Towering high above the Denver skyline at 14,000 feet, Mount Evans is one of the most beautiful accessible outdoor spots in Colorado. As the highest peak in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, it is one of 54 mountains in the state reaching 14,000 feet in elevation (nicknamed “the Fourteeners.”) As the closest to Denver it’s a popular spot to take in the beauty of the Colorado high mountain environment, yet it feels worlds away from the city.
From its accessible summit, the surrounding views of alpine lakes, glacier valleys, and other mountain peaks are dramatic. The scenic road to the top climbs more than 7,000 feet and is the highest paved road in North America, passing through five climate zones. The landscape changes as you climb, with bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and other wildlife as well as local wildflowers visible high above the timber.
Mount Evans is a popular day trip from Denver, with the Mount Evans Scenic Byway located just 60 miles west of the city. The easiest way to get there is by car on the Interstate 70, exiting at Mt. Evans. Vehicle passes are $10 for 1-12 people, or $3 for individual hikers and bikers.
The road from the entrance to the summit parking area is paved, and parking at the summit is usually available on weekdays (can be crowded on weekends.) You’ll want to allow two hours minimum to drive the road, and be aware that the section from Echo Lake to the Mount Evans summit is closed during winter. Be aware that it is often much colder at the top of the mountain than it is in the city. Dozens of hiking trails can be found in the area.