Highest Paved Road in North America
By Stacia Sellers
The Colorado Department of Transportation has announced that Mount Evans Highway (CO 5) is officially open up to the summit of Mount Evans (14,264 feet). CDOT crews have been working diligently to have the road clear and safe for motorists in time for summer.
The United States Forest Service oversees the Mount Evans Recreation Area, which more than 150,000 people visit each summer. Three developed sites are located along the corridor. Two are in the National Forest: Mount Goliath Natural Area and Nature Center and the Summit of Mount Evans Interpretive Site; while Summit Lake Park is owned by the City and County of Denver.
Visitors wishing to stop at all three sites may purchase both the $10 Forest Service pass and the $5 City of Denver pass at the Mount Evans Welcome Station, or they may choose to purchase just one or the other, depending on the destination. Fees are per vehicle. There is no fee for driving through the area unless you plan to visit one of these sites. Bicyclists are exempt from the fee. In addition, federal interagency passes are honored at all three sites.
Mount Evans is the highest summit of the Chicago Peaks in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The prominent fourteener is located in the Mount Evans Wilderness, 13 miles southwest of the City of Idaho Springs between the Arapaho National Forest and Pike National Forest.
The peak is one of the characteristic Front Range peaks, dominating the Denver and western skyline of the Great Plains along with Pikes Peak, Longs Peak, and nearby Mount Bierstadt. Mount Evans can be seen from over 100 miles away to the east, and many miles in other directions. Mount Evans can be seen from points 65 miles south of Castle Rock, and 95 miles north to Fort Collins, and from areas near Limon 105 miles east.
For more information, please visit www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/mountevans; call the Clear Creek Ranger District’s information line at 303-567-4382; or stop by the Idaho Springs Visitor’s Center at 2060 Miner Street, east of Downtown Idaho Springs.
Information regarding the opening and closing of seasonal highways in Colorado is available at all times on the cotrip.org website, by calling 511, or via subscription email or text. To subscribe, please visit http://www.codot.gov and click on the small letter icon at the bottom of the page. The link takes you to a list of items you can subscribe to, including General Travel Information – Seasonal Mountain Pass Closures/Openings.