Adventures with Alan samples the famous donuts from Pikes Peak

In our exclusive Adventures with Alan series, we’ll travel through southern Colorado week after week to show you thrills, hidden gems and well-known spots.

Since our first adventure aired over two years ago, we’ve tackled three fourteen different ones.

We hiked to the top of Mount Sherman and Mount Elbert, and took the Pikes Peak Cog Railway to the top of American Mountain.

This time, we are going back to the top of Pikes Peak, but by car.

Other than Mount Evans, it is the only other fourteen in the state that allows its visitors to drive to the peak.

You can do this by driving on Pikes Peak Highway, a 19-mile paved road that was built in 1915.

The highway entrance begins at an elevation of 7,400 feet.

The road to the summit of Pikes Peak begins…

In the lower part of the route, we pass through dense forests and groves of aspen, some of which show their golden autumn colors.

About 6.5 miles into the drive we pull over to stop at Crystal Reservoir.

At about 9,200 feet, it’s the first of three visitor centers along the highway, and worth a stop to check out the views and the gift shop.

Back on Pikes Peak Highway, we pass the next visitor center, the Glen Cove Inn.

This is where the real fun begins as we begin to climb above the treeline.

Only a few kilometers from the summit, we stop a second time to admire the landscape and ask a few people what they think of the road up to here.

“Oh, I love it. Yeah, it’s a beautiful road. My wife was a little scared,” said Landon Nightingale, who was from Kentucky.

Another visitor to the Great White North wasn’t as nervous about tackling those hairpin bends.

“(The driving is) not too bad. I love the views. Yeah, it’s exciting,” said Ken Bergman, who was from Canada.

Back in the car, the ride smooths out for the last few miles, and after about an hour and a half…we made it to the top.

It’s time to taste the donuts!

Now inside the Visitor Center, we marvel at the Summit’s brand new, world-class Visitor Center.

“As you can see, the building is beautiful. It’s 34,000 square feet, seven times the old building,” said Marianna Moore, general manager of Aramark Pikes Peak.

But we’re here with hungry bellies, and we’re on a mission to try these world famous donuts.

Moore answers the call and takes us past the cafe and into the kitchen to see where the magic happens.

This is where we meet Chef Ty. He leads the team that prepares their delicious treats.

Chef Ty tells me the cinnamon sugar donuts are the most popular.

“I would say just because it’s the most common flavor profile. Everyone knows cinnamon. Everyone knows sugar, and it’s really delicious. It kind of gives you a churro feeling, especially being this donut fresh out of the air fryer,” said Food & Beverage Manager Chef Ty.

I sample the goods, and oh yeah, I agree. They are delicious!

Chef Ty and his team work with a recipe that dates back to 1916, and visitors devour them.

“Man, when we’re moving and the trains are coming, we can easily make 2,300 to 2,600 donuts a day,” Chef Ty said.

They claim to be the only donuts made at an altitude of over 14,000 feet.

Fun fact, we’re told the donuts will “deflate” if guests choose to roll them off the top due to pressure changes.

After devouring three, we take a few moments to enjoy the view before beginning our descent down the mountain to Colorado Springs.

Road to Pikes Peak review

Now is the time to write down my latest adventure.

KOAA Charts

Here’s how Alan rates the Road to Pikes

For scenery, you are literally on top of the world at 14,115 feet and the views on a clear day are some of the best in the state. 5 out of 5.

As for the level of fun, driving can be a little scary with those hairpin turns, especially if you’re not a fan of heights. That said, it’s an unforgettable adventure that deserves a 5 out of 5 rating.

Now for my final rating… let’s give this one 5 stars out of 5.

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