The Mount Evans hill climb is a Colorado classic that every cyclist must check off the list. It will literally challenge body, mind and spirit. It’s essentially an all-day event that will require some careful planning in terms of nutrition, hydration and gear.
What Makes It Great
You’ll need all the cold weather cycling gear you can gather for the ride down. It will be cool when you start climbing early in the morning from the Mount Evans Forest Service ranger station just outside Idaho Springs (Mt. Evans exit 240). As you begin the climb it will gradually warm up and you’ll be working harder and harder, so you’ll be stripping off layers. When you get up past Echo Lake at 10,597 feet above sea level, things will start to cool off a little bit. When you reach Summit Lake at 12,830 feet, you’ll start layering up again before the final push to the summit at 14,307 feet. This will give you about 27.5 miles on the bike and 6,500 feet of elevation gain - not bad for a day's work.
Spend a few minutes on the summit taking in the history and the surrounding views. Hydrate, eat (if you have friends who want to drive a support vehicle, you can have a down jacket in the car and plenty of food and drinks), then layer back up with gloves, beanie, booties, etc., and begin the thrilling ride all the way back down the hill.
This is a ride and an experience you will never forget.
Who is Going to Love It
The key to success on this ride is dressing in layers. That, and a supreme level of fitness and fearlessness of course. But really, anyone reasonably fit can complete the ride if you have patience and the right clothing.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Start your climb from the Mount Evans Forest Service ranger station just outside Idaho Springs (Mt. Evans exit 240 off I-70W).