Captain Mountain Trail (#46)

A sign displays Captain Mtn. Trail No. 46 at the beginning of the trailhead.

Length: 8.9 miles ONE-WAY

Elevation: 8,796 feet - 10,611 feet

Trail Description:

  • From the Echo Lake Trailhead: Park at the trailhead area outside of the Echo Lake Campground. Follow the road through the campground past site #10 and you will see a trail marker for the trail on the right. Hike near Beaver Dam Creek through spruce/fir forest and meadows to the base of Captain Mountain. The trail continues down through lodgepole poine and aspen to the Captain Mountain Trailhead. Click here for more information about dispersed camping near Idaho Springs and Georgetown.  
  • Access from the Mount Evans State Wildlife Area: From the Bear Creek Guard Station, the trail gradually climbs through lodgepole pine and aspen forest. It skirts the bottom of the 9,869 foot Captain Mountain before meandering through meadows. The end is a steady climb through thick spruce and fir woods, up the canyon of Beaverdam Creek, and finally to the Echo Lake Campground.

Note: Mount Evans State Wildlife Area is open June 15 - December 31. Closed to vehicle access after Labor Day. 

View a COTREX trail map here.

At a Glance

Fees: A Habitat Stamp is required to enter the Mount Evans State Wildlife Area from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Permit Info: 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.
Usage: Light
Best Season: Hiking conditions are best from July through September.
Restrictions: Wilderness regulations apply in the 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.
Closest Towns: Idaho Springs; Evergreen
Water: Streams; treat water before drinking.
Restroom: Practice Leave No Trace principles.
Operated By: Colorado Division of Wildlife and U.S. Forest Service

General Information

Directions: From Denver, take I-70 west to Evergreen Parkway exit, go 6 miles south on CO 74 to Evergreen Lake, turn right on Upper Bear Creek Rd., 6.5 miles to County Road 480, go 3 miles right on County Road 480. Continue on road 195 to trailhead, on the right. Or take I-70 westbound, Idaho Springs exit #240 - Hwy 103. Go south 14 miles to the intersection of Hwy 103 and Hwy 5 (Mt Evans Road). Turn right on Hwy 5 then turn left to park at trailhead.


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