I consider myself one of the lucky one’s who can venture out on a blue skied Colorado morning, drive about 1 1/2 hours from home and end up in one of the most peaceful places on earth ~ Mount Evans. I feel like this majestic landscape is in my backyard. Hub’s and I pack up a picnic lunch, throw the camera gear in the Expedition and away we go. One side note: if you click on each photograph, you can view it in a larger size!
On this wonderfully perfect Saturday, we were awe-struck not only at the grandeur of our drive but, also to have viewed the mountain goats and bighorn sheep so closely. Mountain goats are an even-toed ungulate with inner pads on their feet that provide extraordinary traction so they can climb steep, rocky slopes.
We watched and photographed bucks, does and kids while they scaled the steep terrain and then came trotting down the hill till they were about two feet from us so they could lick the minerals off the rocks. I tell you, it was amazing!
The Bighorn Sheep also graced our presence. The bucks and ewe’s were a little taken back by the presence of the mountain goats, however. All vying for the rights to lick the minerals from the rocks. The bighorn in Mount Evans were smaller than the bighorn that I photograph in Grand Teton National Park. But, none-the-less, they are spectacular to view.
Mount Evans is nestled in the Arapaho National Forest in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Our adventure takes us to the top of the highest paved road in North America. Since 1931, travelers like myself have been witness to some of the most stunning terrain including alpine tundra, abundant wildlife and views of Longs Peak, Denver, Pikes Peak and Mt. Bierstadt.
Once you reach “The Top”, the parking lot sits at 14,130′ above sea level. One can view Summit Lake as seen in the photo below. I couldn’t get over the layers of mountains that seem endless. Glorious!
Park your car and take the short hike to the very tippy top of Mount Evans. You will be basking in the glory at 14,258′ above sea level. You can take a photo of the U.S. Geological Survey marker as seen below and be the envy of your friends.
If you are a flatlander, please make sure you are aware that temperatures in Denver can be 90 degrees while on top of Mount Evans on the same day, they can be 40 degrees. Dress appropriately, drink tons and tons of water and if you feel fatigue, dizziness, loss of appetite or nausea ~ please descend to lower elevations. A drive to Mount Evans should be on your bucket list for sure. I highly recommend this peaceful, secluded, masterpiece of our great country on your next journey to Colorado.
As we were winding our way down the switchbacks of the mountain road, we came across this cutie pie to bid us adieu.
Photo source: Anna Sullivan Photography