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“Mount Evans - A destination not to be missed”

Mount Evans Scenic Byway
Ranked #5 of 257 things to do in Denver
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: This high-altitude scenic drive climbs more than 7,000 feet in just 28 miles, reaching an altitude of 14,264 feet.
Reviewed September 12, 2009

We've lived in the Front Range area for almost 7 years now and still frequent Mount Evans. It is one of the most spectacular scenic destinations around. This is one of the first places we take visitors when they come to stay with us and at the end of their stay it is always one of their favorite activities.

The road is closed several months out of the year due to snow, so check the web site to make sure the road is open before you head out. The road typically closes not too long after Labor Day and doesn't reopen until June.

When you do go, you're assured sites of yellow-bellied marmots sunning on the rocks and mountain goats sitting high atop the rocky vistas. If you time it right (early-mid July), the roadside on the way up is absolutely covered with wildflowers, a nature photographer's paradise. If you want to get that perfect photo, be sure to bring along a tripod and a camera w/ either a timer or a remote control.

There are a couple of alpine lakes on the way to the summit, one of which has a trail leading to an absolutely spectacular overlook. Wear shoes comfortable for hiking. There are a number of trails along the way that you will want to explore, even in the tundra areas.

The road is always lined with bicyclists, but if you're like me and not fit enough to bike to the top, the scenic drive is breaktaking - - literally since there are a number of tight turns along the switchbacks.

One of the reasons Mount Evans is so spectacular is because it is all natural. Unlike Pike's Peak, there are no commercial establishments at the summit. There are clean restroom facilities at the summit (as well as all along the road up to the summit), but that's it. No gift shops and no restaurants. If you want to plan to eat a meal during this drive, either take it with you or plan to stop at Echo Lake Lodge at the bottom. They have great food and even better homemade desserts. They also have a very nice assortment of items in their extensive gift shop.

Whether you live in the area or you're just visiting, take the time to visit Mount Evans. You won't regret it. Do bring a jacket as it is almost always necessary at the summit. And don't forget to bring a camera - - you'll want to take pictures at every curve of the road!

9  Thank GreatDaneMomDenver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 18, 2009

My sister and I drove up to Mount Evans early October 2007. The top portion of the road was closed due to ice on the road. No matter what time of year it is, know that it is probably 50 degrees colder on Mount Evans than in Denver. So if even if its July, you still will want a jacket or sweater. Spring and Fall, bring a very warm coat and hat. I don't know if the road is even open in winter.
The drive up is scenic, but takes a while. Make sure you have planned three hours once you get off I70 to drive up, walk around, take pictures and drive back down. From Denver plan on four hours. Plan more time if you want to hike around Echo Lake.
Echo Lake is very beautiful and a great place for a picnic and a hike if you planned it in your time. You don't want to picnic higher up the road, as it is very cold near the top.
Closer to the top of Mt. Evans, there are long-horned sheep who hang out on the road waiting for handouts from drivers, so drive slowly. Also note the Joshua trees. They are very interesting!
Take time to read the informative signs and it will make it worth your while. The view is amazing if the skies are clear. But sometimes even days that aren't cloudy can be hazy, so choose the clearest day you can to take this trip.

4  Thank EarthGirl71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2008

I went on Sept 20, 2008. I hesitated to go because I was staying in downtown Denver and didn't want to make the drive. My boyfriend pushed for us to go and I'm glad he did. It took about 1 hour to drive which wasn't too bad. Once you enter the Mt Evans entrance you have to drive about 15 more miles to get to the top. I have to warn you that the road is narrow and winding so if you are afraid of heights, this is not for you. The temperature in downtown Denver that day was in the 70s but when we got to Mt Evans, there was snow on the mountains and it was cold! What a shock because we came in shorts. We knew it would be cold and brought jackets but it was freezing!
I recommend making the drive here but be prepared to bring your winter coats!

7  Thank roseflower00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2008

The Mt. Evans scenic byway is GORGEOUS. I can't understand why this isn't the #1-rated attraction in the Denver area. It's reasonably close but feels a million miles away... the scenery is mind-bogglingly beautiful.

You go south out of Denver and then rise slowly through coniferous forest, past wind-twisted trees with orange-brown-and-gray-swirled bark, past a beautiful mountain lake... then the road gradually twists and turns and rises up above the treeline into alpine, tundra-like terrain. All along the way, you get the
most spectacular vistas of the Continental Divide. The world just stretches out and down... beautiful, snow-covered mountains... gorgeous scrubby tundra plants with purple wildflowers... mountain goats everywhere (even saw some babies)... funny, frisky, yellow-bellied marmots sunning themselves on rocks.

The air was crisp and clean, about 55 degrees, and the ground was green grass, red rocks, white snow, all beneath an amazing blue sky and clouds of every description... snow-topped mountain ranges stretching blue and purple and green and gray out in every direction, and below, you can see where the alpine
terrain ends and lush forests start to carpet the mountainsides. On the way back down, we stopped briefly at a half-frozen lake, cupped in a half bowl of snow-covered cliffs. The whole trip just felt other-worldly and beautiful.

We almost didn't do this... this has got to be the most underrated attraction in the Denver area. If you love beautiful scenery, make some time in your schedule for this... you won't regret it. We went in mid-June.

12  Thank ojimon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2006

We decided to drive up Mt. Evans after visiting Rocky Mountains National Park that day. Unfortunately we were rather late, we took almost an hour to drive the 30 miles from the Interstate to the top of the road and arrived there just before sunset. Furthermore a thunderstorm was quickly approaching us so we didn't have the heart to hike the last few feet to the top of the mountain. But even the view from the parking lot was breathtaking and white bighorn sheep all around us. The drive up the road is not for everyone, it's quite winding and partly narrow, a little bit challenging even for us who are used to the Alps. You should be pretty free from giddiness, there's no guardrail along the road and it goes down a long way...
But what a feeling, going up in your car to over 14.000 feet. In the evening and at night you can see the lights of Denver and watch impressive lightning during thunderstorms, if you are not afraid of it. Be careful driving down the road at night, especially because of animals crossing the road (and the missing guardrail).
Next time we would drive up earlier and in good weather.

22  Thank anhinga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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