Cross another awesome outdoor activity off your list for this summer due to the coronavirus. The highway to the summit of Mount Evans will not open in 2020.
Mount Evans is the closest fourteener to Denver, and the 28-mile drive south from Idaho Springs rises nearly 7,000 feet. The iconic peak’s snowcapped, east-facing slopes are often shown looming behind the Denver skyline in panoramic promotional photographs of the city.
The road is closed at Echo Lake, 14 miles from the summit.
Driving to the 14,264-foot summit is a popular summer activity for families and tourists. Some park at Summit Lake (elev. 12,840 feet) for a 5-mile hike ascending the final 1,400 feet. The Summit Lake Park is part of Denver Parks and Recreation’s mountain parks system.
The road is managed by the U.S. Forest Service, Denver Mountain Parks and CDOT. The road will remain closed to motorists, but a notice posted by the forest service said there are no plans to prohibit use of the highway for non-motorized use, including hiking and biking. Users should be aware that they may encounter CDOT maintenance activity on the highway, however.
“Since the highway will remain closed to motorized use for the 2020 season, CDOT crews plan to perform necessary maintenance of the highway that can’t be carried out when the highway is open,” the forest service advised. “This includes filling potholes and fixing damaged delineation markings which outline the edges of the highway and also alert motorists to any obstacles covered by snow. This work will help improve the condition and safety of the highway greatly as all involved agencies look ahead to the 2021 season.”
Mount Evans and Pikes Peak are the only Colorado fourteeners with roads to the top.
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