We rode The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway . . .

You get on the Cog Railroad in a historic town called Manitou Springs.  When Native Cheyenne were at the base of Pikes Peak in Manitou Springs in the 1700s, they thought the eruption of bubbles in the mineral water was the breath of the Great Spirit “Manitou.”  Then Dr. Edwin James, a westerner, discovered these healing waters and hiked Pikes Peak. Inspired by stories of the healing waters and Pikes Peak, General William J. Palmer and Dr. William A. Bell visited the area in 1868. They began carrying out a vision to make the Pikes Peak region into an amazing tourist location.  In the early 1890s, Manitou Springs was established as a health resort because of its mineral springs and clean mountain air. Then in the 1980s the National Historic District was formed in the town and it’s once again a tourist destination.

We parked in the town and walked to the Cog Railroad to see a bit of the town.  We passed restaurants, shops, galleries and two of the eight natural springs in town.

Cheyenne spring is suppose to be a sweet soda spring, and tastes the best of the mineral springs in Manitou Springs. This spring is among the highest in both magnesium and potassium content, both essential minerals for a healthy body and brain. To bad we didn’t even think of bringing any empty containers.

the other spring we saw is Iron Springs Geyser

You can take a guided or self-guided walking and tasting tour of the 8 famous cold-water mineral drinking springs, as they are all suppose to have unique and different tastes. I believe they will even throw in a container.

We got our tickets and then waited to board . .

The Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway climbs the 9 miles to the 14,110-foot summit of Pikes Peak. The railway is the highest in North America and was built as a tourist attraction in the late nineteenth century. Other cog railways can be found on Mt. Washington in New Hampshire and throughout the Alps in Switzerland.

I read that it snowed 2.4 inches yesterday at Pikes Peak.

Time to board . . .. You go thru Pike National Forest, travel along Ruxton Creek, by Diamond Rock, within the steep, rocky walls of Englemann Canyon, past stacked boulder formations, a waterfall, and through Deer Park before getting to the top.

The whole Cog Railroad was shut down between October 29, 2017 and May 20, 2021, for a complete refurbishment that saw the replacement of the track infrastructure, the rebuild of older railcars and the purchase of three new trainsets. Plus a whole new visitor center complex on top.

You Can Only Get These Incredible Donuts at the Top of a Mountain in Colorado. Get ’em while they’re hot at 14,000 feet. Thanks for the tip Bill & Sandy, it was a great treat!

The Pikes Peak Summit House is known for its high elevation donuts. They are the only donuts produced at an altitude above 14,000 feet anywhere in the world. With the highest deep fryer in the United States, the donuts here are made differently than if they were made at sea level. At nearly three miles above sea level, the air is thinner and water boils at a lower temperature. Therefore food is cooked differently here. The Pikes Peak Summit House has used the same recipe since 1916 to make their delicious fried donuts. Some claim that the donuts must be devoured while at the top of Pikes Peak, because if you bring them down to a lower elevation they just don’t taste the same. “The recipe is top-secret and wasn’t even shared when filming on location for a Food Network special featuring high-altitude sweets.” Employees who work anywhere near the doughnuts must sign a confidentiality agreement to ensure the recipe doesn’t leave the property.

The view from here is absolutely incredible!

Katharine Lee Bates actually wrote the poem, which became an iconic song, “America the Beautiful” when she visited Pikes Peak in 1893.

Bates finished writing “America the Beautiful” before leaving Colorado Springs but didn’t think of publishing it until two years later. The poem was first printed in a weekly newspaper, The Congregationalist, on July 4, 1895. Bates’s patriotic words were soon set to music, most popularly to composer S. A. Ward’s “Materna,” the tune to which we sing it today.

The original Summit House, atop Pikes Peak, was constructed in 1873. It originally served as a “signal station” to research atmospheric phenomenon and its relationship to weather and forecasting. The house was constructed in just four weeks, and stood 18 by 30 feet long, and ten feet high, with walls 18 inches thick. There were two rooms. One was the office and bedroom for the officer in charge (typically a sergeant). The other served as the kitchen, storeroom and sleep quarters for the assistants.

Before we knew it, it was time to get back on the Cog and head back.

It was an amazing experience taking the cog railway that climbs one of the most iconic mountains in the United States.

3 thoughts on “We rode The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway . . .

  1. Bill McHenry

    Glad you were able to get the donuts. Love the picture showing 60% oxygen at the top. That is the first I have seen this information. Sandy and I took a ski plane and landed on Denali which is also referenced in your picture. Did you try a jog at the top? Also interesting they updated the cog railroad. We were on the old one and it seemed a little dicey😅

  2. Sandy

    You made it! Congrats on summiting a 14’er!! Not sure why they won’t share that donut recipe. Can’t imagine there are too many trying to make donuts at 14k+ and the recipe won’t work at lower elevations. But, regardless of what altitude we’re at, if a recipe doesn’t turn out properly, I always blame elevation issues. Haha. Hope you had an extra donut for me.

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