Peak(s):  Mt. Evans  -  14,268 feet
Date Posted:  08/25/2018
Modified:  07/13/2019
Date Climbed:   08/24/2018
Author:  overthe59hill
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 Mt. Evans from Summit Lake   

I hiked from Summit Lake, over Mt. Spalding and the west ridge.

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I am standing at the Mt. Evans summit marker on August 24, 2018

SUMMARY: 08/24/2018 - began at 7:00 am; summit at 10:05 am; left summit at 10:25 am; returned to car 1:00 pm.

Total time 6 hours. Hiking time, including breaks and picture taking, about 5.5 hours. Total mileage 5.8 round trip.

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The wavy road to Summit Lake. Parking for the day costs $5.00.

Other than the chilly wind, the weather was clear and mostly sunny. I didn't notice any smoke from the summer wildfires. I didn't strip any layers off until I was only about a half mile back to the car.

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Start of the trail.

The trail is kind of steep from the beginning, but overall it does not have a lot of elevation gain. I used poles, which can be helpful much of the way, but a hindrance when you reach the scrambling parts.

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A view of the Chicago Lakes from early in the hike.

Another way to reach Mt. Evans is from Echo Lake, past the Chicago Lakes, and then up from Summit Lake. I hiked up to the lower Chicago Lake from Echo Lake this summer. I think I will hike the trail down to them from Summit Lake and back one of these days. It is very short but very steep.

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The easy beginning did not last long

The route is ranked as class 2, but I have hiked ten other 14ers so far, and I think it's the hardest class 2 that I have ever done. There are several parts where I needed to use all fours. The upper part of the ridge, the last half mile or so of the ascent, had a lot of boulder scrambling.

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Here's a section of the trail that requires all fours.

There are lots of cairns to guide the hiker. I got "off cairn" a wee bit, but found the trail easily enough.

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One of the larger cairns, seen through my pole strap.

The trail clearly directs hikers over 13er Mt. Spalding. So you can easily check that one off your 13er list.

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Entering Mt. Spalding

At just a little over 2 miles begins a little more intense rock climbing. I met up with a few people at a point where you can get a good look down at Summit Lake.

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Viewing Summit Lake and the parking lot from a rest at about 2 miles from the start.

After that break we take a little descent to begin tackling the west ridge.

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People ahead of me going down a little gravely stretch before going up the west ridge.

Along the way up I found a cozy cave and, after inspecting it carefully, crawled inside to get out of the wind and rest a spell. It was pretty small, but I managed to back in without taking off my pack. I didn't see the cave on the way down, but it's possible you can only see it on the way up, the way it's hidden among the boulders. I didn't think to look for it.

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I am in the little cave. You might see my feet and poles.

Almost to the last stretch, I came to the parking lot. I must have missed a left turn. I went all the way to the parking lot and had to backtrack. There's only a quarter mile more or so from the lot to the top of the peak.

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Approaching the summit parking lot.

I made my way up and got my souvenir pictures. There were two markers. I stood by one (see picture #1) and got a picture of the other one on a high boulder with a view of Summit Lake and the parking lot in the background.

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The higher elevation marker with Summit Lake below. You can see start and finish in the same picture!

The wind was fierce much of the time, and I was not happy with the picture of myself squinting, but it is what it is.

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Windblown, but happy to have reached the summit. The higher marker is right by my cap.

Once I returned to the start there were about 6 Bighorn Sheep hanging out near the restrooms.

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Getting back to the car, I see Bighorns ahead.
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Another picture of the Bighorns. They leaped over the fence so gracefully and effortlessly.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
gswalden
Thanks
08/25/2018 13:33
Thanks for the trip report and the pictures.


overthe59hill
User
You're Welcome
08/25/2018 13:50
I'm happy to share it. Thank you!


Alqjr2722
Thanks!
08/26/2018 10:17
Great report and pictures. Its a great picture of you btw.


overthe59hill
User
Glad you like the report
08/26/2018 13:44
That's kind of you. Thanks!


Jay521
User
Very nice.
08/28/2018 11:30
A very well written report. Keep 'em coming!


overthe59hill
User
Thanks!
08/29/2018 08:00
Thank you, Jay!



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