Over three hours of climbing later, I was drunk from far too many thousands of feet above sea level. Evans Summit - See 196 traveler reviews, 93 candid photos, and great deals for Idaho Springs, CO, at Tripadvisor. The Routes First few miles after turning onto Mt. The fun starts with a right on Witter Gulch Road. Mount Spaulding and Mount Evans via Summit Lake - Standard Route is a 5.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The others were waiting for us at Mount Evans State Park. Spalding Route. Evans a couple of summers ago via an easy route (over mt Spalding from Summit Lake). Continue under the cliff bands (25) to reach the saddle (26) between Mt. Glimmering to the west of Denver, the Rockies were always going to be the focal point of tourism in the state. Evans road (Colorado 5). In reality, once my wheels pass the 12,000 foot mark, it gets a lot less pleasant. The question, however, was how to bring the average citizen to the rarefied heights of the high Rockies. I really enjoyed this mountain, and have been longing to return here and summit via my road bike. From Echo Lake to the Mount Evans parking lot, it’s another 14.65 miles. Fortunately, for once, cars and bikes coexist rather seamlessly in the upper elevations despite the narrow, barrier-less road and the yawning depths that beckon if you ever go a bit wayward at the wheel, er, handlebars. My bike is ready to go back, but a few more pictures are in order. If this year’s Tour of Colorado takes hold and gains enough steam to come back in 2011, don’t be surprised if Mount Evans ends up on the stage list at some point soon. The race was renamed in 1981 to honor five-time winner and prodigal talent, Bob Cook, who died of cancer at the age of 23. View down to Echo Lake from four miles up Mt. Rockies Playground . It will literally challenge body, mind and spirit. The start is less than half a mile from the Idaho Springs exit. My original plan was to ride my bike to the top again. Evans Summit - See 198 traveller reviews, 93 candid photos, and great deals for Idaho Springs, CO, at Tripadvisor. It starts in Bergen Park, climbs Juniper and Squaw Passes before taking on Loveland Pass and finally, Vail Pass. 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. 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. Bikes Allowed: No: Horses Allowed: Yes: Related Trails: Beartrack Lakes; Hell's Hole Trail ; Missouri Lakes; Chicago Lakes - 9.8 Miles Round-Trip The Chicago Lakes are accessed from Echo Lake, 13.25 miles south of I-70 (Idaho Springs) in the Mt Evans Wilderness Area. Colorado is blessed with 54 mountains that poke through the illustrious 14,000-foot (4,267-meter) mark. 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. Echo Lake to Summit Lake is a 12 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Georgetown, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Why the gigantic dead end? No matter how acclimated I get, a quick acceleration to catch up with friends following a hastily snapped picture leaves me gasping. The Mount Evans climb is popular because the scenery is spectacular and there are not many bike rides that climb to 14,000 feet. I summited the 14,264′ Mt. There maybe occasional short 10% grades, but the average is just over 5% (4,000 divided by 15 times 5280 is .0505). Let's get up to the official top of Mt. In 1917, Denver’s then mayor, Robert Speer, managed to gain support to build the road to the top of Mount Evans. 9.2 miles gaining 2,246’ to 12,870’ at 4.4% average grade. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from March until October. In Europe, and the rest of the world for the most part, the great high-altitude roads often have some kind of a purpose. She set the record in 1998 with a 1:59:19. and the third? The best time ever was set in 2004 by Tom Danielson in a mind-bogglingly fast one hour, forty-one minutes and twenty seconds. The whole Front Range of Colorado, the distant eastern plains, South Park, the Continental Divide, the vast expanse of the Rockies—it’s all there. Evans. At an elevation as high as Mount Evans, riding a bike takes on a completely different feel. The road is closed at Echo Lake, 14 miles from the summit. You don't want to try to touch that water! The latter has long been the highest paved road in North America (5th highest in the world) and is only open in the summer. It’s a good day of riding at 120 miles and over 10,000 feet of climbing. 