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Mount Evans Climb: Altitude Challenge

This is one of the only Rough Rider routes exclusively on pavement. But it's such a great big ride we include it in our club rides.

To either side of the Mt. Evans road is wilderness area, no bikes are allowed on any single track once past the entrance gate. But don't let the pavement fool you. Mt. Evans provides the highest paved road in North America ending at around 14,
130 feet above sea level.

For the full effect many people start at or near Idaho Springs and ride up Chicago Creek Road which turns into Squaw Pass Road. A good alternative is a start in Evergreen following Squaw Pass Road from the East. For those with less time, parking is available at Echo Lake just before (Idaho Springs side) the entrance gate to Mt. Evans Road.

If you've cycled to Echo Lake consider stopping at the lodge near the turn off to Mt. Evans Road. This is your last chance for services, although you can find bathrooms at some of the trailheads along the way.

An entrance fee is required to ride up Mt. Evans Road. Currently the bike or hike fee is $3.00. Once past the entrance gate, head up the road through evergreen timber stands, slowly giving way to alpine tundra. There's not much shoulder, but cars typically go slow given the dramatic nature of the road and steep drop offs. Once above timberline the route presents some great views and a feeling of being on top of the world. Snow may also be piled high on either side of the road in spring and early summer above timberline.

Well above timberline the road skirts past Summit Lake. Summit Lake rests at the base of the East cirque and not really near the summit. The road from here steepens and has several tight switchbacks to the top.

Once at the road's end around 14,130 feet above sea level it's a short hike to the actual summit of Mt. Evans at 14,264 feet. There's also a stone structure and observatory. It's typically cold and windy at the top. So once you've looked around, it's time to ride back down the way you came. Be certain to keep your speed under control while descending because there aren't many guard rails and lots of exposure.

Mount Evans has it's own website at A bicycle page on this website has detailed information on route elevation gain and grades.
For Mount Evans regulations and fees visit the National Forest Service website. Visit the Bob Cook Memorial Mt. Evans Hill Climb website for additional route information.

Route Information

Google 3D Image
Google Route

Web Resources
NFS Mt. Evans page
Mt. Evans Race

The iconic image of Mt. Evans from Denver

Mountain Goats on Mount Evans

There's an observatory and this stone structure near the summit