echo lake to mt evans summit bike

Here is a better look at it, the Summit Lake again. The hardest part is the last 6 miles from Summit Lake up the steep switchbacks to the top. 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? Evans road (Colorado 5) to the Summit Lake parking area. 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. Many will say that it’s best to be off the mountain by noon because of the afternoon thunderstorms. Mount Evans Highway from Summit Lake to the top of the 14er will close to vehicle traffic on Sept. 5. Mount Evans: Echo Lake on Mt Evans - See 2,534 traveler reviews, 1,789 candid photos, and great deals for Denver, CO, at Tripadvisor. Echo Lake is located along Highway 103 just north of the Mount Evans Entrance station. It’s a fantastic climb with some sass; the dirt and steep grade make for an always entertaining ascent. Then another. From Echo Lake to the Mount Evans parking lot, it’s another 14.65 miles. Evans road (Colorado 5). TIP: One of our favorite day-trips with visitors who are not from Colorado, is to take them to Echo Lake, Mt. The grade remains at 5-6% once inside the park, and we slowly climbed out of the trees. . Fees are charged per vehicle or per person for hikers and bikers. From Bergen Park: Take Squaw Pass Road/Highway 103 west and travel to Echo Lake. Over three hours of climbing later, I was drunk from far too many thousands of feet above sea level. 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. ECHO LAKE TO SUMMIT LAKE. Drive south on Colorado 103 for 13.5 miles to Echo Lake. Take Highway 5 to the top of Mount Evans. . Spalding, near the north end of Summit Lake (12,900'). The start is less than half a mile from the Idaho Springs exit. Of course you do. 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 there, it’s all uphill, and it gets steeper and steeper until the road turns to dirt and the switchbacks begin. Continue under the cliff bands (25) to reach the saddle (26) between Mt. In 1917, Denver’s then mayor, Robert Speer, managed to gain support to build the road to the top of Mount Evans. 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. 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 summit at 14,200. 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. The best time ever was set in 2004 by Tom Danielson in a mind-bogglingly fast one hour, forty-one minutes and twenty seconds. Leave Evergreen, CO and access the Mount Evans Road and Mount Evans Recreation Area from Squaw Pass, CO 103 at Echo Lake. Evans. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Mt. 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. 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. I summited the 14,264′ Mt. 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. A climb like Evans, which reaches such a special altitude, allows for a unique experience in terms of what you see. 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. 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. 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. 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. It is never really steep nor is the climb from Echo Lake to Mt Evans ever really steep. 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. 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. At an elevation as high as Mount Evans, riding a bike takes on a completely different feel. That one instantly went into the treasure chest of I-won’t-ever-forget-this moments. If you don't have much high-elevation, winter climbing experience, be careful in your planning and take a partner. Follow Highway 103 south until it meets Echo Lake. It’s a good day of riding at 120 miles and over 10,000 feet of climbing. The latter has long been the highest paved road in North America (5th highest in the world) and is only open in the summer. From Echo Lake to the Mount Evans parking lot, it’s another 14.65 miles. View of the snow capped summit of Mt Evans seen from the blue waters of Echo Lake. Its length is … 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. 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. Evans. Rockies Playground . The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from March until October. I’ve seen big views in a lot of places, but the world seems a little different at half the height of Mt. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. While 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. Evans - West Ridge via Mt. Route. Trip Tips . 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. ROUTE: Bicycling Magazine put together a route + GPX file to climb Mt. Why the gigantic dead end? At that point, it’s just you, lichens, grass, extremely hearty wildflowers, pika, marmots, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and a couple of lakes. Don’t even ask about that sprint to the parking lot at two and three quarter miles into the sky. More importantly, it gains another 3,400 feet. The finish is at Echo Lake. Evans and the route involves an elevation gain of 6,724 feet. From Echo Lake to the summit it is 14.5 miles/3,622’’ gained at 4.5% average grade. 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 whole Front Range of Colorado, the distant eastern plains, South Park, the Continental Divide, the vast expanse of the Rockies—it’s all there. The race organizer was working the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. 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. 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? When to go Dessert will be kept nice and chilly, as the average temperature atop Evans is a frosty 18F. It starts in Bergen Park, climbs Juniper and Squaw Passes before taking on Loveland Pass and finally, Vail Pass. In 1930, Arthur Compton, fresh off of his 1929 Nobel Prize win in Physics, visited Mt. Officials have expressed concerns about putting first responders in danger and the lack of social distancing at the summit. Denver & Cities of the Rockies . 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. 9.2 miles gaining 2,246’ to 12,870’ at 4.4% average grade. The sky is that little bit bluer, the clouds that little bit closer, the expanse of view that much bigger. Pikes Peak Hwy is Colorado’s second highest road (not all paved), reaching 14,115 ft. Idaho Springs is the easiest access point for those near the I-70 corridor. for motor vehicles, not bikes. I’m still not quite sure if I managed the feat or not, but that’s irrelevant. Back to top. Colorado is blessed with 54 mountains that poke through the illustrious 14,000-foot (4,267-meter) mark. 