Colorful Travels:

Colorful Colorado and beyond…

Mt. Evans, Summit Lake, Bristlecone Pines, oh my!

I seriously needed a mountain fix last weekend. This is why I moved to Colorado in 1989, after all…for the crisp mountain air, flowing creeks, and the serene beauty.

Mt. Evans makes for a quick afternoon trip from Denver. From Idaho Springs, take CO Hwy 103. The road is pine and Aspen lined until you turn off onto Hwy 5 and head up above timberline. It’s also a beautiful road to travel the during Aspen season, which is typically the last week of September-first week of October.

Echo Lake is the first stop before taking Mt. Evans Road to the summit. Cost is $15 per car for a three-day pass. Many times you will find mountain goats grazing along the road. But, this day, was not our day. We didn’t see any goats, but did spot a man feeling lucky taking a-too-close picture of a large elk.

Echo lake

The view of Echo Lake below, heading up to the summit of Mt. Evans

Mt Evans road

Heading into the clouds…driving the switchbacks are not for the faint of heart. Can you say “no guard rails”?

Once on your way to the summit, the first stop is Summit Lake. This crystal clear lake is at 12,830 ft. elevation. And, it is impressively beautiful.

Summit lake

Panorama of Summit Lake, which is not at the summit 😉 That is my 9-almost-10-year-old in purple.

Summit lake

Seriously, don’t be a jerk and go tromping on the tundra.

Summit lake

Purple mountain flower.

Summit lake

Summit Lake beauty.

Summit lake

Another panorama of Summit Lake, different view, because I can’t get enough.

Next stop up the road is Mt. Goliath Research Natural Area with 160 acres dedicated to the Bristlecone Pines, for study and protection of these enchanting pines. The Bristlecone Pines in the park are 700-1,600 years old making them some of the oldest tree species on earth. Pretty cool, right?

Mt. Evans

Bristlecone Pines Loop.

Mt. Evans

Do not skip this. Get out and stretch your legs, take in the views…maybe you’ll get lucky like we did and spot a deer!

Mt evans

Bristlecone pines

Mt evans

Loving the bark on the Bristlecone Pines…I could photograph these all day long.

Rocky Mountain park

View of another lake heading up to the summit. It looks close but it’s not…it’s way down there.

Mt. Evans Summit: 14,130 ft. elevation. And, baby, it’s cold up here!

Mt evans

Come prepared! It is cold up here…and windy. And there was a lot of brave souls who chose to hike to the tip top of the summit. We were not one of them 😉

Mt Evans summit

We settled for taking pictures from the tiny parking lot at the summit.

Mt Evans summit

Mt Evans summit

Mountain flower

The road to Mt. Evans Road has this amazing waterfall. You can’t miss it. It is on the main road (CO Hwy 103) from Idaho Springs. It is part of the Chicago Lakes trail and it is a must stop.

Idaho springs

Mt Evans colorado

Explore, play in the water, it’s cold and amazingly clear.

Mt Evans

Mt Evans

Mt Evans

Mt Evans

I might be a little obsessed with bark.

Mt Evans

I can’t wait to get back in the mountains! We will be in Lake Dillon next month for a weekend. I am so excited to see and explore an area I haven’t spent much time in.

“The mountains are calling and I must go.” Unknown

One comment on “Mt. Evans, Summit Lake, Bristlecone Pines, oh my!

  1. Pingback: My Mountain Fix | Colorful Travels:

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All photos, unless otherwise noted are property of Jeri Stunkard. If you like it, Pin it, but please don't steal or copy it. Thank you.

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