It’s Memorial Day weekend 2018 and we remember and honor all that have given their lives for our country. 🇺🇸
Memorial Day weekend in Colorado signals the opening of the Mt. Evans auto road, unless of course, Mother Nature puts her snow boot foot down. The Mt. Evans auto road allows visitors to drive up to the top of Mt. Evans, one of Colorado’s 50+ peaks above 14,000 feet. I am happy to report that the road opened on time this holiday weekend. The top 5 miles of the road to the summit close the day after Labor Day. If you have family or friends coming to visit in this short window, I highly recommend the drive. The auto road is one of the most scenic drives in the country. I have previously written about this auto road, so please check out my blog post: “Mt. Evans: A 14er in Denver’s Backyard” for more details and safety stuff.
This particular blog is all about my hike a few weeks ago, before the auto road was opened to vehicles for the short summer season. Aaron and I decided to hike up the road to get in summer shape for hiking at high elevation. We did this same hike last spring and really enjoyed the peacefulness, the physical workout, and the scenery.
The hike up the auto road begins at Echo Lake, elevation 10,768 feet. It’s pretty simple: park your car at the lodge, walk around the gate, and start hiking up the paved road.
There are terrific, expansive views in every direction. With the exception of a few passing bicyclists and runners, we had the road to ourselves.
The road was clear of snow, until about mile 4 1/2 and even past that, the patches of snow weren’t too deep to maneuver through.
Once we hit the sections of snow, we had to be very cautious around potential avalanche paths. I walked ahead first, with Aaron closely monitoring me until I reached safety.
The “waves” of melting snow were breathtaking and my favorite part of the hike.
Sometimes it’s pretty darn fun to be playing up high in the snow in early May.
Taking a little breather. We hiked 11.48 miles roundtrip.
We turned around and headed back down at 12,375 feet, a gain of 1627 feet. Great cardio workout!
Lincoln lake, far below. A hike for another day 😉
Old trees. Really really old trees. These are Bristlecone Pines and they range from 900-2000 years old! You can check them out approximately 3 miles up the auto road at the Mount Goliath Natural Area.
So here is our happy trail selfie. Not pictured is the next day and the day after that. Holy calf muscles! Ouch. So I guess wearing hiking boots for almost 12 miles on pavement was a big oops? Ugh. Another footwear lesson learned for this girl.
Til next time, you big beautiful mountain 😘
For more info on the Mt. Evans Recreational Area, check out their page: