Had a great day on Pikes Peak. Once we arrived at the mountain, it started to snow. I was really looking forward to getting a doughnut up on the summit. Along with other food, the Summit House sells special high altitude doughnuts, frying up to 700 per hour. The doughnuts collapse or go mushy if transported to lower altitudes. Sad to say, they closed the mountain at 11,500 feet and we were unable to reach the summit and our dream of doughnuts deteriorated. (Found this doughnut picture online.)
There are several ways to ascend the mountain. The Manitou and Pike's Peak Railway, the world's highest cog railroad, operated from Manitou Springs to the summit, but closed for repairs in 2017. But after over three years of being closed, the cog railway resumed service seven days a week (conditions permitting) on May 27, 2021.
Road vehicles can be driven to the summit via the Pikes Peak Highway, a 19 mile road that starts a few miles up Ute Pass at Cascade.
The road has a series of switchbacks, treacherous at high speed, called "The W's" for their shape on the northwest side of the mountain. The road is maintained by the city of Colorado Springs as a toll road, costing $15 per adult in the vehicle.
There are several visitor centers on Pikes Peak, some with a gift shop and restaurant. The one above is themed on gold mining. These centers are located at the 6-mile (9.7 km) and 12-mile (19 km) markers of the toll road, plus one at the summit itself.