Mount Evans Recreation Area & Scenic Byway

Area Status: Closed
Clouds rolling in at mile marker 5, giving drivers the illusion of driving above the clouds.

The Mount Evans Scenic Byway climbs over 7,000 feet in its 28-mile length, reaching an altitude of 14,130' feet. Idaho Springs serves as the starting point to the byway, which is the highest paved road in North America! This drive offers visitors scenic views of the Continental Divide, mountain goat and bighorn sheep herds, marmots, birds and apline wildflowers, and the Rocky Mountain Bristlecone Pine trees. The Mount Evans Recreation Area offers easy access to Colorado’s inspiring high mountain environment. 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!

The Mount Evans Scenic Byway is jointly managed with the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Mount Evans History - Learn about the history of the mountain and the road.

Watch this helpful video by Colorado Parks and Wildlife for important information to know before visiting Mount Evans.

At a Glance

Reservations: Reservations are required for vehicle entry. Go to to create an account and purchase your ticket.
Fees: Please see for all fees and additional information.
Usage: Heavy
  • No camping, campfires or stove fires except in designated campgrounds or dispersed campsites.
  • Dogs must be on leash
  • Special Events (Family Reunions, Weddings, and other Non-Commercial Group events) are not permitted along Highway 5 or at developed sites located on the corridor. The developed interpretive sites on this corridor are designed for interpretation and education for the public and are not appropriate for special events as they are continually at or over capacity. CFR: § 261.16 Developed recreation sites. Prohibited: (a) occupying any portion of the site for other than recreation purposes.
Closest Towns: Idaho Springs, CO; Bergen Park, CO
Water: No
Restroom: Vault Toilets
Operated By: Highways operated by CDOT - Colorado Department of Transporation

General Information


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.


Road Cycling

Recreation areas with activity Road Cycling:
Difficulty Level: Easy to Difficult

Viewing Wildlife

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Wildlife:

Viewing Scenery

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Scenery:

Interpretive Areas

Recreation areas with activity Interpretive Areas:

Scenic Driving

Recreation areas with activity Scenic Driving:
Pavement Type for Parking Paved
Size Restrictions Vehicles over 30' long are not recommeded on Highway 5 (Mount Evans road) due to the steep, narrow, winding road.
Corrals Vehicles over 30' long are not recommeded on Highway 5 (Mount Evans road) due to the steep, narrow, winding road.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Featured Events


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  Elevation : 
7,000' - 14,130'