Mt. Evans Byway Scenic Drive

The Highest Paved Road in the Northern Hemisphere

Mount Evans 2021

New timed-entry pass system ~ Make a Reservation

Mount Evans Scenic and Historic Byway

The Mt. Evans Byway scenic drive is a fun trek down Highway 5 to the summit of Mount Evans, 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 6:30 PM. A fee is charged to help maintain the upper section of this incredible roadway. Once open, the road is accessible 24 hours a day.  Make a Reservation Here


From I-70, take Exit 240 in Idaho Springs and follow the signs to Highway 103 and Mount Evans. 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 Evans Summit* (From Exit 240, it is about a 1 hour drive to the Summit).

New for 2021 – A 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, arrive at Echo Lake and visit the Echo Lake Lodge Restaurant and Gift Shop for a bite to eat, pick up a few souvenirs, or purchase warm clothing. This is also the last stop for running water and flushing restrooms.

Continue the 14 mile scenic drive and 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 Evans. 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 evans sign
Hiker on the ridgeline
summit lake park from the summit of the 1434, mount evans

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.