mountain. The word means "Sun Mountain"

2. Montana del Sol - this is the name the first Spanish explorers used for the mountain. Translated it is "Mountain of the Sun"

3. El Capitan - this is the name the Spanish explorers used later. The definition is "the Captain" or "the Leader". This may have come into use as the peak is the easternmost of the 14ers on the Front Range of Colorado.

4. Heey-otoyoo- this is the name the Arapahoes gave the mountain. Translated it means "the Long Mountain"

5. Grand Peak - this is one of the names Zebulon Pike called the mountain in his journals.

6. Highest Peak - this is another name that Zebulon Pike for the mountain in his journals.

7. James Peak - This was in honor of Edwin James the botanist with the Long Expedition who actually climbed to the top in 1820.

8. Pike's Highest Peak - a number of the early explorers, trappers and settlers called the mountain by this name.

9. Long Mountain - The use of this name may have been for Stephen Long, the leader of the expedition of which Edwin James was a member.

10. Pikes Peak - the name we all know the mountain by today. Named for Zebulon Pike, who tried, but never climbed the mountain that bears his name. 

The mountain has also had many elevations over the years.

14,109', 14, 147', 14, 500', 14, 110', and finally 14, 115' which is the official altitude today. (And no, it is not the tallest peak in Colorado. The tallest is Mt. Elbert, near Leadville, at 14,433')

For fun, here is a link to the cameras at the top of the mountain: Cameras at the top of Pikes Peak

For a full article on the Peak: History Colorado article

I've just published a book about the early women doctors who are buried in Evergreen Cemetery, in Colorado Springs, CO. the town that sits on the base of Pikes Peak.

Amazon or Books2Read

Until next time, Happy Reading. Doris McCraw


  1. Thank you for the very interesting post on Pike's Peak.

    1. You are welcome. I love history and sometimes you run across some interesting facts. Doris


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