Mount Evans road comments/questions

Mount Evans road comments/questions

Joined: January 29th, 2004, 3:33 am

July 23rd, 2006, 10:15 pm #1

OK, I finally drove the Mount Evans Road in Colorado on July 20 to the parking lot and hiked 1/4 mile and just over 100 feet in elevation to the summit, 14,264 feet above sea level.
It was incredible scenery, but a very uncomfortable drive, given my low cliff exposure tolerance and no guard rails.
Yet, after taking the Cog Railroad to the top of Pikes Peak for a second time two days prior, the solitude and far less people and development on Mount Evans was very refreshing.
Makes me feel Pikes Peak is over-rated.
(A "Modern Marvels" on the History Channel, produced in 2005, even incorrectly stated Pikes Peak was North America's highest highway and totally overlooked Mount Evans.)
I had to walk down the Evans road some to try and capture some of my previous 14er feeling though, lost when you only drive to a lofty place like this.
(Given a leg injury, a cog railroad and a road were my only reasonable ways to reach 14ers this summer.)

Questions:

1. I'm curious what other high pointers who have traveled the Evans road think abut it.
2. I know the Mount Evans Road is the highest paved passenger road in North America (and will remain so even once all the Pikes Peak is all paved in coming years), but one postcard I picked up claimed it was the highest paved road in the world. I recall a post here some months ago talking about a 14,000 foot altitude town somewhere in the world. Anyone know the Mount Evans' road ranking for all the world's paved roads?
3. I can't imagine what a tough job it must be to re-pave and up keep the upper reaches of this road. It's far narrower than the Pikes Road and likely gets much less funding. Anyone ever come across any details/tales about the road's upkeep?
Thanks.
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Joined: May 14th, 2005, 4:39 pm

July 24th, 2006, 2:04 pm #2


I don't know what the funding figures are for Mt. Evans vs. Pikes Peak roads, but fees are charged to drive up both roads, and the Mt. Evans road is designated a Scenic Byway, which might be good for some sort of funding as well.

There used to be a store / visitor center on top of Mt. Evans, but it burned down and was never rebuilt.  So, it used to be more commercial as well!

I have fond memories of my Dad, who was terrified of heights, driving the whole family up to the top of Mt. Evans when I was a kid.  He drove as far from the drop-off side of the road as possible, even when that meant driving along the wrong side of the road!  Fortunately, we didn't have a head-on collision on the way up or down!

A later trip with my older brother, when I was in my teens, really got to me in terms of realizing the joy of being on top of a mountain, and was probably the seed that grew into my love of hiking and climbing mountains!


Diane Winger

www.HighpointAdventures.com
NEW: www.Colorado-for-Free.com
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Joined: January 26th, 2004, 6:29 pm

July 24th, 2006, 5:04 pm #3

OK, I finally drove the Mount Evans Road in Colorado on July 20 to the parking lot and hiked 1/4 mile and just over 100 feet in elevation to the summit, 14,264 feet above sea level.
It was incredible scenery, but a very uncomfortable drive, given my low cliff exposure tolerance and no guard rails.
Yet, after taking the Cog Railroad to the top of Pikes Peak for a second time two days prior, the solitude and far less people and development on Mount Evans was very refreshing.
Makes me feel Pikes Peak is over-rated.
(A "Modern Marvels" on the History Channel, produced in 2005, even incorrectly stated Pikes Peak was North America's highest highway and totally overlooked Mount Evans.)
I had to walk down the Evans road some to try and capture some of my previous 14er feeling though, lost when you only drive to a lofty place like this.
(Given a leg injury, a cog railroad and a road were my only reasonable ways to reach 14ers this summer.)

Questions:

1. I'm curious what other high pointers who have traveled the Evans road think abut it.
2. I know the Mount Evans Road is the highest paved passenger road in North America (and will remain so even once all the Pikes Peak is all paved in coming years), but one postcard I picked up claimed it was the highest paved road in the world. I recall a post here some months ago talking about a 14,000 foot altitude town somewhere in the world. Anyone know the Mount Evans' road ranking for all the world's paved roads?
3. I can't imagine what a tough job it must be to re-pave and up keep the upper reaches of this road. It's far narrower than the Pikes Road and likely gets much less funding. Anyone ever come across any details/tales about the road's upkeep?
Thanks.
I drove up to Summit Lake about 3 weeks ago with my wife's family. Mother-in-law is very uncomfortable with heights, so the drive was an ordeal for her. I hiked up from Summit Lake, got to see the resident herd of mountain goats sleeping out of the wind in the rocks.

I hiked Pikes Peak last week on the Barr Trail. The top was just gross...so many people at the top and on the trail. No solitude whatsoever. Pikes just feels like a big money-maker...the tolls seem a little outrageous, as do the train tickets. I didn't check out the gift shop, but can imagine the $5.00 hot dogs.

I was highly impressed by the runners training above 12'000 feet..they were setting a mean pace on the Barr Trail.

The up side is I climbed Pikes from the Barr Trailead, summitted, the dropped down about 1100 feet to Devils Playground, which is the highpoint of Teller County, then back up to Pikes. A 14'er, 2 county highpoints, and some sweet elevation gain all in one day
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 10:33 pm

July 25th, 2006, 5:22 pm #4

OK, I finally drove the Mount Evans Road in Colorado on July 20 to the parking lot and hiked 1/4 mile and just over 100 feet in elevation to the summit, 14,264 feet above sea level.
It was incredible scenery, but a very uncomfortable drive, given my low cliff exposure tolerance and no guard rails.
Yet, after taking the Cog Railroad to the top of Pikes Peak for a second time two days prior, the solitude and far less people and development on Mount Evans was very refreshing.
Makes me feel Pikes Peak is over-rated.
(A "Modern Marvels" on the History Channel, produced in 2005, even incorrectly stated Pikes Peak was North America's highest highway and totally overlooked Mount Evans.)
I had to walk down the Evans road some to try and capture some of my previous 14er feeling though, lost when you only drive to a lofty place like this.
(Given a leg injury, a cog railroad and a road were my only reasonable ways to reach 14ers this summer.)

