Trails traveled: Mount Evans Trail, Difficulty: Black (Difficult)
Loop, 4.5 miles round-trip, 2,000ft elevation gain, Summit elevation: 14,265ft.
Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
- Summit Lake
- Mount Spalding
- Above the treeline
- Moderately busy
- Early riser
I hiked my second fourteener yesterday. Mount Evans is a towering mountain that is visible from southern suburbs of Denver most of the time when there is a clear view of the mountains. There is also a road leading to the summit of Mount Evans, which is known as the highest paved road in North America.
The road to the peak closed last week after Labor Day, but the road ends at Summit Lake until about October 7, when that stretch of highway closes. There is a trailhead at Summit Lake that includes a trail up the western slope of Mount Evans, along the ridge over Mount Spalding at 13,848 feet of elevation, and then ends at the top of Mount Evans. On the North ridge of the hike, there is are some epic views of Mount Bierstadt, the nearby fourteener at 14,065 feet, Grays Peak at 14,278 feet, as well as Torreys Peak at 14,275 feet. Way off in the distance, you can even see Longs Peak at 14,259 feet.
This was a harder hike compared to my first fourteener that I completed on Labor Day, Mount Sherman, which was a longer hike and had more elevation gain from the car. This hike was more technical and required a lot of focus to ensure that a misstep didn’t end in tragedy. The weather was a bit overcast and as we get into Fall weather, the cooler temperatures led to less sweat and consuming less water and fewer electrolytes.
The trail up was at least three miles long and then there was a steep decline down the mountain to the parking lot.
Overall, it was a good hike that left me feeling tired and a little sore. The perfect results from any good outdoors endeavor.