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)
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
Areas of blowing snow and a slight chance of snow showers. Partly cloudy. Low around 1, with temperatures rising to around 3 overnight. Wind chill values as low as -26. West northwest wind 30 to 33 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Areas of blowing snow and a slight chance of snow showers. Mostly sunny. High near 11, with temperatures falling to around 9 in the afternoon. Wind chill values as low as -23. Northwest wind 23 to 33 mph, with gusts as high as 49 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Patchy blowing snow before 5am. Partly cloudy. Low around 7, with temperatures rising to around 9 overnight. Wind chill values as low as -14. Northwest wind 17 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph.
Patchy blowing snow. Partly sunny, with a high near 18. Wind chill values as low as -11. West northwest wind 15 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph.
Areas of blowing snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 8. West northwest wind 15 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 36 mph.
Areas of blowing snow. Mostly sunny, with a high near 16.
Partly cloudy, with a low around 8.