If you’ve seen the iconic cycling film American Flyers, you’ve seen 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. A climb like Evans, which reaches such a special altitude, allows for a unique experience in terms of what you see. TIP: One of our favorite day-trips with visitors who are not from Colorado, is to take them to Echo Lake, Mt. You've now bagged one of Colorado's "14ers" in a unique fashion. Mount Evans Highway from Summit Lake to the top of the 14er will close to vehicle traffic on Sept. 5. It’s not an entirely pleasant feeling to pedal through the mud of extreme altitude. The Colorado Department of Transportation typically closes this 5 … To reach the summit, turn right at the saddle/lake and use the Mt. 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 Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. The Mount Evans climb is popular because the scenery is spectacular and there are not many bike rides that climb to 14,000 feet. All 14er routes are more difficult and more dangerous in winter. 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. Dessert will be kept nice and chilly, as the average temperature atop Evans is a frosty 18F. 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. That goes on top of the starting point of almost 11,000 mind you. Evans summit at 14,200. Follow Highway 103 south until it meets Echo Lake. 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. From there, it’s all uphill, and it gets steeper and steeper until the road turns to dirt and the switchbacks begin. Its length is … It was built as a result of Pikes Peak Highwayand Denver’s competition for tourists. Don’t even ask about that sprint to the parking lot at two and three quarter miles into the sky. Notably, her time was only a little over two minutes slower than this year’s overall winner. 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". Idaho Springs is the easiest access point for those near the I-70 corridor. It’s a good day of riding at 120 miles and over 10,000 feet of climbing. Evans: from Idaho Springs and Bergen Park. Mt. 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. Ten years later, the road was completed. That’s 28 miles—uphill—to over 14,000 feet. Fees are charged per vehicle or per person for hikers and bikers. It’s essentially an all-day event that will require some careful planning in terms of nutrition, hydration and gear. 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. I digress! Evans Highway. From Bergen Park: Take Squaw Pass Road/Highway 103 west and travel to Echo Lake. The finish is at Echo Lake. The best time ever was set in 2004 by Tom Danielson in a mind-bogglingly fast one hour, forty-one minutes and twenty seconds. If you don't have much high-elevation, winter climbing experience, be careful in your planning and take a partner. . Trip Tips . My personal favorite starts in Evergreen, ventures only slightly in the upward direction on the winding, wooded, and babbling brooked Bear Creek Road. My heart rate settled down somewhat after I scaled back my effort. Slowness prevails at the end of the nearly 30-mile effort that takes you from Idaho Springs to the summit of Evans. There’s nothing quite like feeling your head try to rotate a full 360 degrees to try to take in the panorama. It starts in Bergen Park, climbs Juniper and Squaw Passes before taking on Loveland Pass and finally, Vail Pass. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Pikes Peak Hwy is Colorado’s second highest road (not all paved), reaching 14,115 ft. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Idaho Springs . My original plan was to ride my bike to the top again. I’ve seen big views in a lot of places, but the world seems a little different at half the height of Mt. 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 bike is ready to go back, but a few more pictures are in order. Evans: We avoid bringing friends who are not in good health. How to Get There. 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. Officials have expressed concerns about putting first responders in danger and the lack of social distancing at the summit. Echo Lake Lodge: Gateway to Mt. Here is a better look at it, the Summit Lake again. Over three hours of climbing later, I was drunk from far too many thousands of feet above sea level. At this point, it’s a cliché to say that it’s a cliché to say epic. Evans and the route involves an elevation gain of 6,724 feet. The byway begins by Echo Lake, south of Idaho Springs, at around 10,600′. for motor vehicles, not bikes. 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. The race organizer was working the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. The sky is that little bit bluer, the clouds that little bit closer, the expanse of view that much bigger. She set the record in 1998 with a 1:59:19. Evans. Echo Lake is located along Highway 103 just north of the Mount Evans Entrance station. Pay the entrance fee and drive 9 miles up the Mt. 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. Download Agreement, Release, and Acknowledgement of Risk: Take Exit 240 at Idaho Springs on Interstate 70. 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. 