Mt. Evans

Mt. EvansIt’s Sunday, our last day in Golden, Colorado, before heading west.  I’m not sure when I’ll visit with my daughter again, so I want to do something fun today.  Initially we were going to head back over to Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre for some more hiking and exercising, but since Al and I already got in a 45 minute hike at the park early this morning and daughter and I have already explored the park together, I opt for something different; a scenic drive.

When daughter arrives at the RV, I greet her with, “Let’s drive to the top of the Continent and take the highest paved auto road in North America”.  This is said with great excitement and enthusiasm.  With hesitation and a decided look of concern on daughter’s face, she responds, “Ooh….kaaay”.  All the while looking over my shoulder toward Al with the look of “Help me daddy”. LOL

Mt. Evans

Summit Lake on the way to the Mt. Evans summit

Ashton and I always have a great time on our adventures, and usually encounter some sort of funny situation that makes us laugh until tears stream down our face from laughter.

“So where exactly are we going, mom and why?”  “I want to go see goats….Rocky Mountain Goats to be exact.  It’ll be fun”, I respond.  I once again hear the proverbial drawn out, questioning, “Oh….kaaay”.  We pack a picnic lunch, bid farewell to Al, and hop in my little red truck.Mt. Evans

Mt. Evans

Mt. Evans scenic byway…it’s a long way down or up!

The Mount Evans scenic byway is located 60 miles west of Denver and is the highest paved road in North America.  The journey climbs over 9,000 feet in elevation and temperatures drop from 3-5 degrees for every 1,000 feet.  The weather is typically cold and windy, with an average summer time temperature around 42 degrees Fahrenheit at the summit.  During our visit today it was a balmy 56 degrees and dropping as the clouds started rolling in.

It’s common to have afternoon storms roll through in the Rocky Mountains and quite often accompanied by lightning.  This is one of the main reasons Al and I hike before noon.  Lightening around here is deadly and not to be taken lightly.

As we pull around the last hairpin turn and approach a parking spot at the summit, Ashton blurts out exuberantly, “Goats….I see goats”.  The vehicle is barely in park when she jumps out moving quickly toward these adorable mountain goats with me in quick pursuit, of course.

Rocky Mountain Goat

Rocky Mountain Goat

Rocky Mountain Goat

We spend 15 to 20 minutes hanging out with the mountain goats.  The baby was too cute for words.  They do occasionally cause traffic backups while crossing the road at their leisure.Mt. Evans

Mt. Evans

don’t loose your balance up here!

The summit parking lot sits at an elevation of 14,130 feet.  From the parking lot, we take a rugged quarter mile hike up to 14,264 feet.  Ashton and I notice a number of visitors struggling with the altitude and rocky terrain.  She and I don’t seem to have a problem.  Although I had fun teasing daughter that I was experiencing symptoms of hypoxia.  This wonderful mother can’t pass up an opportunity to share such vast knowledge with her off spring  🙄

We boulder around…… what feels like the top of the world, being careful not to take a wrong step.  The views are stunning.Mt. Evans

Mt. Evans

As we start the  drive back down the mountain, we find a place to pull off and a great spot for our picnic lunch…..lunch with a view.Mt. EvansMt. EvansMt. Evans

Ashton and I are so glad we took this day trip to the top of the continent.  Another memorable mother/daughter adventure filled with plenty of laughter…..scrapbook worthy, for sure.

I won’t lie, the drive at times did turn my knuckles white and daughter more than once politely (or maybe not so politely) asked me to please stop looking around and pay attention to the road.  The road is narrow and consists of lots of hairpin turns, sudden drop offs, and no guardrails.  This is an excursion I would highly recommend……start early and take your time.Mt. Evans

Rocky Mountain Goat

Mt. Evans


57 thoughts on “Mt. Evans

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    • It was a super fun day….can’t wait to do it again. We were going to try and hit Yellowstone or the Black Hills at the end of August but I think we’ll meander around Colorado. Still so much we’ve never seen in this beautiful state.

  4. Fantastic post and great photos, Ingrid. I especially like the one where the three goats have posed for you, staring intently into the camera, with a lazy winding road in the background.
    Sounds like a wonderful adventure.

  5. How fantastic that you were able to spend the day on “top of the World” with your daughter. Nice, too, that the goats were so accommodating. 🙂

  6. They views are absolutely unbelievable… and to get up that high is magnificent… love the mountain goats as well … I assume they are pretty endemic to that area… what a lovely trip to share with us thank you…

    • Yes, those views were unbelievable. It’s a trip I hope to repeat but take slower and explore along the way. Glad you enjoyed 🙂

  7. Excellent views! You guys looked beautiful and can always pass as siblings. The goats, the goats, those are adorable. I would like to see one day but not sure if I can drive that mountain.
    Great pictures.

