In our exclusive series Adventures with Alan, we'll travel across Southern Colorado week-by-week to show you thrills and chills, hidden gems and well-known spots.
Since our first adventure aired more than two years ago, we have tackled three different fourteeners.
We hiked to the top of Mount Sherman and Mount Elbert, and took the Pikes Peak Cog Railway to the top of America's Mountain.
This time, we're taking another trip to the top of Pikes Peak, but by car.
Other than Mount Evans, it's the only other fourteener in the state that allows its visitors to drive to the top.
You can do that by driving on Pikes Peak Highway, a 19-mile paved road that was built back in 1915.
The entrance to the highway starts at an elevation of 7,400 feet.
The drive to the summit of Pikes Peak begins...
On the lower part of the drive, we travel through dense forests and groves of aspen trees, some of which are showing their golden fall colors.
About 6.5 miles into the drive, we pull over to stop at Crystal Reservoir.
At around 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 visitors center, the Glen Cove Inn.
It's here that the real fun begins as we start to climb above the treeline.
Only a few miles from the top, we stop for a second time to admire the scenery and ask a few folks what they think of the drive so far.
"Oh, I love it. Yeah, it's a beautiful drive. Wife was a little bit scared," said Landon Nightingale, who was visiting from Kentucky.
Another visitor from the Great White North wasn't as nervous taking on those hairpin curves.
"(The drive is) not too bad. I love the views. Yeah, it's exciting," said Ken Bergman, who was visiting from Canada.
Back in the car, the drive mellows out for the final few miles, and after about an hour and a half...we've made it to the summit.
Time to taste the donuts!
Now inside the Visitor's Center, we marvel at the summit's brand-new, world-class Visitor Center.
"The building as you can see is beautiful. It's 34,000 square feet, which is seven times the old building," said Marianna Moore, General Manager, Aramark Pikes Peak.
But we're here with hungry bellies and we're on a mission to try out these world-famous donuts.
Moore answers the call and takes us past the café and into the kitchen to see where the magic happens.
It's here that we meet Chef Ty. He leads the team that puts out their tasty treats.
Chef Ty tells me that cinnamon and sugar donuts are the most popular.
"I would just say because it's the most common flavor profile. Everyone knows cinnamon. Everyone knows sugar, and it's just really delicious. It kind of gives you a churro feel, especially being that fresh out of the fryer donut," said Food & Beverage Manager Chef Ty.
I sample the goods, and oh yeah, I agree. They are delicious!
Chef Ty and his team are working with a recipe that dates back to 1916, and visitors just eat them up.
"Man when we're rocking and rolling and the trains are coming, we can easily do 2,300 to 2,600 donuts a day," said Chef Ty.
They claim to be the only donuts made at an altitude of over 14,000 feet.
Fun fact, the donuts we're told will "deflate" if guests choose to bring them down from the summit due to changes in pressure.
After devouring three of them, we take a few moments to enjoy the views before beginning our trip back down the mountain to Colorado Springs.
Road to Pikes Peak rating
Now it's time to rate my latest adventure.
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.
When it comes to the fun level, the drive 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 score...let's give this one 5 out of 5 stars.
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