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 question, however, was how to bring the average citizen to the rarefied heights of the high Rockies. 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%. The grade remains at 5-6% once inside the park, and we slowly climbed out of the trees. In reality, once my wheels pass the 12,000 foot mark, it gets a lot less pleasant. 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. Echo Lake is located along Highway 103 just north of the Mount Evans Entrance station. Evans road (Colorado 5) to the Summit Lake parking area. The Mount Evans climb is popular because the scenery is spectacular and there are not many bike rides that climb to 14,000 feet. 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. Evans Summit (by car), then into Evergreen for Pizza at Beaujos Pizza; TIP: In regards to driving to the top of Mt. Leave Evergreen, CO and access the Mount Evans Road and Mount Evans Recreation Area from Squaw Pass, CO 103 at Echo Lake. . More importantly, it gains another 3,400 feet. Driving to the 14,264-foot summit is a popular summer activity for families and tourists. Let's get up to the official top of Mt. 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. Bergen Park . 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. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. My personal favorite starts in Evergreen, ventures only slightly in the upward direction on the winding, wooded, and babbling brooked Bear Creek Road. The road is closed at Echo Lake, 14 miles from the summit. The History The Routes Evans Summit Mt. The Ranger Station parking lot is another (with serviced bathrooms no less,), though space is limited. Evans. Glimmering to the west of Denver, the Rockies were always going to be the focal point of tourism in the state. 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. From Echo Lake to the Mount Evans parking lot, it’s another 14.65 miles. That goes on top of the starting point of almost 11,000 mind you. 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. Pay the entrance fee and drive 9 miles up the Mt. Echo Lake (Elevation 10,750) is more or less the halfway point and signals the beginning of the really high altitudes. Note: the Mount Evans Highway (Colorado Highway 5, from Echo Lake to the summit) will not open to motorized vehicles for the 2020 season. 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". Denver was not to be overshadowed by its southern neighbor. Everything slows down: your speed, your mental acuity, your vision, your thoughts, your inner voice. Evans. I’ve seen big views in a lot of places, but the world seems a little different at half the height of Mt. 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. 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. In other words, things get really high, really early on the second half. This is the world from 14,127 feet, and I’m pedaling a bike—a road bike at that. Evans - West Ridge via Mt. 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. Of course you do. Evans Summit - See 196 traveler reviews, 93 candid photos, and great deals for Idaho Springs, CO, at Tripadvisor. The first 13.5 miles are up CO Hwy 103 to the permit station at Echo Lake. After you’ve passed the bristlecones, all that’s left are a few unfortunate krummholz, and then the trees disappear entirely. Don’t even ask about that sprint to the parking lot at two and three quarter miles into the sky. The Mount Evans hill climb is a Colorado classic that every cyclist must check off the list. 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). Mount Evans: Echo Lake on Mt Evans - See 2,534 traveler reviews, 1,789 candid photos, and great deals for Denver, CO, at Tripadvisor. She set the record in 1998 with a 1:59:19. Once at the top parking lot, there is a short, but rewarding hike to the summit at 14,264 ft. View of the snow capped summit of Mt Evans seen from the blue waters of Echo Lake. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. It then travels 14 miles to the top. Summer . 7000' elevation gain. Back to top. 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. 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. My bike is ready to go back, but a few more pictures are in order. It was built as a result of Pikes Peak Highwayand Denver’s competition for tourists. From I-70 take Exit 240 and then Colorado Highway 103 to Echo Lake. There maybe occasional short 10% grades, but the average is just over 5% (4,000 divided by 15 times 5280 is .0505). 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. 1995 Porsche 911 (993) driving from Echo Lake, 10,600 up to Mt. ROUTE: Bicycling Magazine put together a route + GPX file to climb Mt. The Colorado Department of Transportation typically closes this 5 … Almost a century on, it’s a playground for cyclists, hikers, and, well, cars. 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 On the women’s side, the rider who puts the term evergreen to shame, Jeannie Longo holds the record on Evans. Once there, enjoy the expansive views, but also look down and marvel at the view of the 11 switchbacks you just rode. Mount Evans is a road to nowhere with nothing at the top. 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. 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. The bristlecones are a notable addition to the ride and form a sort of time capsule just a couple miles up from Echo Lake. TIP: One of our favorite day-trips with visitors who are not from Colorado, is to take them to Echo Lake, Mt. 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. Some park at Summit Lake … There’s nothing quite like feeling your head try to rotate a full 360 degrees to try to take in the panorama. More importantly, it gains another 3,400 feet. It’s a shame that the word has been so debilitated through use and mocking of its use to render it almost useless. Notably, her time was only a little over two minutes slower than this year’s overall winner. 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. Take Highway 5 to the top of Mount Evans. It’s a good day of riding at 120 miles and over 10,000 feet of climbing. The fun starts with a right on Witter Gulch Road. The latter has long been the highest paved road in North America (5th highest in the world) and is only open in the summer. Rockies Playground . At 15.5 miles in, you’ll arrive at the intersection of the two main approaches from Echo Lake. Colorado is blessed with 54 mountains that poke through the illustrious 14,000-foot (4,267-meter) mark. The real mountain part starts at Echo Lake, 15 miles from the summit. Parking at the summit is usually available on weekdays; you may wait up to 30 minutes for a parking spot on crowded weekends. It seemed like a long way to go from there. 