Mount Evans Recreation Area

 Photo of Mount Evans by Ed McQuiston

Mount Evans Recreation Area

The Clear Creek Ranger District of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland invites you to the Mount Evans experience, accessed via the highest paved road in North America!  The Mount Evans Recreation Area offers easy access to Colorado’s inspiring high mountain environment.  See Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, mountain goats, marmots, birds and alpine wildflowers!  Take a short walk to the top of your first 14er!  Overlook spectacular views of distant mountain peaks, alpine lakes and glacier valleys!  Walk amongst the oldest living organisms on earth!  A drive to the top of Mount Evans will take your breath away, in more ways than one!


Alerts and Notices 

The Mount Evans Road is closed for the season.   For more information visit the Colorado Department of  Transportation website.


Open Season

 The Mount Evans Road and Scenic Byway (Colorado Highway 5) is  typically open the Friday of Memorial Day weekend through the first weekend in October, depending on weather conditions. 


  • From I-70: Take exit 240 in Idaho Springs. Follow Highway 103 south until it meets Echo Lake. Take Highway 5 to the top of Mount Evans.
  • From Bergen Park: Take Squaw Pass Road/Highway 103 west and travel to Echo Lake. Take Highway 5 to the top of Mount Evans

Come Prepared

Conditions can change quickly and drastically on Mount Evans.  Regardless of the weather conditions at the road's base, come prepared for any of the following: intense sunlight, cold temperatures, snow, hail or rain, extreme wind, and low oxygen levels. The road can close any day throughout the summer due to winter-like conditions.  If you have any concern whether or not the road is open, contact the Clear Creek Ranger District Visitor Center at 303-567-3000 or check road conditions with Colorado Department of Transportation before beginning your trip.  Vehicles over 30' long are not recommended on Highway 5 (Mount Evans road) due to the steep, narrow, winding road.


Fees and Regulations

The Forest Service charges a standard amenity recreation fee, authorized by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, for the services and amentities provided at  two developed sites within the Mount Evans Recreation Area.  The fee is required at: Mount Goliath Natural Area and the Summit of Mount Evans Interpretive Site.  These extremely popular and sensitive areas provide significant opportunities for outdoor recreation at a high elevation sites.  The substantial federal investments within the Mount Evans Recreation Area provide key amenities and services necessary for the comfort, education, enjoyment and safety of the visiting public.

Mount Evans Area Descriptions and Amenities At-A-Glance

Learn about all the things Mount Evans has to offer.

Mount Goliath Natural Area and Dos Chappell Nature Center

Only three miles up the Mount Evans Road is the Dos Chappell Nature Center, your first major point of interest. The nature center has exhibits that interpret the adaptations of plants and animals living in sub-alpine and alpine environments. Outside you will find Bristlecone Pine trees 900 to 2,000 year old and an alpine garden. This center is a cooperative effort with the Denver Botanic Gardens and the U.S. Forest Service who staff the building and are available to answer questions.

Summit Lake Park

As you continue your ascent up Mount Evans, just before mile marker 10 is Summit Lake Park and your next major point of interest. Here you will find awe inspiring views of a landscape carved out by ancient glaciers over thousands of years.

The Summit of Mount Evans Interpretive Site

The summit awaits you at the end of this 14 mile road. Spectacular views of the Continental Divide, the possibility of seeing mountain goats and Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, the ruins of a historic restaurant and the opportunity to hike a short distance to the summit of Mount Evans are just a few attractions at The Top.

Mount Evans History

Learn about the History of the mountain and the road. 

Ranger Led Activities

We invite you to join one of our daily Ranger led programs on Mount Evans. Topics include: Bighorn Sheep and Mountain Goats, Mount Evans History, Tundra Ecology, Bristlecone Pine and Mountain Wildlife. Programs vary in length, from 15 to 45 minutes.


Would you like to volunteer with us?  There are many opportunities to become a Mount Evans Forest Service Volunteer.