49 . ECHO LAKE TO SUMMIT LAKE. The hardest part is the last 6 miles from Summit Lake up the steep switchbacks to the top. It doesn’t take long before you emerge above treeline and into the wide open expanses of ultra-high. The start is less than half a mile from the Idaho Springs exit. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from March until October. 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. At an elevation as high as Mount Evans, riding a bike takes on a completely different feel. The latter has long been the highest paved road in North America (5th highest in the world) and is only open in the summer. 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. No matter how acclimated I get, a quick acceleration to catch up with friends following a hastily snapped picture leaves me gasping. 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. 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. From Echo Lake to the Mount Evans parking lot, it’s another 14.65 miles. 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). View of the snow capped summit of Mt Evans seen from the blue waters of Echo Lake. This is the world from 14,127 feet, and I’m pedaling a bike—a road bike at that. The ride breaks up into two halves. . Evans - West Ridge via Mt. It seemed like a long way to go from there. Colorado is blessed with 54 mountains that poke through the illustrious 14,000-foot (4,267-meter) mark. It’s the site of the final duel between David and Muezzin. Descend via the same route. Since my shoulder injury ruined those plans, I decided to hike up the side of Mt Evans on the summit trail. Evans Highway. From Echo Lake to the Mount Evans parking lot, it’s another 14.65 miles. More importantly, it gains another 3,400 feet. Continue under the cliff bands (25) to reach the saddle (26) between Mt. 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. Driving to the 14,264-foot summit is a popular summer activity for families and tourists. 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. Spalding Route. I really enjoyed this mountain, and have been longing to return here and summit via my road bike. The Cascade and Pikes Peak Toll Road Company took on the major task of building a road to the top of Pikes Peak. I’m still not quite sure if I managed the feat or not, but that’s irrelevant. If you run across some stereotypical Colorado summer afternoon weather (read: frightening), it’s unquestionably so. The Mount Evans Scenic Byway is the highest paved road in Colorado, at 14,130 ft. Colorado’s “New Switzerland” opened by 1930. I summited the 14,264′ Mt. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. 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. In 1930, Arthur Compton, fresh off of his 1929 Nobel Prize win in Physics, visited Mt. Summit Lake is a perfect place to start a climb up Mount Evans. In Europe, and the rest of the world for the most part, the great high-altitude roads often have some kind of a purpose. 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. 9.2 miles gaining 2,246’ to 12,870’ at 4.4% average grade. The grade remains at 5-6% once inside the park, and we slowly climbed out of the trees. Let's get up to the official top of 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? From I-70 take Exit 240 and then Colorado Highway 103 to Echo Lake. It would make for an absolutely spectacular stage where only the best (acclimated) climbers need apply. The answer is pretty simple, if a bit unromantic: tourism. 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. 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. Rockies Playground . Denver & Cities of the Rockies . 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. 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. Leave Evergreen, CO and access the Mount Evans Road and Mount Evans Recreation Area from Squaw Pass, CO 103 at Echo Lake. What a climb. 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. and the third? At that time we were with some inexperienced hikers, and I wanted to give them an easy day. View down to Echo Lake from four miles up Mt. It would be a 10-mile trek to Summit Lake, and 14 miles the actual summit. It’s a shame that the word has been so debilitated through use and mocking of its use to render it almost useless. In other words, things get really high, really early on the second half. With the opening overture taken care of, it’s time to get to the good part. 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. The Mount Evans hill climb is a Colorado classic that every cyclist must check off the list. Some park at Summit Lake … Everest. Once there, enjoy the expansive views, but also look down and marvel at the view of the 11 switchbacks you just rode. 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. The knotted, gnarled trunks of the beautiful trees show their vast age and also offer up a nice little distraction. In reality, once my wheels pass the 12,000 foot mark, it gets a lot less pleasant. Take Highway 5 to the top of Mount Evans. 7000' elevation gain. 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. The highway to the top of Mount Evans … 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. Take Highway 5 to the top of Mount Evans. 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. 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