Bicycling Magazine Denver, CO: Squaw Pass Road 

This approach to Mount Evans is its own epic ride: An 18-mile climb with incredible views around every corner. Continue to the summit for a mega-epic.


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Author: Power2W8
Date: 30 Sep 2007 2:30:00 PM
Activity: Bicycling
State: Colorado (CO)
Distance: 36.73 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 5013 ft
Total Loss: 5015 ft
Net Change: -2 ft
Difficulty: 8 / 10
Tags: Colorado, Denver, Evergreen, Front Range
Rating: Unrated   Rate it

Starting at Bergen Park (exit 252 from I-70), Squaw Pass Road rises steadily for about 18 miles up to Echo Lake. From there you'll have the option to ride up Mount Evans Road (closed from early fall to early summer) to the parking lot at 14,130 feet—just 134 feet below the summit. The grade is steady; if you're adequately hydrated through the ride, this climb will seem challenging but doable.

This is a classic moderate-to-high altitude road. In the fall, you'll likely see golden aspens (and snow or slush in shaded corners later on). The best bet is to ride this road on a sunny day in the late morning, then take a break at Echo Lake around noon (where there's a restroom and a phenomenal view). When you turn back, the mid-day sun will have melted the tricky corners in advance of your descent.

The ride down is a blast. It's a wide-open descent with only a few switchbacks (and even those are relatively sweeping). Be sure to bring a wind vest, gloves, and arm and leg warmers for the return trip.

-Mapped by Mark Harrison

TO TRAILHEAD: From Denver, head west on US-6 to I-70 West, and take exit 252. Continue straight on CO 74 for 2.5 miles to Bergen Park.

Position Format: Datum:
Tracks

Squaw Pass Road

Distance: 36.73 mi Points: 906
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi

Points of Interest

Echo Lake

Location: 39.659727, -105.604148
A popular tourist spot; don't be surprised if out-of-towners gawk at you in disbelief.

Evergreen

Location: 39.685525, -105.376396
You'll see evergreens near the bottom of this route and more aspens as you climb.

Aspen

Location: 39.684732, -105.390987
Aspen in the sun. © Mark Harrison

Climb

Location: 39.687804, -105.417380
Once you get into the meat of the climb, the roadside aspen gallery gets gorgeous.

More Aspen

Location: 39.689191, -105.423989
More and more aspen line the route, but it never gets old.

Careful Corners

Location: 39.676674, -105.556898
Keep an eye out for slushy or even icy corners wherever there is shade above 10,000 feet in the fall. It's not such a problem going up, but it's definitely something to be wary of going down.

Mount Evans Road

Location: 39.657910, -105.593419
The entrance to Mount Evans Road, the highest paved road in North America.


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