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Hiking Mt Evans Scenic Byway
Trail Map to Mount Evans Scenic Byway

 
 


There are three marked hiking trails along the Mount Evans Scenic Byway:
  1. The Walter Pesman Trail -- from the Walter Pesman Alpine Garden to the Mount Goliath Natural Area. Or you could say from the Mount Goliath Natural Area to the Walter Pesman Alpine Garden. I prefer the downhill hike. Regardless of the direction hiked, I have never had trouble getting a rid back to where my van was parked. Covering 612 vertical feet, this moderately difficult 1.5 mile hike take about 45 minutes one way. Sturdy footwear is recommended as the trail covers steep, uneven terrain. A walking stick is also recommended.

  2. The Walter Pesman Alpine Garden Loop trail is a 1/4-mile loop that starts and ends at the Walter Pesman Alpine Garden Parking Area (also know as upper Goliath parking area). This above timberline trail is excellent for viewing alpine flowers during the summer months.

  3. The Summit Trail is a short 1/4-mile trail from the Summit Parking Area to the Summit of Mount Evans (14,264 feet). This last 130 vertical feet climb to the top is highly recommended for the view or if for no other reason so you can tell all your friends: "I climbed a 14,000-foot mountain in Colorado on my vacation!"


There are eight non-marked hikes (with four destinations) that can be rated as moderate in difficulty:
  1. Mount Evans (from Summit Lake) is usually via three unmarked routs:
    1. The easiest route is via the road that is 5 miles long. You can shorten the route by cutting off the road at the saddle between Mount Evans and Epaulet Mountain.
    2. The east slope approach starts about 2 miles from Summit Lake and is a direct scramble up the west slope. The hike is up the tundra and boulder slope is strenuous but not difficult.
    3. The most difficult approach leads west around Summit Lake (counter-clockwise) to Mount Spalding, then along the northwest ridge of Mount Evans to the top. The 2 1/2 mile hike has an elevation gain of 1,800 feet, but gives you the opportunity to climb two mountains. The view along this route is spectacular.


  2. Goliath Peak (12,216 feet) can be climbed from two directions. The first is to start at the Walter Pesman Alpine Garden, walk down the Walter Pesman Trail, about 1/2 mile and then head upward over the rocks and tundra to the summit. This moderate hike is about 2 miles roundtrip and involves an elevation gain of 300 feet. The second route is more strenuous by starting in the Mt Goliath Natural Area and climbing about 1/2 mile to the top. There is no trail, and the elevation gain is 700 feet.

  3. Rogers Peak (13,391 feet) can be climbed from two directions. The first is to start at the Walter Pesman Alpine Garden. There is no trail, so just head up the ridge toward the top of the peak. The peak is about 1 1/2 miles away with an elevation gain of 1,300 feet. The second approach is to start from Summit Lake, hike along the edge of Mount Warren, continue along the tundra and rock ridge crossing a small saddle about a mile northeast of Mount Warren. The roundtrip is about 4 miles with a total elevation gain of 800 feet.

  4. Mount Warren (13,307 feet) is a short 1/2-mile hike (1-mile roundtrip) from Summit Lake. There is no trail and the elevation gain in 500 feet.


Two non-marked hike can be rated as relatively difficult and not recommended unless you are an experienced mountaineer:
  1. Mount Bierstadt (from Mount Evans) is only 200 lower and 1 1/2 miles from the Mount Evans summit. Connected by boulder-strewn ridges and the Sawtooth. It is possible to cross the Sawtooth without ropes; it is not advisable. Any route from Mount Evans to Mount Bierstadt other than across the Sawtooth involves a loss of altitude of about 2,500 feet and is also not very practical.

  2. Lincoln Lake is 800 feet below the road on the east side of Roger Peak. It can be approached in three ways:
    1. There is a very obscure trail that follows timberline south to the lake from the Mt Goliath Natural Area parking area. In general, follow timberline for about 3 miles south to Lincoln Lake.

    2. The shortest route is about a mile down the ridge just north of the lake. Go east on this ridge from the road to about timberline. This will put you east of the lake, so head back west keeping to the edge of timberline. Although short, this rout requires some scrambling through boulders and fallen timbers.

    3. Lincoln Lake can also be reached by trail from Summit Lake via Trail #82 and Trail #45 or from Entrance Station Campgrounds via Trail #75 and Trail #45. (See Hiking the Mount Evans Widerness Area.)
 
     
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