Mt. Evans
standard West Ridge from Summit Lake
!Climbing mountains is dangerous! Please read the Mountaineering Safety Page and make sure you have a map+compass and can use them effectively. A GPS or cell phone can be very helpful with navigation but you should still be able to use a map+compass in case your device stops working.
? (WINTER) HOLD ON! If you don't have much high-elevation, winter climbing experience, be careful in your planning and take a partner. All 14er routes are more difficult and more dangerous in winter.
 Class 2 
Risk Factors:Exposure: Moderate
Rockfall Potential: Moderate  
Route-Finding: Moderate  
Commitment: Moderate  
Trailhead:Evans/Summit Lake
Start:12,850 feet
Summit:14,264 feet
Total Gain:2,000 feet
RT Length:5.50 miles
USGS Quad.:Mount Evans
County Sheriff:Clear Creek: 303-679-2376
National Forests:Arapaho, Pike
Wilderness Area:Mount Evans
Last Updated:6/2019


Take Exit 240 at Idaho Springs on Interstate 70. Drive south on Colorado 103 for 13.5 miles to Echo Lake. Pay the entrance fee and drive 9 miles up the Mt. Evans road (Colorado 5) to the Summit Lake parking area.


From the Summit Lake parking area, walk north past an old rock building to locate the start of a trail that heads toward the north end of the lake - #1 and #2. Hike to end of the lake and locate a signed trail that climbs up 13er Mt. Spalding's east ridge - #3 and #4. Do not take the lower trail that goes left around the lake. Climb up through some rocks to reach easier terrain on the ridge - #4 and #5. Near 13,200', stay left below the ridge crest to bypass rough terrain up to the right. Near 13,300', climb back toward the ridge crest - #7. Taken from the summit of Evans, #8 provides an overview of Spalding's east ridge. Pop out on the ridge near 13,400' to reach easier terrain - #9. Cross a small trough and continue along the rocky ridge to reach summit of Mt. Spalding ( 39.60006° N, -105.65714° W) - #10, #11 and #12.

#13 is a good look at Evans' west ridge. Follow cairns and/or trail segments south down to the Evans-Spalding saddle at 13,600' - #14. Follow cairns south toward the end of the west ridge - #15 and #16. At 13,800', reach the end of the ridge. From here the remaining hike is a bit slow going. Continue toward a hump on the ridge (#17) and reach a notch ( 39.59141° N, -105.65462° W) before the hump.

Drop to the right slightly (#18) and follow the cairned trail east. The trail stays below the ridge for most of the remaining hike. From the hump on the west end of the ridge, it's almost 1 mile to the summit. #19 shows the summit from a prominent bump called "West Evans" and #20 is the view when you get closer. Hike to a corner of the summit tourist trail and follow it toward the summit ( 39.588360° N, -105.643333° W) - #21 and #22. Descend via the same route.


IMPORTANT: This route enters the Mount Evans Wilderness area. Wilderness areas have special regulations and restrictions for party size, dispersed camping, campfires, etc. Also, dog owners should read the wilderness information carefully because some wilderness areas prohibit dogs to be off-leash and/or limit how close dogs can be to lakes and streams. If you have questions about the wilderness area, please contact a U.S. Forest Service office for the National Forest(s) listed above.

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Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.
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