Mt. Evans  
Condition Updates  
Route: West Ridge from Summit Lake
Posted On: 2012-05-06, By: Rascal
Info: I was planning to try the Chicago Lake trail to judge the difficulty for me to summit Mt. Evans in the future. There are some snow banks around Echo Lake and along the Chicago Lakes trail. I just had to be careful I didn't all of a sudden sink in snow. Since this is my first time on Chicago Lakes trail I had great difficulty finding the trail and making good distance. There are many fallen trees across the trail. They were not easy for me to go around or climb over/under. I was meandering a number of times trying to find my way back to the trail when trying to get around fallen trees. The worst part is before you cross the creek over the log bridge. After passing Idaho Springs Reservoir, most of the trail is easy, not much snow, but still some fallen trees that I had to navigate around. Not being familiar with the trail, I followed a fork to the right (up) thinking this would take me to the lower Chicago Lake. I eventually made it between two large boulders but lost the trail in a snow bank. I could not find a way around in the shrubs. Below is an example picture of fallen trees blocking the trail. Second picture is near where I ended walking through large boulders (facing the return direction to Echo Lake). The last picture is where I ended. If anyone is familiar with this location, let me know if I was in the correct location, of if I somehow ended up on some other trail. I plan to try this again later this summer. I did run into several other folks on my return trip that did not enjoy navigating around the fallen trees. I hope they made better time and found their destination. My first disappointment in hiking (not reaching my destination). Are these fallen trees common after winter? How long until the trail is more accessible? 
Route: West Ridge from Summit Lake
Posted On: 2012-03-31, By: RockyMountainMustang
Info: ~ 3,685ft. elevation ~ 22 mi. rt length ~ 9.5 hrs. Started at Echo Lake and walked up the road to Summit Lake. Road has only a few snow banks on it. Nothing to worry about. There‘s some ice early in the morning, but it was all melting come afternoon. The road is bikeable minus a few areas where you‘d have to portage over the ice/snow. The turn-off from the road to the NE face trail was hard to see because of the snow on the side of the road, so I marked the area with a small cairn on the side of the road. (I ended up going right past it and just went off trail up to the summit until I ran into it further on.) Wind was forecasted to be 15-20, but was more 25-30 with gusts ~50mph. Half way up the NE trail, the wind increased to about ~45mph, with gusts ~65mph I‘d guess. Facing into the wind, I had to bend in half and brace with my trekking poles to avoid getting blown 3-5 steps backward downhill when there was a big gust. I even have a low center of gravity, being of a short and sturdy build. All in all, it was a warm, beautiful day that felt like a summer hike, minus the wind being bad enough to blow Dorothy back to Kansas. IMG 1-3 is 1. Mt. Evans, 2. ridge to Mt. Spalding, 3. Mt. Spalding. 
Route: West Ridge from Summit Lake
Posted On: 2012-02-20, By: ccmhockey
Info: Attempted Chicago Creek today, but lost the trail due to the need of snowshoes and the other random packed down trails. They did lead to a nice view on the ridge above the creek. 
Route: West Ridge from Echo Lake
Posted On: 2012-02-20, By: DoubelDD
Info: Parked at winter closure from Georgetown side, about 1 1/2 miles below Guanelle Pass TH. Avoided the standard route up gully due to avy conditions and went further north toward Spalding Grey Wolf saddle, then went over Spalding on way down and rejoined the trench that I used on the way up. Packed snow on road to TH, Snowshoes from TH all the way to about 13,300 ft on the south face of Spalding . Micro Spikes from there to Evans Summit. Route from West Evans to Spalding was rock hopping with some post holing, no real avy danger. I stayed away from cliffs edge here a little more than summer route just in case, but it felt pretty safe. This route 13.7 miles / 5500 Ascent / 10 hours. Some really great snowshoeing. I could see lots of people on Bierdstadt and the Parking lost was full. 
1
Route: West Ridge from Naylor Lake TH
Posted On: 2012-01-02, By: Layne Bracy
Info: We parked at the Guanella Pass road closure(Naylor Lake turn-off) from Georgetown. At the switchback near BM 11096, we left the road and broke trail up the drainage. Many trees are down from the windstorm 2 days ago, but we didn‘t need snowshoes in the forest anyway. Up on the flats, we used snowshoes some in the willows, then veered left onto the slopes below Spalding. Not much snow on the high tundra or ridge to the summit! 
Route: Sawtooth
Posted On: 2011-12-28, By: 54coldones
Info: From Sawtooth to Evans there is very little snow. Mondays wind storm stripped it all. The descent back to Guenella pass has been unused for quiet some time. I would not recommend it unless you would like a character building experience which you will not want to repeat. 
Route: West Ridge from Guanella Pass
Posted On: 2011-10-03, By: jeffdykstra
Info: Road still open to Summit Lake. We got there by 7am on Sunday and there was plenty of parking. Trail was still clear, just some traces of snow. Temperatures are dropping and it started to spit snow as we returned to parking lot. Parking lot was completely full and people were parking on the road by 10am. Great day, the fall colors are awesome! 
1
Route: Sawtooth
Posted On: 2011-09-25, By: lackerstef
Info: Dry and perfect as of Sunday. I did the the Sawtooth just based on the conditions and had no problem WITH microspikes. Bring them for the few small snow crossings. 
