From the parking areas, the trail descends gently toward Scott Gomer Creek. This first part of the trail passes through a prime example of willow carr (a wetland willow thicket), providing prime white-tailed ptarmigan habitat. Damage to the willow carr by large numbers of peakbaggers winding their way through the willows, trying to keep their feet dry, and the erosion problems higher on the mountain, was what spurred the decision to create a single, sustainable trail to the summit. After much debate over wilderness values vs. resource damage, it was decided to construct the raised boardwalk, which allows the natural flow of water through the area and the recovery of vegetation along the route. At 11,470 feet, the trail crosses Scott Gomer Creek and begins its ascent toward the summit. From the creek, the trail climbs gradually up through the willows, then up onto the broad northwest shoulder. Nearing the summit, the trail grows steeper and less well defined on the rocky ridge. Pick your route to stay on the rocks and avoid the vegetation growing in the pockets in between.
At a Glance
* A mandatory free self-issuing permit is required for the Mount Evans Wilderness. * Free permits are available at each trailhead or entry point into the wilderness.
Mount Evans Wilderness * Dogs must be on a hand held leash * No motorized or mechanized equipment * Camps, campfires and stock, where allowed, at least 100 feet from water and trails * Group size limited to 15 people and/or 10 pack/stock animals per party * Certified weed-free hay is required for stock
Georgetown or Grant, CO
Vault toilet at trailhead
U.S. Forest Service
Directions: Drive west from Denver on Interstate 70. Exit at Georgetown and follow the signs 11.5 miles from Georgetown to Guanella Pass. Drive west from Denver on US 285 approximately 40 miles to Grant. Turn right (north) on to Park County 62. Drive 13.5 miles to Guanella Pass.