"Mount Evans Wilderness" Idaho Springs by goingsolo
Idaho Springs Travel Guide: 8 reviews and 64 photos
Idaho Springs is a small town less than an hour from Denver. Its a tiny town surrounded by incredible scenery. In the summer, many raft trips depart from the area as snowmelt turns the rivers into whitewater adventures.
I spent a brief amount of time in Idaho Springs, once to drive to the Mount Evans Summit and the second time for an aborted raft trip. Mount Evans is one of Colorado's 14,000 plue foot mountains which are known as the 14ers. There is a paved road which leads to the summit which, incidentally, is known as the highest paved road in America.
Driving the Mount Evans scenic byway is reason enough to visit. The road closes for the winter but generally opens by Memorial Day. I got lucky on the 2003 trip as I was out there the week prior and the DOT finished its snow plowing early. After turning off the highway, you pass the small and seemingly unremarkable town of Idaho Springs. The road to Mount Evans quickly becomes dramatic in scenery as it winds past snowbanks and provides brief glimpses of mountains iced with snow and covered with trees. At the entrance to the Mount Evans scenic byway, you'll find the incredibly blue Echo Lake.
The byway is a 14-15 mile drive to the summit in a series of steep switchbacks. Its one hairpin turn after another. The road is narrow and there aren't any guardrails, and, in late May, it is flanked by 14 foot snowbanks which look like they can easily bury your car, but the view at the top is worth it. Also, watch for mountain goats who share the road with you.
- Pros:Incredible views
- Cons:scary drive
- In a nutshell:It was worth it
Mountain goats share the byway road with motorists and are spotted at various points en route to the summit. They are... more travel advice
If you're from out of state and your car is not used to the altitude, take it for a tune up. Many cars stall on the... more travel advice
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