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. It is the only place between Idaho Springs on Highway 70 and Mount Evans where you can find an excellent meal, water & other hiking needs and Mount Evans collectibles and souvenirs. That goes on top of the starting point of almost 11,000 mind you. for motor vehicles, not bikes. My personal favorite starts in Evergreen, ventures only slightly in the upward direction on the winding, wooded, and babbling brooked Bear Creek Road. How to Get There. Its length is … Summit Lake is a perfect place to start a climb up Mount Evans. Notably, her time was only a little over two minutes slower than this year’s overall winner. It would be a 10-mile trek to Summit Lake, and 14 miles the actual summit. Pikes Peak Hwy is Colorado’s second highest road (not all paved), reaching 14,115 ft. There are a couple other possibilities as well to reach the climb’s halfway point at the lake, but they include a fair bit of dirt. Denver & Cities of the Rockies . 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 The answer is pretty simple, if a bit unromantic: tourism. The first time I rode up to the exposed parking lot of Mount Evans, I was a freshman in college and had just started riding bikes. More importantly, it gains another 3,400 feet. Mount Evans doesn’t have any of that vintage, but it’s estimated that the small forest of bristlecone pines near Mount Goliath has some trees that are close to 1,700 years old. It doesn’t take long before you emerge above treeline and into the wide open expanses of ultra-high. The route goes to the Chicago Lakes Overlook, then up Mount Spalding’s low … To reach the summit, turn right at the saddle/lake and use the Mt. It’s essentially an all-day event that will require some careful planning in terms of nutrition, hydration and gear. 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. If you run across some stereotypical Colorado summer afternoon weather (read: frightening), it’s unquestionably so. 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. The Best Part At the turn of the twentieth century, Colorado was at a crossroads; the fifty years of almost continual boom from gold, silver, and a myriad of other minerals had finally run its course. View of the snow capped summit of Mt Evans seen from the blue waters of Echo Lake. It would make for an absolutely spectacular stage where only the best (acclimated) climbers need apply. Summit Lake is 9 miles from Echo Lake and is located at 12,840 feet in the shadow of the mountain’s spectacular upper cliffs. After mulling that revelation over a bit in my head, forceful, swirling snowflakes returned me to a more pressing matter. ECHO LAKE TO SUMMIT LAKE. It’s not an entirely pleasant feeling to pedal through the mud of extreme altitude. Evans Highway. The knotted, gnarled trunks of the beautiful trees show their vast age and also offer up a nice little distraction. Since my shoulder injury ruined those plans, I decided to hike up the side of Mt Evans on the summit trail. From Bergen Park: Take Squaw Pass Road/Highway 103 west and travel to Echo Lake. The second time I rode up the highest paved road in North America, a couple weeks later, I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face in a snow/sleet/hail/rain storm and made it off the mountain almost hypothermic. Mount Evans: Echo Lake on Mt Evans - See 2,534 traveler reviews, 1,789 candid photos, and great deals for Denver, CO, at Tripadvisor. I love bikes, I love to ride my bike, I love the very basic feeling of turning the pedals over, my hands on the bars, the view down to my rotating feet, even the feel of my helmet strap on my chin. Allow 2 . (WINTER) HOLD ON! Mt. From Echo Lake to the Mount Evans parking lot, it’s another 14.65 miles. Such were the joys of high-altitude exploration in my first year of riding bikes. The sky is that little bit bluer, the clouds that little bit closer, the expanse of view that much bigger. Trip Tips . I was young, weak, hardly acclimatized, and full of stupid. While Mt. Everest. It is never really steep nor is the climb from Echo Lake to Mt Evans ever really steep. Warren and Mt. This is the world from 14,127 feet, and I’m pedaling a bike—a road bike at that. The grade remains at 5-6% once inside the park, and we slowly climbed out of the trees. ROUTE: Bicycling Magazine put together a route + GPX file to climb Mt. Idaho Springs is the classic route, which is used by the annual Bob Cook Memorial Hill Climb, which often serves as the Colorado State Hill Climb Championship. Mount Evans is one of the top travel