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Mount Evans + Mount Goliath

Mount Evans Recreation Area

Central Front Range, Colorado

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Mount Evans + Mount Goliath

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  • Water in motion in a stream on the way up to Mount Evans.- Mount Evans + Mount Goliath
  • Aerial view of the road up to Mount Evans from a spot between Mount Goliath and Upper Mount Goliath. Idaho Springs Reservoir and Echo Lake are to the left.- Mount Evans + Mount Goliath
  • Wildflowers abound in the Mount Goliath Natural Area.- Mount Evans + Mount Goliath
  • Millenary bristlecone pine trees can be found in the Mount Goliath Natural Area.- Mount Evans + Mount Goliath
  • Chipmunk and other wildlife inhabit this wilderness area.- Mount Evans + Mount Goliath
  • Trail through a bristlecone pine grove.- Mount Evans + Mount Goliath
  • Wildflowers in the Mount Goliath Natural Area.- Mount Evans + Mount Goliath
  • Bristlecone pine.- Mount Evans + Mount Goliath
  • Steller’s jay is one of the various bird species found below the tree line.- Mount Evans + Mount Goliath
  • Fall seems to arrive early around the tree line.- Mount Evans + Mount Goliath
  • Summit Lake.- Mount Evans + Mount Goliath
  • Temperatures can drop from near 60 degrees to 35 as a storm rolls through.- Mount Evans + Mount Goliath
  • Rainbow over Lincoln Lake.- Mount Evans + Mount Goliath
  • After the storm, a rainbow appears just above tree line.- Mount Evans + Mount Goliath
  • View southwest from the Mount Evans summit: Abyss Lake to the right, and Helms Lake to the left.- Mount Evans + Mount Goliath
  • Mountain goats inhabit the area after being introduced in the 1960s.- Mount Evans + Mount Goliath
  • Mountain goats at the summit.- Mount Evans + Mount Goliath
  • A young mountain goat feeding on the tundra near the summit.- Mount Evans + Mount Goliath
  • Sunset viewed from the Mount Evans summit.- Mount Evans + Mount Goliath
  • Sunset viewed from the Mount Evans summit.- Mount Evans + Mount Goliath
  • Milky Way behind millenary bristlecone pines with light pollution from Denver on the left.- Mount Evans + Mount Goliath
  • Star trails around the North Star behind bristlecone pine at the Mount Goliath Natural Area.- Mount Evans + Mount Goliath
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Beautiful alpine scenery. Can choose from short walks to longer hikes or rides.
Cons: 
Busy on summer weekends. Rapidly changing weather.
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Region:
Central Front Range, CO
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Summer
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

Mount Evans is one of Colorado’s 14ers, and it is accessible via a 14-mile drive that starts at 10,600-foot Echo Lake and ends very near the summit at 14,140 feet. Managed by the Forest Service and finished in 1930, this is the highest paved road in the country. Some people bike up the road, but most drive, and visitors can enjoy several beautiful hikes along the way. With great views of glacial lakes, alpine flowers, and wildlife, it makes for a wonderful day adventure –but be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions. Check weather and road conditions, and prepare for cooler temperatures even if the weather is sunny and warm at the base.

The Mount Goliath Natural Area, 3 miles up the road from the fee station, offers great interpretive displays of the local flora and history of the area. It also provides access to the Pesman Trail, an easy 2.5-mile round-trip hike with some 700 feet of total elevation gain. This hike passes through a bristlecone pine grove containing some of the oldest trees in Colorado, some over 1,500 years old. The trail crosses the tree line and ends at the Upper Mount Goliath area.

Six miles up the road is Summit Lake, a beautiful alpine lake surrounded by tundra at 12,820 feet.  A short hike to the north end of the lake offers wonderful views of the Chicago Lakes. It is also possible to hike up to the summit from there.

The last 5 miles are probably the best area in the country to observe wild mountain goats, and you may also see big horn sheep, marmots, and pikas. Although mountain goats are not native to Mount Evans, they were introduced in the 1960s and have since reproduced and called this place home. The summit is a half-mile round-trip hike from the end of the road.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(15 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(100 within a 30 mile radius)

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