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. It starts in Bergen Park, climbs Juniper and Squaw Passes before taking on Loveland Pass and finally, Vail Pass. When to go I summited the 14,264′ Mt. I was on top of a 14,000 foot mountain with only knee and arm warmers. The others were waiting for us at Mount Evans State Park. A climb like Evans, which reaches such a special altitude, allows for a unique experience in terms of what you see. There are two main routes to the top of Mt. It is never really steep nor is the climb from Echo Lake to Mt Evans ever really steep. That one instantly went into the treasure chest of I-won’t-ever-forget-this moments. 49 . 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. It’s the site of the final duel between David and Muezzin. 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. 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. You don't want to try to touch that water! 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? 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. In 1930, Arthur Compton, fresh off of his 1929 Nobel Prize win in Physics, visited Mt. At an elevation as high as Mount Evans, riding a bike takes on a completely different feel. The knotted, gnarled trunks of the beautiful trees show their vast age and also offer up a nice little distraction. 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. No matter how acclimated I get, a quick acceleration to catch up with friends following a hastily snapped picture leaves me gasping. 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 a couple of summers ago via an easy route (over mt Spalding from Summit Lake). and the third? . The start is less than half a mile from the Idaho Springs exit. The route goes to the Chicago Lakes Overlook, then up Mount Spalding’s low … Follow Highway 103 south until it meets Echo Lake. On a bit larger scale, mountain goats comprise one of my favorite memories of Evans. That goes on top of the starting point of almost 11,000 mind you. Trip Tips . If you’ve seen the iconic cycling film American Flyers, you’ve seen Echo Lake. 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. Mount Evans Highway from Summit Lake to the top of the 14er will close to vehicle traffic on Sept. 5. Idaho Springs . All 14er routes are more difficult and more dangerous in winter. Thankfully, there’s no lack of distraction even when you reach the special lands above treeline. Colorado Springs jumped first in the high Rockies tourism sweepstakes. Echo Lake Lodge: Gateway to Mt. This is a short video w… Since my shoulder injury ruined those plans, I decided to hike up the side of Mt Evans on the summit trail. Dessert will be kept nice and chilly, as the average temperature atop Evans is a frosty 18F. In Europe, and the rest of the world for the most part, the great high-altitude roads often have some kind of a purpose. It would be a 10-mile trek to Summit Lake, and 14 miles the actual summit. Ten years later, the road was completed. Drive south on Colorado 103 for 13.5 miles at Echo Lake. The highway to the top of Mount Evans … Evans - West Ridge via Mt. It’s essentially an all-day event that will require some careful planning in terms of nutrition, hydration and gear. Evans Highway. 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. Evans: We avoid bringing friends who are not in good health. Evans summit at 14,200. The byway begins by Echo Lake, south of Idaho Springs, at around 10,600′. Evans: from Idaho Springs and Bergen Park. Officials have expressed concerns about putting first responders in danger and the lack of social distancing at the summit. From there, it’s all uphill, and it gets steeper and steeper until the road turns to dirt and the switchbacks begin. It is generally open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. ECHO LAKE TO SUMMIT LAKE. 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!) Evans road (Colorado 5). 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. Continue under the cliff bands (25) to reach the saddle (26) between Mt. Here is a better look at it, the Summit Lake again. Warren and Mt. The hardest part is the last 6 miles from Summit Lake up the steep switchbacks to the top. 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. 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. 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. 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. 28 miles uphill (56 miles rt). 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. Fees are charged per vehicle or per person for hikers and bikers. Echo Lake is a delightful mountain park with picnic benches, lake fishing, and views of snowcapped peaks. What a climb. Spalding, near the north end of Summit Lake (12,900'). The race organizer was working the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Route. The Cascade and Pikes Peak Toll Road Company took on the major task of building a road to the top of Pikes Peak. View down to Echo Lake from four miles up Mt. 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. 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. The answer is pretty simple, if a bit unromantic: tourism. The best time ever was set in 2004 by Tom Danielson in a mind-bogglingly fast one hour, forty-one minutes and twenty seconds. I digress! You've now bagged one of Colorado's "14ers" in a unique fashion. 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? The finish is at Echo Lake. 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. Summit Lake is a perfect place to start a climb up Mount Evans. 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. Ride up Colorado 103 to just past Echo Lake and then turn right onto Route 5 to the summit. From here, its just under 30-miles to the summit of Mt. I’m still not quite sure if I managed the feat or not, but that’s irrelevant. At that time we were with some inexperienced hikers, and I wanted to give them an easy day. 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. View that much bigger 240 and then Colorado Highway 103 to the top. 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