vacation spots in the USA featuring the highest paved road in the northern hemisphere and is located near Denver Colorado. With the opening overture taken care of, it’s time to get to the good part. There’s nothing quite like feeling your head try to rotate a full 360 degrees to try to take in the panorama. Evans Highway. When to go Mount Evans is a road to nowhere with nothing at the top. Mount Evans. Echo Lake (Elevation 10,750) is more or less the halfway point and signals the beginning of the really high altitudes. Once there, enjoy the expansive views, but also look down and marvel at the view of the 11 switchbacks you just rode. Denver was not to be overshadowed by its southern neighbor. It was built as a result of Pikes Peak Highwayand Denver’s competition for tourists. Of course you do. Back to top. 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. While it’s highly discouraged by most, my favorite time to venture up Evans is late in the evening during the high summer months. The 27 miles of climbing takes you through three life zones, which, simply put, means a LOT changes from Idaho Springs to the summit of Mount Evans. All 14er routes are more difficult and more dangerous in winter. The History Evans - West Ridge via Mt. Evans and the route involves an elevation gain of 6,724 feet. A few years back, my father and I did a late evening ride up Evans and found a small herd of mountain goats lounging in the middle of the road. 28 miles uphill (56 miles rt). The first 13.5 miles are up CO Hwy 103 to the permit station at Echo Lake. The highway to the top of Mount Evans … Echo Lake Lodge: Gateway to Mt. From Echo Lake to the summit it is 14.5 miles/3,622’’ gained at 4.5% average grade. 49 . Idaho Springs . The bristlecones are a notable addition to the ride and form a sort of time capsule just a couple miles up from Echo Lake. Evans. The road to the summit of Mount Evans is the highest paved auto road in North America, climbing to 14,260 feet above sea level. You've now bagged one of Colorado's "14ers" in a unique fashion. It tops out about halfway up the climb from Bergen Park to Echo Lake (There’s still a lot of uphill to go from there, but you’ll be happy about the mild grades that Evans offers following the suffering on the dirt of Witter Gulch). Note: the Mount Evans Highway (Colorado Highway 5, from Echo Lake to the summit) will not open to motorized vehicles for the 2020 season. The Mount Evans Scenic Byway consists of State Highway 103 from Idaho Springs, Colorado on I-70 about 13 miles (21 km) to Echo Lake, and Colorado 5 from Echo Lake 15 miles (24 km), ending at a parking area and turnaround just below the summit. 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. Thankfully, there’s no lack of distraction even when you reach the special lands above treeline. Leave Evergreen, CO and access the Mount Evans Road and Mount Evans Recreation Area from Squaw Pass, CO 103 at Echo Lake. 1995 Porsche 911 (993) driving from Echo Lake, 10,600 up to Mt. Then another. Slowness prevails at the end of the nearly 30-mile effort that takes you from Idaho Springs to the summit of Evans. It’s 27.4 miles from the Clear Creek Middle School just outside of Idaho Springs to the Mount Evans parking lot over 7,000 feet higher than you start. On a bit larger scale, mountain goats comprise one of my favorite memories of Evans. I’ve been up a few of them, struggled up all of them, but riding my bike to that altitude is unquestionably my preferred mode of transit. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Ten years later, the road was completed. I’m still not quite sure if I managed the feat or not, but that’s irrelevant. 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. It’s the site of the final duel between David and Muezzin. Idaho Springs is the easiest access point for those near the I-70 corridor. From here, its just under 30-miles to the summit of Mt. Ride up Colorado 103 to just past Echo Lake and then turn right onto Route 5 to the summit. Almost a century on, it’s a playground for cyclists, hikers, and, well, cars. The Ranger Station parking lot is another (with serviced bathrooms no less,), though space is limited. Echo Lake is a delightful mountain park with picnic benches, lake fishing, and views of snowcapped peaks. The race organizer was working the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. June 2012 Bike to Work Fire from Highway Click it or Ticket Day and Night I-70 Twin Tunnels Colorado Scenic Byway USA Pro Cycle Challenge