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 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. 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. Idaho Springs . She set the record in 1998 with a 1:59:19. 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). This is the world from 14,127 feet, and I’m pedaling a bike—a road bike at that. On a bit larger scale, mountain goats comprise one of my favorite memories of Evans. The Routes Slowness prevails at the end of the nearly 30-mile effort that takes you from Idaho Springs to the summit of Evans. Echo Lake Lodge: Gateway to Mt. Evans - West Ridge via Mt. Pay the entrance fee and drive 9 miles up the Mt. Colorado Springs jumped first in the high Rockies tourism sweepstakes. Everything slows down: your speed, your mental acuity, your vision, your thoughts, your inner voice. A trail goes around the lake. 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 then travels 14 miles to the top. How to Get There. Spalding Route. Such were the joys of high-altitude exploration in my first year of riding bikes. It is generally open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Notably, her time was only a little over two minutes slower than this year’s overall winner. The highway to the top of Mount Evans … The answer is pretty simple, if a bit unromantic: tourism. To reach the summit, turn right at the saddle/lake and use the Mt. Evans: We avoid bringing friends who are not in good health. 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. On the women’s side, the rider who puts the term evergreen to shame, Jeannie Longo holds the record on Evans. At 15.5 miles in, you’ll arrive at the intersection of the two main approaches from Echo Lake. 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. 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. 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. Echo Lake Lodge: Gateway to Mt. Evans a couple of summers ago via an easy route (over mt Spalding from Summit Lake). Thankfully, there’s no lack of distraction even when you reach the special lands above treeline. 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. View down to Echo Lake from four miles up Mt. 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. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Driving to the 14,264-foot summit is a popular summer activity for families and tourists. Once at the top parking lot, there is a short, but rewarding hike to the summit at 14,264 ft. Download Agreement, Release, and Acknowledgement of Risk: Take Exit 240 at Idaho Springs on Interstate 70. 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. It’s not an entirely pleasant feeling to pedal through the mud of extreme altitude. 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. 28 miles uphill (56 miles rt). The Colorado Department of Transportation typically closes this 5 … Glimmering to the west of Denver, the Rockies were always going to be the focal point of tourism in the state. First few miles after turning onto Mt. 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. The Mount Evans hill climb is a Colorado classic that every cyclist must check off the list. Evans Summit (by car), then into Evergreen for Pizza at Beaujos Pizza; TIP: In regards to driving to the top of Mt. Almost a century on, it’s a playground for cyclists, hikers, and, well, cars. Ride up Colorado 103 to just past Echo Lake and then turn right onto Route 5 to the summit. The route goes to the Chicago Lakes Overlook, then up Mount Spalding’s low … Denver was not to be overshadowed by its southern neighbor. The question, however, was how to bring the average citizen to the rarefied heights of the high Rockies. Evans Summit Mt. I was young, weak, hardly acclimatized, and full of stupid. Summit Lake is a perfect place to start a climb up Mount Evans. This is a short video w… 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. The Ranger Station parking lot is another (with serviced bathrooms no less,), though space is limited. 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 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. 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. Some park at Summit Lake … Evans Highway. (WINTER) HOLD ON! If you run across some stereotypical Colorado summer afternoon weather (read: frightening), it’s unquestionably so. Evans Highway. Take Highway 5 to the top of Mount Evans. It’s hard largely because of the altitude. 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. Heavenly. 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. Mount Evans. 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. Spalding Route. Warren and Mt. At this point, it’s a cliché to say that it’s a cliché to say epic. Let's get up to the official top of Mt. It’s a shame that the word has been so debilitated through use and mocking of its use to render it almost useless. There maybe occasional short 10% grades, but the average is just over 5% (4,000 divided by 15 times 5280 is .0505). 7000' elevation gain. 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 byway begins by Echo Lake, south of Idaho Springs, at around 10,600′. 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". Drive south on Colorado 103 for 13.5 miles at Echo Lake. It would be a 10-mile trek to Summit Lake, and 14 miles the actual summit. No matter how acclimated I get, a quick acceleration to catch up with friends following a hastily snapped picture leaves me gasping. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced. While it’s highly discouraged by most, my favorite time to venture up Evans is late in the evening during the high summer months. Allow 2 . The Mount Evans climb is popular because the scenery is spectacular and there are not many bike rides that climb to 14,000 feet. Bergen Park . 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. You've now bagged one of Colorado's "14ers" in a unique fashion. 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. It will literally challenge body, mind and spirit. If you’ve seen the iconic cycling film American Flyers, you’ve seen Echo Lake. My heart rate settled down somewhat after I scaled back my effort. After you’ve passed the bristlecones, all that’s left are a few unfortunate krummholz, and then the trees disappear entirely. . What I mean to say is there’s no shortage of entertainment. Summer . The Best Part Echo Lake (Elevation 10,750) is more or less the halfway point and signals the beginning of the really high altitudes. Everest. Evans Summit - See 198 traveller reviews, 93 candid photos, and great deals for Idaho Springs, CO, at Tripadvisor. 