Evans Highway. From Denver, head west on Interstate 70 to Idaho Springs and then turn south onto State Highway 103, the start of the Mount Evans Scenic Byway. It will literally challenge body, mind and spirit. The knotted, gnarled trunks of the beautiful trees show their vast age and also offer up a nice little distraction. From Echo Lake to the Mount Evans parking lot, it’s another 14.65 miles. Once there, enjoy the expansive views, but also look down and marvel at the view of the 11 switchbacks you just rode. With the opening overture taken care of, it’s time to get to the good part. From I-70 take Exit 240 and then Colorado Highway 103 to Echo Lake. Evans Echo Lake I-25 and Broadway I-25 and Santa Fe Rockfall Barrier Traffic and cones Glenwood Canyon Construction Ahead Regions Map trucks pedestrian car bus Heavenly. Evans Summit - See 198 traveller reviews, 93 candid photos, and great deals for Idaho Springs, CO, at Tripadvisor. Mount Evans. For a different view of the climb—plus a longer one with more vertical meters of climbing—you can toe the start line in Bergen Park and bag two extra passes along the way: Squaw and Juniper. At that point, it’s just you, lichens, grass, extremely hearty wildflowers, pika, marmots, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and a couple of lakes. My personal favorite starts in Evergreen, ventures only slightly in the upward direction on the winding, wooded, and babbling brooked Bear Creek Road. In 1930, Arthur Compton, fresh off of his 1929 Nobel Prize win in Physics, visited Mt. While Mt. The best time ever was set in 2004 by Tom Danielson in a mind-bogglingly fast one hour, forty-one minutes and twenty seconds. That one instantly went into the treasure chest of I-won’t-ever-forget-this moments. This route has a great trail all the way to Summit Lake and is considered the standard way to climb Evans from a lower trailhead. My original plan was to ride my bike to the top again. I was young, weak, hardly acclimatized, and full of stupid. for motor vehicles, not bikes. If you’ve seen the iconic cycling film American Flyers, you’ve seen Echo Lake. What I mean to say is there’s no shortage of entertainment. More importantly, it gains another 3,400 feet. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. It was built as a result of Pikes Peak Highwayand Denver’s competition for tourists. Trip Tips . Echo Lake Lodge: Gateway to Mt. It doesn’t take long before you emerge above treeline and into the wide open expanses of ultra-high. In 1917, Denver’s then mayor, Robert Speer, managed to gain support to build the road to the top of Mount Evans. Once at the top parking lot, there is a short, but rewarding hike to the summit at 14,264 ft. The Mount Evans hill climb is a Colorado classic that every cyclist must check off the list. Everest. It’s essentially an all-day event that will require some careful planning in terms of nutrition, hydration and gear. Whether they were built during a great war, connect opposing valleys, or just to form an artery to a ski resort, there’s a reason behind them. There are two main routes to the top of Mt. As we approached, they barely took note, so we were left to pick our way through the sedentary mass, until one curious goat took to enjoying the sweat on my leg. Rockies Playground . Some park at Summit Lake … Whether you start in Idaho Springs or Bergen Park, the first half is nice, but it’s just an appetizer for the main course and dessert that will follow. 49 . After you’ve passed the bristlecones, all that’s left are a few unfortunate krummholz, and then the trees disappear entirely. The race began in 1962 and has been run every year since, save for three missing editions, two of which were cancelled due to snow (in July!) The third time, a month later (I needed time to recover from that last ordeal), the sun shone, my body cooperated, and I finally had a chance to drink in the view. ROUTE: Bicycling Magazine put together a route + GPX file to climb Mt. You know the one, it’s where David’s scowling nemesis tries to take our hero off the road, but David holds on, attacks, and takes the win? Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. The hardest part is the last 6 miles from Summit Lake up the steep switchbacks to the top. There maybe occasional short 10% grades, but the average is just over 5% (4,000 divided by 15 times 5280 is .0505). Continue under the cliff bands (25) to reach the saddle (26) between Mt. I agree, those things are nasty, but if you wait long enough, you can get up there post-storm and get a rare opportunity to explore the nether regions of close-to-space altitude with nary a car, the ability to enjoy peaceful pockets of completely undisturbed flora and fauna, the quiet after the cars and tourists have disappeared, and a sky like no other. The bristlecones are a notable addition to the ride and form a sort of time capsule just a couple miles up from Echo Lake. Ride up Colorado 103 to just past Echo Lake and then turn right onto Route 5 to the summit. Idaho Springs is the easiest access point for those near the I-70 corridor. Gloriously fat, sprinting, chirping marmots have kept me entertained for far too many hours