There’s a quirky little place on the West side of Estes Park. I’d describe it as a gas station / convenience store / tourist shop / donut shop / burger restaurant. And I know that’s a lot to fit into one establishment — but that’s what they do! And they do them all surprisingly well. The West Estes Park Sinclair Station has been evolving over the last several years (I think it was just a gas station, as recently as 2018). But I think it’s shaping up to be an institution that I hope will endure for years to come.
The American West is wild, wacky, and wonderful for things like this. Wall Drug is a particularly poignant example. And I hope that I get to keep discovering these gems, here and there, for years to come. But I really like having one of these eclectic emporia close to one of the places I more frequently visit. It’s just a couple of miles from the YMCA of the Rockies and the Beaver Meadows entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park!
I don’t love donuts like a lot of other people love donuts — but if I’m ever going to go for a donut in Estes Park, the Donut Haus is definitely the place where I would go. It used to be a free-standing structure closer to the heart of downtown. But the owners sold it off and retired early, passing along the recipes and the branding to others who re-established the shop in the West Estes Park Sinclair Station. Around the same time, it would seem, a Mexican family decided to start a fast food place called The Burger Stop in another wing of the building. And this summer, we’ve discovered that their food is excellent! The burgers are tasty. The fries are well-seasoned and crispy. And the Horchata shake is delicious.
I don’t know how the West Estes Park Sinclair Station will continue to evolve in the years to come. But I’m intrigued to see what will become of it.