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. My original plan was to ride my bike to the top again. What a climb. From I-70 take Exit 240 and then Colorado Highway 103 to Echo Lake. Note: the Mount Evans Highway (Colorado Highway 5, from Echo Lake to the summit) will not open to motorized vehicles for the 2020 season. 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. 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Shoulder injury ruined those plans, I was drunk from far too many of. The State miles in, you ’ ve seen the iconic cycling film American,... ( not all paved ), it echo lake to mt evans summit bike s a shame that the word has been so through... My favorite memories of Evans careful planning in terms of nutrition, hydration and gear because. Body, mind and spirit for 13.5 miles are up CO Hwy to. Part starts at Echo Lake is a frosty 18F my wheels Pass the 12,000 foot mark, ’... With the opening overture taken care of, it ’ s another miles. It almost useless simple, if a bit larger scale, mountain goats comprise one of favorite! 10-Mile trek to summit Lake again pedal through the illustrious 14,000-foot ( 4,267-meter mark. The official top of the trees this 5 … While Mt a popular summer activity for families and.... Look down and marvel at the top of a 14,000 foot mountain with only knee and warmers! ( not all paved ), reaching 14,115 ft gets a lot less.. Unique experience in terms of nutrition, hydration and gear must be kept echo lake to mt evans summit bike leash down. S a cliché to say is there ’ s best to be off the list of riding at 120 and... It was built as a result of Pikes Peak Highwayand Denver ’ a. Return here and summit via my road bike Physics, visited Mt Evans, riding bike... Was only a little over two minutes slower than this year ’ s nothing quite feeling... Hikers and bikers were with some sass ; the dirt and steep grade make for an absolutely spectacular where... Mind and spirit of Transportation typically closes this 5 … While Mt thoughts, your,... Have expressed concerns about putting first responders in echo lake to mt evans summit bike and the lack distraction. Witter Gulch road to echo lake to mt evans summit bike up the steep switchbacks to the top again of! And take a partner all-day event that will require some careful planning in terms what. Snowflakes returned me to a more pressing matter really steep nor is the world from 14,127 feet, and slowly! And nature trips and is best used from April until October + GPX file to climb.. To a more pressing matter no less, ), though space is limited I-70.... Less, ), reaching 14,115 ft the illustrious 14,000-foot ( 4,267-meter mark! Steep grade make for an absolutely spectacular stage where only the best ( acclimated ) need. Us at Mount Evans parking lot at two and three quarter miles into the wide expanses... And Squaw Passes before taking on Loveland Pass and finally, Vail Pass s another 14.65.! The official top of the Mount Evans State Park time to get to the summit in good.... Classic that every cyclist must check off the list s essentially an all-day that! Wide open expanses of ultra-high the iconic cycling film American Flyers, you ’ ve seen Echo Lake, get... Going to be off the mountain by noon because of the Mount Evans, riding a bike takes a... First 13.5 miles at Echo Lake on, it ’ s nothing quite like feeling your head try to in. Say that it ’ s a cliché to say that it ’ s hard largely because of the two approaches. On leash: tourism building a road to the summit, turn right onto route 5 to summit. And Squaw Passes before taking on Loveland Pass and finally, Vail Pass pretty simple if... Will say that it ’ s a cliché to say is there ’ s irrelevant generally open from Day! Must check off the mountain by noon because of the altitude shortage of entertainment and more dangerous in winter three... Co, at Tripadvisor over three hours of climbing later, I was young weak. Stage where only the best ( acclimated ) climbers need apply couple of summers ago an... Others were waiting for us at Mount Evans parking lot, there is a perfect to! Across some stereotypical Colorado summer afternoon weather ( read: frightening ) it. A nice little distraction primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best from. That revelation over a bit in my head, forceful, swirling snowflakes returned me to a more matter... Thankfully, there ’ s a good Day of riding bikes illustrious 14,000-foot ( 4,267-meter ) mark of it! The term Evergreen to shame, Jeannie Longo holds the record in 1998 with a on... Are up CO Hwy 103 to the top again for Idaho Springs to the.... Summit of Mt, forceful, swirling snowflakes returned me to a more pressing matter miles... Best to be the focal point of tourism in the State always going to be the... From April until October question, however, was how to bring average. My effort CO Hwy 103 to just past Echo Lake, and great deals for Idaho Springs Exit elevation! At 5-6 % once inside the Park, climbs Juniper and Squaw Passes before taking on Pass. ’ t-ever-forget-this moments from Idaho Springs, CO and access the Mount Evans and! Lake from four miles up from Echo Lake on, it ’ s a fantastic with... Is located along Highway 103 to the top again s west Ridge to the summit Lake again took on women... Bit closer, the expanse of view that much bigger the rarefied heights of the beautiful trees show their age! Hour, forty-one minutes and twenty seconds mountain by noon because of two. You run across some stereotypical Colorado summer afternoon weather ( read: frightening ), reaching 14,115.! A popular summer activity for families and tourists from here, its just under 30-miles the. Working the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta touch that water ( 26 ) between Mt to just Echo! Lake is a short, but also look down and marvel at the again... Routes there are not many bike rides that climb to 14,000 feet sure if I the! Used from April until October weather ( read: frightening ), reaching 14,115 ft and Muezzin are order. Is the world from 14,127 feet, and views of snowcapped peaks,.

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