Elevation: 14,264 ft
GPS: 39.589, -105.643 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 280,702 total · 1,342/month
Shared By: Leo Paik on Feb 16, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac


This is a beautiful area of alpine rock with minimal approaches where you can climb stellar, alpine, granite climbs up to 1400 feet and be done in time for lunch or launch into a full adventure with aid climbing at 12000+ feet. Some of the best quality alpine granite in the Front Range lies here. Free routes in the area like Roofer Madness, Lincoln Lake Apron, Jabba, Cheap Date, 2nd Apron Center, 3rd Apron Left, Road Warrior, Good Evans, Cary Granite, Space Miser see little traffic. Bouldering has become quite popular in recent years with 4 star problems like The Dali Sit Down Start, Seurat, and The Ladder. There is room for much more; however, tread lightly here as the terrain tolerates less abuse than lower areas. There may even be lines to do off Guanella Pass ascending to the Sawtooth Traverse. Routes have been put up on Mt. Warren. Aid routes on the overhanging sections of the Black Wall see rare repeats. There are also routes "down valley" from the Black Wall on Mt. Spaulding. Descents can be as demanding as sticking a thumb out as the tourist drive by. Beware of the usual summer lightning storms.

Getting There

Take I-70 West of Denver to Idaho Springs. Exit 240 up the Mt. Evans Road brings you to Echo Lake. Follow the summit road to Summit Lake about 12,500 feet. Note you may be coerced to pay a toll fee (fee demonstration program) now that has increased to $10 or have a Parks Pass ($80) with the $15 hologram add on to make it a Golden Eagle Pass. They are staffing the toll collection site by 7:45am! Black Wall and Summit aprons are accessed by parking at the Summit Lake parking area.

There may be a way to insist on a pass without use of the Forest Service facilities for a fee-less visit to Mt. Evans. Apparently, you may be able to not use the parking areas like at Summit Lake and avoid the fee.


From the Denver Post: one can pay the new, increased user fee of $15. If one uses the Summit Lake area alone, a $5 fee for Denver Parks can be dissected out. If one uses the other areas including the summit but not Summit Lake, a $10 fee can be dissected out. If one is only driving without stopping, no fee is required.

236 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Mt. Evans

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V1 5 R
Boulder, Alpine
V2 5+
The Ladder
Boulder, Alpine
V3 6A
Dark Crystal
Boulder, Alpine
V6 7A
The Dali Stand Start
Boulder, Alpine
V8 7B
The Dali Sit Down Start
Boulder, Alpine
V9+ 7C
Boulder, Alpine
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
2nd Apron Right Side
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Double Exposure
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Road Warrior
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Rainbow Highway
Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Good Evans
Trad, Alpine
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c C0 PG13
Trad, Aid, Alpine
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Cary Granite
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Undertow (free)
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Sinners On Sunday
Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Timeline Mt Evans Boulde… > Area A > Bierstadt Area
V1 5 R Boulder, Alpine
The Ladder Mt Evans Boulde… > Area A > Bierstadt Area
V2 5+ Boulder, Alpine
Dark Crystal Mt Evans Boulde… > Area A > Bierstadt Area
V3 6A Boulder, Alpine
The Dali Stand Start Mt Evans Boulde… > Area A > Dali Area
V6 7A Boulder, Alpine
The Dali Sit Down Start Mt Evans Boulde… > Area A > Dali Area
V8 7B Boulder, Alpine
Bierstadt Mt Evans Boulde… > Area A > Bierstadt Area
V9+ 7C Boulder, Alpine
2nd Apron Right Side Aprons
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
Double Exposure Lincoln Lake Slabs
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
Road Warrior Black Wall
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
Rainbow Highway Black Wall
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
Good Evans Black Wall
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad, Alpine
Jabba Lincoln Lake Slabs
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c C0 PG13 Trad, Aid, Alpine
Cary Granite Black Wall
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
Undertow (free) Black Wall
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
Sinners On Sunday Black Wall
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Mt. Evans »