on my rides up Mount Evans, while the smaller, more seldom seen pika is always a prize to merely lay eyes on. I turned my knee warmers into sort of leg warmers, pulled my arm warmers down to cover my hands a bit, then began the long, long journey to warmth. That goes on top of the starting point of almost 11,000 mind you. It’s a shame that the word has been so debilitated through use and mocking of its use to render it almost useless. Fees are charged per vehicle or per person for hikers and bikers. There’s nothing quite like feeling your head try to rotate a full 360 degrees to try to take in the panorama. Spalding Route. Descend via the same route. You can park near the lake (by the picnic area) or drive up to the Echo Lake Lodge and park in one of the parking lots near the entrance to the Mt. To reach the summit, turn right at the saddle/lake and use the Mt. Take Highway 5 to the top of Mount Evans. View down to Echo Lake from four miles up Mt. Evans and the route involves an elevation gain of 6,724 feet. Mt. From here, its just under 30-miles to the summit of Mt. (WINTER) HOLD ON! Denver & Cities of the Rockies . The gradient is barely 5%, but at 14,000 feet, it feels closer to three times that on pavement that begins to feel like it’s coated in elementary school rubber cement. It’s not an entirely pleasant feeling to pedal through the mud of extreme altitude. The latter has long been the highest paved road in North America (5th highest in the world) and is only open in the summer. Note: the Mount Evans Highway (Colorado Highway 5, from Echo Lake to the summit) will not open to motorized vehicles for the 2020 season. Parking at the summit is usually available on weekdays; you may wait up to 30 minutes for a parking spot on crowded weekends. I was nearly incoherent, mumbling to myself, worried about my curious tunnel vision, and wondering how the final few miles could be so insanely steep, but still, somewhere in the murkiness of a crazy high-altitude-induced delirium, I knew I was seeing something special. The real mountain part starts at Echo Lake, 15 miles from the summit. Thankfully, there’s no lack of distraction even when you reach the special lands above treeline. . On the women’s side, the rider who puts the term evergreen to shame, Jeannie Longo holds the record on Evans. Many will say that it’s best to be off the mountain by noon because of the afternoon thunderstorms. The fun starts with a right on Witter Gulch Road. Evans a couple of summers ago via an easy route (over mt Spalding from Summit Lake). Evans’ higher elevation made it attractive, because of heavy winter snows it was accessible only during the summer, whereas Echo Lake was accessible year-round. From Bergen Park: Take Squaw Pass Road/Highway 103 west and travel to Echo Lake. More importantly, it gains another 3,400 feet. In reality, once my wheels pass the 12,000 foot mark, it gets a lot less pleasant. All 14er routes are more difficult and more dangerous in winter. Officials have expressed concerns about putting first responders in danger and the lack of social distancing at the summit. Its length is … Download Agreement, Release, and Acknowledgement of Risk: Take Exit 240 at Idaho Springs on Interstate 70. The ride breaks up into two halves. That’s 28 miles—uphill—to over 14,000 feet. Mount Evans: Echo Lake on Mt Evans - See 2,534 traveler reviews, 1,789 candid photos, and great deals for Denver, CO, at Tripadvisor. Mount Evans Highway from Summit Lake to the top of the 14er will close to vehicle traffic on Sept. 5. So there we were, approaching Summit Lake, with still a solid five or so miles of climbing to go, a perfect sunset gearing up to hit full blast, and mountain goats happily using me as a salt lick. In Europe, and the rest of the world for the most part, the great high-altitude roads often have some kind of a purpose. Danielson has taken part in the hill climb three times, and holds the three fastest ascents, ranging from the aforementioned record to a slightly more sedate time of 1:43:04, a whole 1:48 slower. For better or (bone density) worse, I feel more comfortable on a bike than I do walking, so the chance to take on a Fourteener sans hiking boots and the requisite multiple days of DOMS afterwards? Gorka Izagirre Triumphant at Rain-Soaked Grande Trittico Lombardo, Seven Things We Like (The Ardèche Version), Our Favorite Parts of Riding with the MP1 Nfinity, Five of Our Favorite Things About the Cannondale Synapse NEO 1, Chapter 4: Discovering Beaujolais—Beaujeu to Cluny. Drive along the slopes of Mount Evans, a Colorado 14er standing at 14,264 ft. 5 switchbacks down from the summit, on a tight hairpin turn, is a small parking area near 13,900ft. I was on top of a 14,000 foot mountain with only knee and arm warmers. Echo Lake is located along Highway 103 just north of the Mount Evans Entrance station. The ship was slowly righted, but it was during the hard years of the early 1900s that it became apparent that an entirely different direction could pave the way to a new foundation to the economy in Colorado: tourism. 9.2 miles gaining 2,246’ to 12,870’ at 4.4% average grade. 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