Route: West Ridge from Guanella Pass
Posted On: 2011-09-10, By: colokeith
Info: Small dusting of snow 1-2 inches above 13,000 ft. Trail is still mostly clear of snow and was easy to follow. The road is closed at summit lake which reduced the traffic on top significantly 
Route: West Ridge from Guanella Pass
Posted On: 2011-08-13, By: Monster5
Info: Summit Lake to Spalding: straight forward, short route. Plenty of scramble opportunities closer to the ridge (c3) with c2 bypasses to the left. Dry. The snow route up Spalding is only continuous for a couple hundred feet. Spalding to surrounding 13ers: dry, grassy tundra. Wide-open and easy to route find. To W. Evans: Trail is in good shape, well-cairned. Hooks right at the sub-summit. Plenty of good scramble opportunities and options - moderately exposed C3 and a fun ridge line up to W. Evans and around to Evans. Drop right for the small notches or bypasses. Descended the NE Face route - loose and heavily impacted/eroded, but easy enough to follow and still only c2. 
Route: Sawtooth
Posted On: 2011-07-18, By: RJansen77
Info: We did Bierstadt and Evans via the Sawtooth yesterday. There are three very short snow crossings on the Sawtooth that can be avoided with some class 3 rock scrambling, but the snow was soft and there were boot prints so we walked through it. After you finish the Sawtooth it‘s a pretty long yet easy hike up the broad summit plateau and then around to the top of Evans. Any questions feel free to PM me! 
Route: West Ridge from Echo Lake
Posted On: 2011-07-15, By: Flyingfish
Info: Stay hight ing the bump and don‘t go through the willows there is no way to to get to the gully without getting soaked 
4
Route: West Ridge from Echo Lake
Posted On: 2011-07-30, By: tmccormack
Info: What little snow remains was completely avoidable; very wet through the willows especially on the way back; waterproof shoes or a change of socks recommended 
Route: West Ridge from Guanella Pass
Posted On: 2011-07-01, By: butterflyer
Info: At the trailhead it was cold and windy. looks snowed in but completly passable, minimal snow along the route. USE CARINS great weather and trail conditions. 
Route: West Ridge from Echo Lake
Posted On: 2011-06-26, By: heatherfrazier7
Info: Once we came up from Guanella Pass to just below Mt. Spalding, the conditions along the way to the peak of Mt. Evans were not too bad. Once we came in view of Abyss Lake there were about 3-4 small patches of snow, about 10 yards or so each, that we had to hike across on the way to summit Mt. Evans along the rocky terrain. That was a little hairy but we did ok. We took the same route back so we hit up the snowy patches again with some caution. 
Route: West Ridge from Echo Lake
Posted On: 2011-06-20, By: sheller
Info: Took my young boys up the Northeast face from Summit lake. There was very little snow and most of it is avoidable. You won‘t need snowshoes, etc. There is still some snow on the ridge between Spalding and Evans. 
Route: West Ridge from Echo Lake
Posted On: 2011-06-19, By: hberry
Info: I skied the face (the left side if looking at it from the summit lake parking lot) on Saturday - the snow starts about 200 or so feet below the ridge going to the summit. It is probably easiest to park at the Summit lake lot and hit from there - a car shuttle would be slow as you have to do a good amount of hiking from the Summit parking lot to the area where you can ski. You can easily get a few laps in in a day - and there is a great boot pack up to the top of the snow. 
Route: North Face Moderate
Posted On: 2011-06-05, By: realhillboarding
Info: The report from 6/3 said it was still transitioning, but we got a good freeze overnight and the majority of the route is now spring corn, although there were a few pockets of winter snow remaining. Snow is patchy between summit lake and the upper bowl, so leave the skins at home, its boots at the beginning and crampons the rest of the way. Sun hit the upper portion of the route around 7:15, but it stayed solid and wasn‘t ready for skiing until 10:00. The snow isn‘t continuous from the saddle and requires about a 50-100‘ downclimb (probably could billy-goat it, but i chose to keep my gear in good condition), and it definitely is not in from the summit. 
Route: North Face Moderate
Posted On: 2011-06-03, By: Nelson
Info: I felt I could start later because this is North facing and a short climb. WRONG! I started at 6:15 am. The first 1000 ft. or so was on very firm snow and things went well. As soon as the sun started to hit it the snow was soft and punchy ie the thin slab crust was not supporting my weight. I was at about 13,800 or so and was able to stay close to the rocks and only had a little way to go to get to the ridge so I stuck with it. I had hoped to ski it but decided against it because the snow was so soft. I summitted at 7:45 and descended via the North East slope. This was very good skiing (corn) and salvaged the ski descent for me. Lessons: The snow here is NOT consolidated into spring conditions, Start Early! 
Route: West Ridge from Guanella Pass
Posted On: 2011-06-03, By: kimmykazu
Info: So after we tried to head up Gray‘s/Torrey and were not able to access the road, we headed over to Evans. I was not going to let my day be ruined by some snow, in regard to a hike. So we got a bit of a late start. We headed up Spaulding and were able to make it up the front(South) side. The snow was still crunchy and perfect. As we headed up over to look down at the lake, we could see Long‘s, Bierdstadt, Gray‘s and Torrey. What a view! As we headed over to the traverse to Evans, the snow was slushy and made the trek exhausting. "Post holing" will wear you out. We decided to jump down the back road off Evans since the winds did pick up. You should start earlier than we did and you‘ll be fine! 

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