Mount Evans Summit / Interpretive Site

Area Status: Closed
This area is Closed

Photo of the summit's parking lot, Crest House, High Altitude Lab and the Meyer-Womble Observatory.

Drive the highest paved road in North America. Whether it is for the views, wildlife or history, “The Top” offers something for everyone. To the east, look out at the plains of Colorado and the Denver area. To the west, take in views of the continental divide, including Grays and Torreys peaks, the only 14,000 foot mountains on the Continental Divide. Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park is visible to the north. Pikes Peak, South Park and New Mexico's Sangre de Cristo Mountain's can be seen to the south. There are three significant structures at “The Top,” two of which are historic: the ruins of the Crest House, the High Altitude Lab and the Meyer-Womble Observatory. The Crest House was first open to the public in 1942, serving as a restaurant and souvenir shop. In 1979, the Crest house burned in a propane fire. The oldest structure up there is The High Altitude Lab. A wooden double A-frame building that was constructed by the University of Denver in 1935 to support cosmic ray research. In 1979, the University of Denver added a telescope, which in 1997, was expanded into an observatory. Take advantage of interpretive signs onsite that tell the story of these structures in great detail.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: 24/7 when the road is open.  The road and access to the Summit of Mount Evans is closed at Summit Lake the day after Labor Day.
Area Amenities: Interpretive Site,Accessible,Toilets,Parking
Fees The standard amenity recreation fee is required at Mount Goliath Natural Area and the Summit of Mount Evans Interpretive Site. While the road is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week (weather permitting) the fee is only required during daily hours of operation: 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM.  Vehicle Pass (1-12 occupants) is $10 for a three day pass. Summit Lake Park, owned by the City of Denver, has a separate $5 pass, which also can be purchased at the Mount Evans Welcome Station. There is no fee for driving the road if visitors don't plan to stop at one of the fee areas.
Permit Info: Valid recreation pass must be displayed on vehicle.
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: No camping, campfires or stove fires except in designated campgrounds or dispersed campsites. Dogs must be on leash.
Water: None
Restroom: Vault toilets
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service

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  Elevation : 
10,500' start of Highway 5 - 14,264'