Ron's Mt. Evans Motorcycle Ride
- a Colorado motorcycle ride with over 80 images of Mt. Evans and vicinity -
First on the web 2003-07-28, last revision 2016-05-08 home
Mt. Evans Ride Logo
Ron's Mt. Evans Motorcycle Ride
> Page 1 - Bergen Park to the summit of Squaw Pass on Colorado Route 103
Page 2 - Echo Lake and Echo Lake Lodge
Page 3 - Colorado Route 5 (the Mt. Evans road) to Mt. Goliath Natural Area and past Lincoln Lake
Page 4 - Summit Lake Flats, Summit Lake and up to the 14000ft (4267 meter) elevation mark
Page 5 - The summit
Page 6 - Wildlife
Page 7 - Trip statistics, alpine tundra and riding (down) the mountain
Page 8 - Mt. Evans from the air, in winter, and Pikes Peak - that "other" mountain with a road to the top!
Ron on Mt. Evans
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After riding from Denver, we'll start this essay in the town of Bergen Park, Colorado, identified on the map above. I'm riding a bike from my collection, a 1981 Suzuki GS250T. This might seem an unlikely mount for such a trip but it handles the high elevations well, is easy to ride, runs perfectly and besides, I enjoy riding it! As a footnote, a long time friend in Denver completed the same trip in the late 1960's riding a 1965 Suzuki K-11 80cc, likely the smallest displacement machine ever to have completed the trip from Denver. I subsequently purchased this machine and it was in my collection for a number of years before being sold in 2016.

The first photo shows the beginning of Colorado Route 103, otherwise known as the Squaw Pass road. This winding mountain road travels from Bergen Park to Idaho Springs, Colorado and is 32 miles (51.5km) in length. We'll ride Highway 103 eighteen miles (29km) up to Echo Lake where it intersects with Colorado Route 5, the Mt. Evans road.

In 1918 the Squaw Pass road was constructed from Bergen Park to Echo Lake. Ten years later, in 1928, the Squaw Pass road was completed from Echo Lake down to Idaho Springs, elevation 7524ft (2293 meters). Before reaching Idaho Springs the road parallels Chicago Creek, site of early gold discoveries in 1859.

In 1920 the Colorado state highway commission began surveys to continue another road 14 miles (23km) from Echo Lake to the summit of Mt. Evans. Construction began in 1922 and during this first year 4 miles (6.5km) were completed. More funds were appropriated to continue construction of the road in 1923 and by 1924 the road reached Summit Lake, elevation 12830ft (3911 meters).

Construction of the Mt. Evans road continued and by 1930, nearly 8 years after construction had begun, the road was completed to the 14130ft (4307 meter) elevation mark which would become the end of the road. Construction was hampered by constant winds and adverse weather conditions. Snow drifts of 20ft (6 meters) or more had to be removed each spring.

Completed in 1941, a Crest House was constructed atop Mt. Evans. The Crest House offered hot drinks, pastries, souvenirs and shelter to visitors on the mountain. This unique structure took 2 summers to build and unfortunately was destroyed by fire almost 40 years later. After much debate, it was decided not to rebuild the structure. Today, only the stone walls remain.

The Mt. Evans road is paved in its entirety and seldom busy, making for a relatively easy albeit breathtaking ride. The recently renovated parking area even has spaces designated for motorcycle parking!

At our starting point here in Bergen Park we've traveled approximately 25 miles (40km) from my home in Denver, Colorado and have gained about 2440 ft. (744 meters) in elevation. The elevation at this point is 7801 ft (2378 meters).

Route 103 (Squaw Pass) and Route 5 (Mt. Evans Road) are popular with bicycle riders and make for a great bike ride!

Note: The following sequence of images, shot over a period of several years, are a compilation of photographs from several rides up the mountain and are not displayed in the exact order taken. Enjoy the ride, it's a breathtaking experience on the highest paved road in North America!
At the beginning of Colorado Route 103, the Squaw Pass road.
Mt. Evans Ride
The Mt. Evans road is generally open from late May to early September.
Mt. Evans Ride
Riding on Colorado Route 103.
Mt. Evans Ride
Enjoying the curves on Route 103.
Mt. Evans Ride
A quick photo stop here. We're nearing 9 miles (14.5km) from our starting point in Bergen Park and are approaching 10,800 feet (3294 meters) in elevation. That's the town of Idaho Springs nestled in the valley below, in the center of the image.
Mt. Evans Ride
It's really not as bad as the sign indicates!
Mt. Evans Ride
Continuing west on Route 103, here's the first view of our destination. In the distance, the summit of Mt. Evans. In a relatively short period of time we will be riding that road you can see in the distance!
Mt. Evans Ride
This is the high point on Route 103. We've traveled approximately 15 miles (24km) from our starting point and are at an elevation of 11144 ft (3397 meters).
Mt. Evans Ride
Another shot from Route 103's high point, quite a nice view.
Mt. Evans Ride
Nearing Mt. Evans which is visible in the upper left corner along with a short section of Route 5, the Mt. Evans road.
Mt. Evans Ride
In the distance, nearly lost in the haze, are the eastern plains of Colorado and Denver. From here it's just a short distance downhill to Echo Lake and the intersection with Route 5.
Mt. Evans Ride
Our next stop: Echo Lake!

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