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Mt. Evans has some sweet gneiss routes that span from 50 to hundreds of feet. Go to the Chicago Lakes, and on the trail you will be able to see the cliffs. There is awsome bouldering also in the area. Before you go, be sure to fully research. Feb 3, 2003
Shawn Shannon
South Ogden
Shawn Shannon   South Ogden
Generally, what time of year is climbing here accessible. I don't mind wet approaches, or cold temps, just good rock.... any advice?? Feb 3, 2003
Does anyone know of any routes from the Chicago Lake basin near Mt. Evans or how solid the rock might be?? Sep 9, 2004
I've done a few routes from the Chicago Lakes basin. The rock is okay, and sometimes fantastic, but the logistics leave a little to be desired. At the lower lake, look East to Mt. Warren. This is "Windy City Wall" and the center buttress is "Sears Tower". Apr 26, 2005
Can anyone give directions to the bouldering at Mt Evans? Much thanks CL Jun 5, 2005
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
From the Rocky Mt News (4/29/7):

State chops down feds' fee for motoring up Mt. Evans.

by Steve Lipsher

The views along the Mount Evans Highway have been described as priceless, but for the past nine years the U.S. Forest Service has managed to nick as much as $10 from virtually every vehicle heading up the highest paved road in the country.

That practice will come to an abrupt end this summer. The Colorado Department of Transportation insists the federal government cannot charge for use of a state highway built and maintained with state tax dollars.

"We didn't know that they were charging everyone," said CDOT spokeswoman Stacey Stegman. "...It's illegal under state law."

The Forest Service began charging travelers at its Echo Lake entrance station in 1997 under the controversial federal fee-demonstration program, which has generated as much as $300,000 annually for upkeep of restrooms, picnic areas and safety patrols on the mountain.

Few visitors have understood that the fees don't apply to those traveling to and from the 14,126-foot summit parking lot who don't use Forest Service picnic areas and restrooms. In fact, a sign posted at the bottom of the winding, 28-mile road reads: "A pass is required for traveling beyond this point."

"They have been misrepresenting things. The average person would think that he had to pay," said Robert Funkhouser, president of the Western Slope No-Fee Coalition, an organization battling the federal government over fees for the use of public lands.

Forest officials dispute that characterization insisting the "pass" could be obtained free of charge. They acknowledge many people didn't discern the difference between acquiring a pass and paying a fee.

Drivers had to ask specifically about the pass or they would be charged the use fees.

Completed in 1927, the summer-only dead-end highway each year attracts an estimated 130,000 visitors.

This past winter, when the state and federal authorities began revisiting their agreement on the operation of Colorado 5, state officials learned every vehicle was being charged.

State officials demanded that the renewed agreement include signs indicating "No charge for travel on State Highway 5" and "USFS fees are not used to maintain State Highway 5."

The Forest Service balked, not wanting to pay for the signs.

"They're thinking "How are we going to get people to pay if they don't have to pay?" Funkhouser said.

The state intends to install signs with or without federal approval, according to e-mails obtained from Jay Kramer, a manager with CDOT.

With the traditional opening about a month away, forest supervisors haven't decided how the road will be managed, but possibilities include abandoning the entrance station and establishing permanent fee-collection stations at facilities maintained by the agency, said John Bustos, spokesman for the Arapaho and Roosevelt national forests.

The Forest Service also hasn't hazarded a guess on how much its budget will be cut if far fewer people pay.

Staff write Steve Lipsher can be reached at 970-51309495 or slipsher@denverpost.com. Apr 30, 2007
John Simpson
Golden, CO
John Simpson   Golden, CO
Does anyone know if there have been any routes put up on the cirque that is below the Sawtooth on the non-Abyss lake side? Feb 12, 2008
Jason Haas
G1 Climbing + Fitness
Jason Haas   G1 Climbing + Fitness
John, there's a photo of a new route on Evans in one of my photo albums if you click on my name and navigate down to the bottom of the page. I can fill you in on more details if you'd like sometime. Feb 12, 2008
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
There are a few, apparently. One of the looks like this:

mountainproject.com/v/tony_… Feb 13, 2008
Mark Kauzlarich
Mark Kauzlarich   Brooklyn
I would also like beta on the bouldering there. I know there is quite a bit, including Big Worm (V14), and Sunseeker (V13). Would anyone like to get some of the information about the boulders up or DM me about them for my upcoming trip to that area? Jul 20, 2009
As of last weekend, Denver Mountain Parks has started charging $5 to park at Summit Lake. Don't know if you can avoid the fees by parking out on the road. It doesn't appear that there is any type of annual pass. Aug 4, 2014
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
As of 7/24/15, the road past Echo Lake is still closed. Jul 25, 2015
Nathan Ross
Lexington, KY
Nathan Ross   Lexington, KY
Are there any routes up Sawtooth Ridge? Sep 18, 2017