Hiking Mount Evans – Denver’s Closest 14er

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Article Categories: Hiking
Article Tags: CO 14er | Colorado | Day Hikes


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As the closest 14er to Denver, with a road directly to the top, Mount Evans is one of the most frequented mountains in Colorado. Hiking this peak can be done in various ways, from a half mile quick hike to a strenuous 17.2 mile very difficult trek. This post will help you understand all of your options.

Difficulty – Strenuous
Distance – 17.2 miles miles round trip (27.68 km)
Height – 14,264 feet (4,347.7 meters)
Elevation gain – 5,520 feet (1,682.5 m)
Duration – 12 to 14 hours (book time)
Hike Class: Class 2
Seasons – Year-round (caution and experience needed in winter – see below)
Trailhead Location – Echo Lake Trailhead – 10,690 feet (directions below)

 

Need To Know Information:

  • Mount Evans Recreation Area requires vehicle permits/reservations to enter. You can purchase those reservations here.
  • The road up Mount Evans is closed during the winter. The status of the road can be found here.
  • Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash.

 

Trail Map

Mount Evans Trail Map

Mount Evans Trail Map

 

Trails

 

Echo Lake Trailhead | 17.2 Miles Round Trip | 5,520 Feet Elevation Gain | Class 2

This is the longest route up Mount Evans is an absolutely stunning hike. This is a well traveled path that features incredible views, takes hikers past the gorgeous Chicago Lakes, and eventually to the summit of Mount Evans. Hikers will reach treeline just shy of 5 miles into the hike. 5.9 miles into the hike, hikers will reach Summit Lake at just shy of 13,000 feet. The summit of Evans is clearly visible and close by then with only 2.7 miles remaining.

 

Summit Lake Trailhead | 5.8 Miles Round Trip | 1,500 Feet Elevation Gain | Class 2

The Summit Lake Trailhead is a great option for hikers that need or want a bit of a shorter hike to the summit of Evans. This is also where the road closes in early October.

 

Guanella Pass Trailhead | 9.25 Miles Round Trip | 3,100 Feet Elevation Gain | Class 2

This is the far less traveled route up to Mount Evans. Hikers will begin on the Mount Bierstadt trail for about 1 mile. Hikers will cut left off of the Mount Bierstadt trail to head towards (but to the left of) the Sawtooth. This route is hard to follow since it is less traveled and the trail if often very hard to see. We recommend checking out 14ers.com to see this route laid out with pictures.

 

Hiking in Winter

Mount Evans is a great winter hike. With various routes to the summit it can be done in various ways. There is substantial avalanche risk along the Chicago Lakes route, so the recommended route is from Guanella pass. Hikers will need to add 1.6 miles round trip as the road to Guanella Pass is closed. Even this route has avalanche risk, so this route, and any route, extreme caution should be taken. Be aware of the avalanche risks.

 

Directions & Parking

Squaw pass road is gorgeous. Their is a large amount of parking around Echo Lake for the longer hike up to Mount Evans.

To Echo Lake Trailhead:

To Summit Lake Park:

When the road is open, drivers can continue all the way up Mt Evans road to the summit.

To Guanella Pass Trailhead (the road to Guanella Pass Trailhead closes in winter about .8 miles shy of the trailhead):

 

Current Weather Conditions

Here is a detailed forecast for the next 4 days. Check Mountain Forecast beforehand.

Silver Plume, CO

 

Additional Pictures

Views of Summit Lake from Mount Evans Summit

Views of Summit Lake from Mount Evans Summit

Views from Mount Evans

Views from Mount Evans

Mount Evans Summit Observatory

Mount Evans Summit Observatory

Views of Chicago Lakes

Views of Chicago Lakes

Mount Evans Pano Views

Mount Evans Pano Views

Views of Mount Bierstadt

Views of Mount Bierstadt

Mount Bierstadt from Mount Evans

Mount Bierstadt from Mount Evans

Views of Summit Lake

Views of Summit Lake

Max DesMarais
Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about

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