    • Oh, Steve could handle that drive no problem. Next time I’ll do it during the week and get an earlier start. You guys would love it.

  8. Thank you for this! 2 weeks ago we had a friend in town from the UK who had never been to Colorado or the US before. We thought a nice hike in the mountains would be great, but on the drive, we changed our plans to this. My hubs is from here, and I’ve lived here over 10 years and we’ve never been up to Mt Evans!! We made about 3 switchbacks on the road, and our friend was SO scared that my thoughtful husband offered to turn around. He accepted the offer, so we turned around and found a nice little hike. I really wanted to make that drive though. What we did see of the road was amazing. On 1 website they say Mount Evans is the road into the sky. No doubt. So thanks for showing me a little glimpse of what we missed! BTW- glad you didn’t do this in the RV.

    • I chuckled at that last sentence…..yep, the RV would not have fit well on that road….lol. It is so worth the trip to the top. I recommend midweek or after tourist season and start early. I wanted to hike a bit at Summit Lake but didn’t have time. It’s a great all day excursion….a must 🙂

  9. I think I’ll just live vicariously though you and be an armchair traveler for this one. Heights scare the heck out of me and the road would have been too much for me

    You captured the excursion beautifully – I especially love the mountain goat photos! 🙂

    • Glad you enjoyed the ride. There were times I was a little uncomfortable on this drive and then just took it slow….not for the faint of heart. Thank you!

  10. We have had a couple harrowing drives…at least for “moi”..One was driving up Pike’s Peak, another was driving the back road up to Cripple Creek…I also might add the time we pulled our Cougar fiver up Kitt Peak, AZ to see the observatory…and back down…Those trailer brakes were working overtime…I totally love mother/daughter time…it’s the BEST!!

    • Oh, that back road up to Cripple Creek is a white knuckler….we did it once and never again. Lived with Pikes Peak in my backyard for almost 18 years and never went to the top…..bad. Now I’ll have to go back as a tourist….lol. We do our best to avoid taking our fiver on roads it shouldn’t go….so far, so good. Yes, mother/daughter time is the best!

  11. What a fantastic mother/daughter day!! We love those daughter times:) I can’t wait to make this drive. Lunch with a view most definitely!!

    The mountain goats are beautiful. You’re right, that baby is so cute. No wonder you stayed so long.

    • A trip to add to the list. There were lots of hiking opportunities I hope to catch next time. There WILL be a next time…..this trip is worth a repeat. Love those mother/daughter adventures!

  12. Your shots are very good and are inspiring me to make the trip this year. We considered it last year, but was afraid our little 4 cylinder car, tuned for the lowlands, wouldn’t like it very much – maybe this year.

    • Thank you and trips like this one are too amazing to pass. We saw lots of little cars making the journey, but the air is most definitely thin!

    • Water…..drink lots and lots of water and take aspirin. Al and I came to CO for our 5 year anniversary and this flatlander experienced altitude sickness. We didn’t even hike. Since you’re on RV time, take it slow and allow yourselves to adjust to the altitude and you’ll be fine. You’ll notice you will also need to adjust to the lack of humidity. And that drive, so worth it!

      • One aspirin a day? Love water…thanks for tips! I will love leaving the Midwest humidity. Emptied the house pretty much this a.m…..hubbie bday dinner later and sleeping in Cozybe Gone. Move to campground next Monday. PS Meant to write first time…you two girls are darling!!!

  13. My husband and I are on a mission to be outside as much as possible this summer, and Mt. Evans is definitely on our list. It’s so close to Denver. Also, GOATS. I had no idea I’d be able to see those rascals at the top. Are they usually in the park, or was your experience an exception?

    • From what I understand the goats are always meandering around the top some where. The next time I go to Mt. Evans (worth a repeat) I’d go midweek and start early or go after tourist season. There’s some hikes worth exploring even for a short distance. From Golden to the summit the drive took us about 2 hours. So it makes a great all day excursion…..a must see!

  14. What a spectacular drive! And goats! So cool!

    Hans and I are heading for Grand Lake on Monday, we’ll be there for two weeks. Until then we are still in Buena Vista. Let us know if you will be in the area too…

    Metamorphosis Lisa

    • Ah, Grand Lake a favorite of mine. I love entering RMNP from the west. So very pretty. We’re in Grand Junction right now for a month. I’ll be checking your blog to see what your plans are after Grand Lake.

  15. Okay, if I ever get to Colorado, I have to do that road (just to be on a highest something!). Your pics are great. What an awesome mother-daughter outing.

    • Daughter and I always manage to have a great time. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone visiting the area. My first fourteener!

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