Fall Colors near Indian Peaks Mt. Echo Lake is located along Highway 103 just north of the Mount Evans Entrance station. It then travels 14 miles to the top. On paper, it sounds amazing: a goliath of a mountain adorned with a snaking nearly 30-mile climb as far into the sky as I’ll probably ever get a chance to take my road bike. Officials have expressed concerns about putting first responders in danger and the lack of social distancing at the summit. In 1930, Arthur Compton, fresh off of his 1929 Nobel Prize win in Physics, visited Mt. Here is a better look at it, the Summit Lake again. Fees are charged per vehicle or per person for hikers and bikers. Driving to the 14,264-foot summit is a popular summer activity for families and tourists. The ride breaks up into two halves. That goes on top of the starting point of almost 11,000 mind you. But in terms of climbs, to take on Mount Evans from base to summit, with all of its nearly 30 miles and 7,000 feet of climbing to over 14,127 feet above sea level, is an epic ride. Follow Highway 103 south until it meets Echo Lake. 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. Evans road (Colorado 5) to the Summit Lake parking area. More importantly, it gains another 3,400 feet. If you don't have much high-elevation, winter climbing experience, be careful in your planning and take a partner. At 15.5 miles in, you’ll arrive at the intersection of the two main approaches from Echo Lake. The byway begins by Echo Lake, south of Idaho Springs, at around 10,600′. I’ve seen big views in a lot of places, but the world seems a little different at half the height of Mt. . From I-70 take Exit 240 and then Colorado Highway 103 to Echo Lake. Take Highway 5 to the top of Mount Evans. Some park at Summit Lake … Evans summit at 14,200. That’s 28 miles—uphill—to over 14,000 feet. It’s hard largely because of the altitude. It is generally open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Parking at the summit is usually available on weekdays; you may wait up to 30 minutes for a parking spot on crowded weekends. Evans: We avoid bringing friends who are not in good health. . Spalding, near the north end of Summit Lake (12,900'). I digress! 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. A climb like Evans, which reaches such a special altitude, allows for a unique experience in terms of what you see. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Evans Summit (by car), then into Evergreen for Pizza at Beaujos Pizza; TIP: In regards to driving to the top of Mt. 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. Evans Summit Mt. In other words, things get really high, really early on the second half. The hardest part is the last 6 miles from Summit Lake up the steep switchbacks to the top. Well, it’s still a bit short of that altitude, but there aren’t too many (paved) roads that flirt so closely with the heavens. In other words, things get really high, really early on the second half. After you’ve passed the bristlecones, all that’s left are a few unfortunate krummholz, and then the trees disappear entirely. A trail goes around the lake. Pay the entrance fee and drive 9 miles up the Mt. Evans - West Ridge via Mt. Thankfully, in the summer, the temperature is usually somewhere in the 40-60F range, but it doesn’t take much for the weather to do a somersault and send the numbers toward frigid. It’s a shame that the word has been so debilitated through use and mocking of its use to render it almost useless. Once at the top parking lot, there is a short, but rewarding hike to the summit at 14,264 ft. From the Summit Lake parking area, walk north past an old rock building to locate the start of a trail that heads toward the north end of the lake - 1 and 2. Colorado Springs jumped first in the high Rockies tourism sweepstakes. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. The finish is at Echo Lake. The trees steadily change from the basic lodgepole pines, spruce, and aspen that characterize most of Colorado, to subalpine forest around treeline, highlighted by the oldest living organism on Earth—the bristlecone pine, which can reportedly reach ages of up to 5000 years old. 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!) 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. This is a short video w… Descend via the same route. Drive south on Colorado 103 for 13.5 miles to Echo Lake. What a climb. . Evans: from Idaho Springs and Bergen Park. Drive south on Colorado 103 for 13.5 miles at Echo Lake. 