It’s been nearly a month since our nieces spent the week with us and though a bit after the fact, I wanted to share some photos of our trip to Mt. Evans, a popular spot in Colorado.
Although Mt. Evans is only 15 miles away from us as the crow flies, it takes almost two hours to drive to the entrance at the base of the mountain and another hour to get to the summit as we’re talking mountain passes here and the roads zig zag back and forth (not to mention that when you get close to the summit, you’re looking at frightening drop-offs, thin roads with 2-way traffic and no guard rails, so it’s slow going).
The day started off rough, we left late around 10 am and around 11 we pulled off to give the dogs a break and everyone a stretch and Sierra, our older, Cushings-disease, arthritis and hip dysplasia pup jumped out of the car before we could grab her (we always lift her in/out of our SUV); long story short, we had to turn around and make it back down to the nearest town and go to the emergency vet. We returned back home deflated and concerned about our pup who, turns out, tore her ACL when jumping down. David stayed home to keep an eye on Sierra and our oldest niece didn’t want to make the long drive back up now that it was almost 2pm and it would mean a very long day. Our youngest niece, however, was insistent that we go back up, even with inclement weather predicted. So her and I jumped back in the car and made our way back out.
The first major point of interest on the way up to the summit is an area loaded with bristlecone pine which are said to be the oldest living things on Earth. The ones on Mt. Evans are an estimated 1,700 years old! It started to pour and hail here, but Sarah, in the poncho above, made the best of it!
These bristlecone kind of look like large scale bonsai trees, right?
Summit Lake, at the base of the summit, is another great place to stop. You’ve never seen clearer water! The altitude at this point is 12,830 feet and there are a couple of hiking trails in the area that lead to breathtaking views.
Sarah was in awe of the view and a fun travel partner, especially being a teenager; she was game for anything!
Nearing the summit we saw about a dozen or so mountain goat…
The sun came out! (actually, the weather was pretty manic – a rotation of rain, hail and sunshine every 15 minutes or so all day long).
Once we got to the parking lot at the very end of the road, we trekked up the rocky trail to get to the tippy-top…
And we made it (14,258′ above sea level). It was quite chilly up top (in the high 40′s) so I threw on David’s hoodie for good measure!
This is the view from the summit of the road below. Steep! It was sunny at the top, but clouds surrounded nearby. As we started to descend, it got stormy again…
But the beauty of the commingling of rain and sun is a rainbow…or two!
We didn’t get home until 8pm or so, but it was still a fun adventure. This is the closest “fourteener” to Denver, so if ever you’re in the area, do check out Mt. Evans!
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