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Mount Evans Scenic Byway - Clear Creek County, CO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
N 39° 39.392 W 105° 35.749
13S E 448886 N 4389806
Quick Description: The stunning road that ascends Mount Evans was designed by F. L. Olmsted, Jr., in preparation for this area to become a National Park (which never happened).
Location: Colorado, United States
Date Posted: 9/25/2012 4:09:32 PM
Waymark Code: WMFBXV
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Rayman
Views: 3

Long Description:
"The Mount Evans Scenic Byway begins at the junction of Interstate 70 and State Highway 103 near Idaho Springs, Colorado and continues on State Highway 5 through a corridor between the Mount Evans Wilderness where it ends near the summit of Mount Evans. The byway is 28 miles (45 km) in length and gains over 7,000 feet (2,100 m) of elevation. Achieving a final elevation of 14,130 feet (4,310 m), this is the highest paved road in North America.

The road was originally planned by the Denver Mountain Parks system to link Summit Lake Park and Echo Lake Park to their lower altitude parks in the foothills. As originally planned, the road ran from Bergen Park near Evergreen to Echo Lake, and then to the summit, while the road from Echo Lake down into Chicago Creek Canyon was a secondary branch. From the start, the road was planned in terms of the scenic vistas along the way. The route was set by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., and for a while, between 1915 and 1920, it was to be the primary access road for a proposed National Park comprising much of what is now the Mount Evans Wilderness Area.

There is a park fee charged if using parking lots and facilities along the upper portion of the byway. Prior to 2012, the Forest Service was charging anyone entering the highway at the entrance to Highway 5. This portion of the byway is often narrow, with sudden dropoffs that have no guardrails. It is typically only accessible from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, although the amount of access and specific dates vary depending on the weather and road conditions.

This route was designated a Forest Service Byway on July 1, 1993 by the US Forest Service and has also been designated a Colorado Scenic Byway by the Colorado Department of Transportation." (from (visit link) )

The drive can be a bit of a 'white-knuckle' drive. There are several places to pull off to photograph as well as several trail heads for hiking. There is an alpine garden maintained by the Denver Botanical Gardens; ruins of the Crest House and the University of Denver Meyer-Womble Observatory. Prepare for cool weather and sudden storms. This road is also a very popular bicycle ride, so do please be careful passing cyclists. The wind can make a bicyclist very unstable.

There are many Waymarks along this route. The top of the road is very close to the summit of the mountain - so one can easily 'summit a Fourteener!' The summit benchmark is at N 39° 35.317, W 105° 38.567.

A time lapse of the drive may be found at (visit link) . The above coordinates are of the Ranger Station entrance by Echo Mountain Lake Lodge.
Type of Public Space: Wilderness area

Job Number: 05582

Architect: Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.

Visit Instructions:
There are no specific visit requirements, however telling about your visit is strongly encouraged. Additional photos of the park to add to the gallery are also nice, but not required. Pictures with a GPS or you in them is highly discouraged.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log  
WalkingDuo visited Mount Evans Scenic Byway - Clear Creek County, CO 6/28/2013 WalkingDuo visited it
netdust visited Mount Evans Scenic Byway - Clear Creek County, CO 10/8/2008 netdust visited it

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