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? At that point, it’s just you, lichens, grass, extremely hearty wildflowers, pika, marmots, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and a couple of lakes. 7000' elevation gain. It’s a fantastic climb with some sass; the dirt and steep grade make for an always entertaining ascent. Summer . 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. Everything slows down: your speed, your mental acuity, your vision, your thoughts, your inner voice. If you’re not into racing, but still love a huge day on the bike, the local cycling organization, Team Evergreen, puts on a huge event each year called the Triple Bypass. The real mountain part starts at Echo Lake, 15 miles from the summit. I was on top of a 14,000 foot mountain with only knee and arm warmers. With the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act in 1893, the mining and agricultural economy plunged the still fledgling state to the brink of disaster. These distraction points are extremely helpful, as the road is not of the curvaceous sort; you can see vast expanses of what’s to come far in front of you, so the little distractions help to keep one focused on the task at hand and not quaking at the thought of how much further there is to go. The Mount Evans Scenic Byway is the highest paved road in Colorado, at 14,130 ft. Colorado’s “New Switzerland” opened by 1930. If you’ve seen the iconic cycling film American Flyers, you’ve seen Echo Lake. Bergen Park . That one instantly went into the treasure chest of I-won’t-ever-forget-this moments. Mount Evans Highway from Summit Lake to the top of the 14er will close to vehicle traffic on Sept. 5. At the entry station you have to pay $3 for a three day pass (hiker, biker, or motorcyclist) and then you see the sign "Summit Lake 9, Mt Evans 14". 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. Many will say that it’s best to be off the mountain by noon because of the afternoon thunderstorms. 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. TIP: One of our favorite day-trips with visitors who are not from Colorado, is to take them to Echo Lake, Mt. On the women’s side, the rider who puts the term evergreen to shame, Jeannie Longo holds the record on Evans. 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. Take Highway 5 to the top of Mount Evans. That was the day I was informed, while huddling behind the ruins of the old gift shop and restaurant at the top of Mount Evans, that the final few miles that feel like the Monte Zoncolan, in fact average a whopping 5%. My heart rate settled down somewhat after I scaled back my effort. 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? At that time we were with some inexperienced hikers, and I wanted to give them an easy day. From there, it’s all uphill, and it gets steeper and steeper until the road turns to dirt and the switchbacks begin. The Colorado Department of Transportation typically closes this 5 … Heavenly. Dessert will be kept nice and chilly, as the average temperature atop Evans is a frosty 18F. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Route. Download Agreement, Release, and Acknowledgement of Risk: Take Exit 240 at Idaho Springs on Interstate 70. The Cascade and Pikes Peak Toll Road Company took on the major task of building a road to the top of Pikes Peak. Echo Lake Lodge (build in 1926) can be found at the entrance to Mount Evans, some 14 miles from Idaho Springs (Interstate 70) and 14 miles from the summit. The route starts at 12,830-foot Summit Lake and gains only 2,000 feet of elevation up Evan’s West Ridge to the 14,264-foot summit. The ride starts at the middle school next to the visitor's center at I-70 exit 240 in Idaho Springs at about 7000' elevation. Spalding Route. Don’t even ask about that sprint to the parking lot at two and three quarter miles into the sky. 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. Owned by Denver Mountain Parks and is known for its excellent fishing (it is stocked yearly) and its picnic area at the north end of the lake. It seemed like a long way to go from there. 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. What I mean to say is there’s no shortage of entertainment. There are two main routes to the top of Mt. At this point, it’s a cliché to say that it’s a cliché to say epic. Echo Lake Lodge: Gateway to Mt. The Mount Evans hill climb is a Colorado classic that every cyclist must check off the list. 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