Mount Evans hike
The Mount Evans hike takes you to 14264ft, with the route going along the West Ridge via Mt. Spalding is an epic hike that will provide separation from the crowds on this popular Colorado 14er!
From Denver, take I-70 west towards the mountains. Take Exit 240 in Idaho Springs towards Mt Evans via Mt Evans Rd. Enter the Mount Evans Wilderness and pay an entrance fee at the ranger station. Continue driving up Mt Evans Rd for approximately 9.0mi to Summit Lake parking area.
|When to do|
April to November
No camping allowed on Mt. Evans
Yes, primitive pit toilet
Yes - On Leash
Out and back
Route Description for Mount Evans
The Mount Evans hike starts at Summit Lake, which is the highest lake in Colorado at 12835ft above sea level. Summit Lake is nestled into a glacial cirque between the north face of Mount Evans and the east face of Mount Spalding.
From the Summit Lake parking lot, follow the trail north, past a historic rock building, to an overlook of Chicago Lakes. A sign marks the start to Mt. Evans Trail and climbs up the East Ridge of Mount Spalding. Don’t take the trail up the ridge, and not follow the other route that follows the base.
After reaching the summit of Mount Spalding, make your way down to the Evans-Spalding saddle, following cairns south toward the West Ridge of Mount Evans. This rocky section of trail may require the use of your hands and has two prominent features. The first is a notch in the ridge which you must pass and the second is a false summit known as “West Evans”. Keep going and you’ll reach the summit of Mount Evans is at 14264ft.
After enjoying a break at the summit of Mount Evans, your return is to either head back the way you came, or take a steeper and more direct route down the Northeast Face Route of Mt. Evans.
Check out some other great hikes around Denver:
There is a charge of $15 per vehicle to drive up Mt Evans Rd. Parking at Summit Lake is a $5 charge.
Altitude sickness is a real thing! Even though Mount Evans is one of the easier 14er, give yourself time to acclimate to the higher elevations and stay hydrated!
Start before 7am to have fewer crowds and to give yourself plenty of time to get off the mountain before afternoon thunderstorms.
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