Questions:

1. I'm curious what other high pointers who have traveled the Evans road think abut it.
2. I know the Mount Evans Road is the highest paved passenger road in North America (and will remain so even once all the Pikes Peak is all paved in coming years), but one postcard I picked up claimed it was the highest paved road in the world. I recall a post here some months ago talking about a 14,000 foot altitude town somewhere in the world. Anyone know the Mount Evans' road ranking for all the world's paved roads?
3. I can't imagine what a tough job it must be to re-pave and up keep the upper reaches of this road. It's far narrower than the Pikes Road and likely gets much less funding. Anyone ever come across any details/tales about the road's upkeep?
Thanks.
2. I know the Mount Evans Road is the highest paved passenger road in North America (and will remain so even once all the Pikes Peak is all paved in coming years), but one postcard I picked up claimed it was the highest paved road in the world. I recall a post here some months ago talking about a 14,000 foot altitude town somewhere in the world. Anyone know the Mount Evans' road ranking for all the world's paved roads?

There are many paved roads and highways higher than Mount Evans. Colorado (and the USA in general) is notorious for claiming false "world records"!!
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Joined: May 14th, 2005, 4:39 pm

July 26th, 2006, 1:09 am #5


You say there are "many" paved roads higher than the Mt. Evans road in North America.  The paved Mt. Evans road goes up to approximately 14,200'.  There aren't a tremendous number of PLACES in North America higher than that, especially if you move out of Colorado.  I can't think of any high California roads which are paved.  Alaska isn't known for having a lot of paved roads up its mountains, and neither is western Canada; I don't think the Mexican volcanoes have paved roads going up very high.  Am I missing an area I should be considering?

So....where are these many other paved roads?  Curious minds want to know!


Diane Winger

www.HighpointAdventures.com
NEW: www.Colorado-for-Free.com
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 10:33 pm

July 26th, 2006, 6:35 pm #6

You say there are "many" paved roads higher than the Mt. Evans road in North America.

No, I didn't. The postcard claimed that it was the highest paved road in the world (I even mentioned false world records). See below:

one postcard I picked up claimed it was the highest paved road in the world.

And my response was:

There are many paved roads and highways higher than Mount Evans. Colorado (and the USA in general) is notorious for claiming false "world records"!!

I didn't say North America and was only responding to the postcard claim of the highest paved road in the world.

So....where are these many other paved roads? Curious minds want to know!

Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Argentine, Tibet, Pakistan are a few which I know for sure have higher paved highways and roads. The highest paved highway I know of crosses the Bolivia-Chile border at around 16,500 feet. It is the highway between La Pas and Arica, paved some 20 years or so ago. There maybe other higher ones as well, but that is the highest I know of. The KKH highway between China and Pakistan is pretty high as well.





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Joined: May 14th, 2005, 4:39 pm

July 26th, 2006, 8:30 pm #7


Thanks for the clarification, Scott.  Now I have another fun thing to try to research on the web.


Diane Winger

www.HighpointAdventures.com
NEW: www.Colorado-for-Free.com
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 10:33 pm

July 26th, 2006, 10:32 pm #8

Just for fun, you may enjoy this article I wrote:

http://www.summitpost.org/view_object.p ... irm_post=7
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Joined: January 21st, 2004, 3:15 pm

July 28th, 2006, 5:44 pm #9

I have the old postcard to prove it! I also have an old postcard that says Mt. Massive is the state's highpoint. I can scan these if Scott would like to create a subcategory for false records from Colorado.

And on Tuesday evening next week I'll visit Sharp Top Peak in Virginia which has a sign proclaiming it the state highpoint. Anyone wishing to join me is welcome. I'll shoot for being at Peaks of Otter Lodge by 6:30pm.
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Joined: July 29th, 2006, 12:16 am

July 29th, 2006, 12:28 am #10

You say there are "many" paved roads higher than the Mt. Evans road in North America.

No, I didn't. The postcard claimed that it was the highest paved road in the world (I even mentioned false world records). See below:

one postcard I picked up claimed it was the highest paved road in the world.

And my response was:

There are many paved roads and highways higher than Mount Evans. Colorado (and the USA in general) is notorious for claiming false "world records"!!

I didn't say North America and was only responding to the postcard claim of the highest paved road in the world.

So....where are these many other paved roads? Curious minds want to know!

Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Argentine, Tibet, Pakistan are a few which I know for sure have higher paved highways and roads. The highest paved highway I know of crosses the Bolivia-Chile border at around 16,500 feet. It is the highway between La Pas and Arica, paved some 20 years or so ago. There maybe other higher ones as well, but that is the highest I know of. The KKH highway between China and Pakistan is pretty high as well.




I used to ride my bike up Mt. Evans in the early late 70's and early 80's. We started in Golden and spent the night in the Echo Lake Lodge which used to have rooms in the upper loft open to the public. [I don't think these are available any longer]. I think we survived suffering hypothermia on at least two occassions by being able to recover in the old and BEAUTIFUL summit lodge. I think it burned after a fire cause by propane tanks. I also recall signs indicating the road was the highest paved road in the world. But, going back there some time later the only signs I found read 'in North America". Perhaps their claim to fame was lost to the later development of paved roads in other parts of the world.....The Echo Lake Lodge brings back sweet memories....
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