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Mt. Evans Scenic Byway

Mt. Evans is just outside Denver and is one of those drives that people just do to say they drove on the highest paved highway in the United States to the top of this beautiful mountain. Completed in 1927 to attract visitors to Denver, the Mt. Evans Scenic Byway is beautiful throughout the year, but a season favorite when the Aspens are changing to yellows, oranges, and bright reds. Once you reach the top, find the Mt. Evans' marker and put your foot to take a picture—a long-time tradition to prove you made it to the summit of 14,258 feet.

Before You Go

During this drive, you’ll slowly travel up high to the summit. That’s a big change in elevation from the Mile-High City. We always recommend taking plenty of water and food with you when traveling to such elevations. During this drive, you’ll pass scenic lakes and forests, animals like mountain goats and bighorn sheep, and then soon you’ll pass above the timberline near the summit. Just because it’s a warm and sunny day in Denver, doesn’t mean it will be calm up top. Always dress in layers in Colorado—you just never know!

The highway charges $10 per vehicle (more for larger passenger vans). You also need to know that this drive is often closed to do the weather conditions throughout the year. Be sure to look it up well in advance so you don’t find yourself disappointed. However, there are plenty of hikes, places to bike, and other activities nearby that will keep you happy. Travel from Idaho Springs or Evergreen, or do a loop through the area. It’s all well worth the money you’ll spend in gas.

Feeling the Altitude? Stop for a Bite!

Idaho Springs and Evergreen are both wonderful small towns just in the mountains from the foothills. Here you’ll find plenty of restaurants to stop for lunch or dinner. We love these towns because of how close they are to Denver., giving us an easy escape for a Saturday morning hike. When traveling into higher elevation, there is nothing better for your body than to pull over and eat. This will help you adjust faster and you’ll feel a lot better. Try eating at the famous Beau Jo’s Pizza or get the “It’s a Lox” sandwich at Two Brother’s Deli. For some great live music, check out The Little Bear bar. Constantly changes its music scene, you’ll love the old, warn-in wood, and greasy, yummy bar food.

Photo and Information Courtesy of Karl Snyder