Towering 2,743 m (~9,000 ft) above the Denver skyline, Mount Evans is a 4,348 m (14,265 ft) mountain in the Front Range region of the Rocky Mountains in Clear Creek County, Colorado. It is one of Colorado’s 54 ‘fourteeners’ - mountains with peaks over 4,267 m (~14,000 ft) – and as it’s the closest to the Denver Highway 5, it is hugely popular with hikers and climbers. This is the highest paved road in the US and stops just short of the summit, making it extremely busy in the summer season.
An iconic viewpoint, Mount Evans can be seen from over 160 km (100 mi) away in the east and is part of the Mount Evans Wilderness Area in Arapaho National Forest and Pike National Forest.
The weather is extremely volatile on the mountain, so much so in fact that in July 2012, a tornado, recorded as the second highest in the United States, touched down on Mount Evans. With an average wind speed of 45 to 56 km/h (~28 to 35 mph) and a mean annual temperature on the summit of -8°C (~18°F) due to the altitude, visitors to the peak can expect wind, rain and below freezing temperatures at any time of the year.
There are marked hiking trails to the extraordinary pinnacle of Mount Evans and the peak climbing season is June through to September. The Mount Evans Hill Climb also takes place annually, with a 44 km (27.4 mi) bicycle race, totaling 2,108 m (~6,916 ft) of climbing, which is not for the faint-hearted!
The stunning sights of the mountain include the wonderful wildlife of bighorn sheep and rock-leaping mountain goats, as well as smaller mammals. Predators exist in the area however and visitors should be mindful of both mountain lions anywhere on the mountain and black bears below the treeline.