Mount Blue Sky Scenic and Historic Byway Scenic Drive

The Highest Paved Road in the Northern Hemisphere

Mount Blue Sky

Timed Entry Reservations

Mount Blue Sky Scenic and Historic Byway

The Mount Blue Sky Scenic and Historic Byway drive is a fun trek down Highway 5 to the summit of Mount Blue Sky, which typically opens the Friday before Memorial Day and closes on Labor Day, weather permitting. The lower section of Highway 103 to Summit Lake remains open through the first weekend of October, weather permitting. Highway 103 to Echo Lake and the Highway 5 intersection is open year-round.

The USFS Welcome Station Hours: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Fees are charged to help maintain the upper section of this incredible roadway. Once open, the road is accessible 24 hours a day however timed-entry reservations are required:  Make a Reservation Here


From I-70, take Exit 240 in Idaho Springs and follow the signs to Highway 103 and Mount Blue Sky. Drive South 14 miles and turn onto Highway 5 (Just passed Echo Lake Lodge) which will take you approximately 14 more miles to the Mount Blue Sky Summit* (From Exit 240, it is about a 1 hour drive to the Summit).

A Timed-entry Reservation is Required – Book Here
After you turn from Highway 103 onto Highway 5, please stop at the USFS Welcome Station – Please bring a copy of your reservation with timed entry information to expedite your entrance.

Travel Tips

Just before Highway 5 you will arrive at Echo Lake. Please note that the Echo Lake Lodge is under construction by Denver Mountain Parks and limited amenities will be available. From here, turn onto Highway 5, check-in with your timed entry pass at the Forest Service Welcome Station and continue up the remaining 14 miles of the highest paved road in the Northern Hemisphere!

Experience breathtaking views of mountain lakes, alpine meadows, bristlecone pine forests, and undisturbed tundra. You may even see marmots, mountain goats and other wildlife ~ Please do not feed the animals.

Stop at the Mount Goliath Nature Center to witness impeccable 360 views, guided garden explorations, and seasonally offered shuttle service by Denver Botanic Gardens from the top of the M. Walter Pesman Trail to the Dos Chappell Nature Center.

Round out the drive by reaching the Summit parking lot, stretch your legs while you explore the Crest House ruins or challenge your lungs with a short climb to the Summit of Mount Blue Sky. View incredible sights of the Front Range, Continental Divide and many of the flora and fauna life zones found at the Arctic Circle.

Visit or download the CDOT Mobile App for up to date traffic information provided by the Colorado Department of Transportation

Mount Blue Sky Summit View - Formerly Mt Evans
Hiker on the ridgeline
Summit Lake park from the Summit of Mount Blue Sky
Off trail experiences Clear Creek County

Clear Creek County is the gateway to the Rocky Mountains. Located just west of Denver along Interstate 70, Clear Creek has 396 square miles of public lands to explore, as well as four mountain peaks above 14,000 feet. Clear Creek is comprised of charming mountains towns Idaho Springs, Downieville, Lawson, Empire, Georgetown, and Silver Plume, which are all along the I-70 corridor. Learn more about Clear Creek County here.