Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

Mt. Evans - Good 1st 14er?

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
User avatar
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:05 am

Mt. Evans - Good 1st 14er?

Postby melis415 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:54 am

My husband and I would like to climb Mt. Evans in a few weeks. We are from Michigan, but moved to CO about 3 months ago, so I feel we are fairly acclimated to the altitude and have done several hikes above 10,000 feet. We are in great physical shape and in our late thirties. I keep reading that perhaps we should try Grays/Torreys Peak as a 1st 14er, but we were planning Mt. Evans. We are starting early (say, around 5:30) and I think the plan is to start at the West Ridge from Guanella Pass. Can we (should we) do 8.5 miles RT starting in the early AM and still plan to be back to the car before bad weather (noon-ish)? It looks as if the first two miles are relatively flat, so I think we can cruise over that. Any and all advice is welcome, as we want to be smart about it but have a ton of fun as well. Thanks!

User avatar
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 12:04 am
Location: Bakersfield, CA

Re: Mt. Evans - Good 1st 14er?

Postby Adventure Seeker » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:04 am

In my opinion, the biggest problem with Mt. Evans is going through the willows. You can literally sink to your knees or beyond in the muck. That really slows down your hike. It can also feel very hot in the willows on the way back. The 8.5 miles round trip can be a bit longer depending on what route you travel through the willows as there is not a clear path directly through them.
I do think Greys/Torreys is an easier hike with better views. Bierstadt is also an easy and more enjoyable hike and you start at the Guanella pass trailhead.

Posts: 2025
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:19 pm

Re: Mt. Evans - Good 1st 14er?

Postby peter303 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:09 am

The ridge from the Summit Lake parking lot is good first 14er hike: 5 miles and 1400 feet.
Mostly a trail the whole way. There is one piece near the beginning where you climb to the top of the ridge and the trail may disappear for a bit.
You can return the same way or hike down the road tundra. If you veer too far south you hit cliffs.

User avatar
Posts: 629
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:56 am
Location: Western Kansas

Re: Mt. Evans - Good 1st 14er?

Postby kansas » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:11 am

jasayrevt wrote:If you are open to a little longer drive check out Huron as a possibility

This.

By far the best bang for the buck if you're looking for an easy 14er to start with.
"In the end, of course, it changed almost nothing. But I came to appreciate that mountains make poor receptacles for dreams."
— Jon Krakauer

User avatar
Posts: 921
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:55 pm
Location: Broomfield, CO

Re: Mt. Evans - Good 1st 14er?

Postby nkan02 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:13 am

Adventure Seeker wrote:In my opinion, the biggest problem with Mt. Evans is going through the willows. You can literally sink to your knees or beyond in the muck. That really slows down your hike. It can also feel very hot in the willows on the way back. The 8.5 miles round trip can be a bit longer depending on what route you travel through the willows as there is not a clear path directly through them.


Well, with some luck and by taking the Scott Gomer creek drainage you can avoid the willows. There is a trail, but it is faint and has a desolate feel about it (unlike the standard Bierstadt trail).

http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=11173&parmuser=nkan02&cpgm=tripuser
The bonus point is the lake (Image 9 & 10) where a photographer recently captured the wolverine...

Adventure Seeker wrote:I do think Greys/Torreys is an easier hike with better views. Bierstadt is also an easy and more enjoyable hike and you start at the Guanella pass trailhead.

I do agree with this though.
It has frequently been noticed that all mountains appear doomed to pass through the three stages: An inaccessible peak - The most difficult ascent in the Alps - An easy day for a lady. Albert Frederick Mummery, My Climbs in the Alps and Caucasus

User avatar
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:05 pm
Location: Boulder, CO

Re: Mt. Evans - Good 1st 14er?

Postby Ed Matthews » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:15 am

If I had to choose a first 14er from Guanella Pass I would do Bierstadt. There isn't a road to the top and you will be on a good trail the whole way. The problem with doing Evans from Guanella is that although the first couple miles are flat...they also are through willows so you will be doing some frustrating bushwhacking until you start climbing, I wouldn't say it is an easy stroll up to the climb. If it were me I would definitely do Bierstadt over Evans from Guanella Pass. My girlfriend and I did Evans via Spaulding from Summit Lake, it was a nice day hike and it gets you away from the road a bit. Have fun!

User avatar
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:05 pm
Location: Boulder, CO

Re: Mt. Evans - Good 1st 14er?

Postby Ed Matthews » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:16 am

Sorry for being redundant with my last post....lots of people posted while I was writing!

User avatar
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:05 am

Re: Mt. Evans - Good 1st 14er?

Postby melis415 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:31 am

Thank you for all the advice (and opinions) thus far - I appreciate all of them. I am reading, however, that parking for the trailhead for Grays/Torreys is about three miles from the trailhead itself (for 2WD vehicles)..? That seems like a lot of extra mileage before the actual climb. Any thoughts?

I like the idea of doing Bierstadt, but I do want to be sure to gain the 3000' of elevation for our first climb. Silly, maybe, but it's our goal. :D Is there a trailhead/starting point for Bierstadt that will allow us to accomplish that goal?

User avatar
Posts: 187
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:24 pm
Location: Conifer, CO

Re: Mt. Evans - Good 1st 14er?

Postby Dan_Suitor » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:39 am

My 2 cents on Mt. Evans: Sure, why not. Might not be the best 1st 14er, but it can be a good one. Yea, the willows suck, and as mentioned before, give yourselves some extra time for this. Also, have good waterproof hiking boots with optional gators. You will experience some good pitch through the gulley, long uphill trek after it, and some minor bouldering with minor exposure near the top. All the ingredients of a good first climb. Enjoy your new hobby. It can be addictive.

User avatar
Posts: 126
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:03 am
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: Mt. Evans - Good 1st 14er?

Postby wizzer » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:48 am

how about evans in reverse? i may post a thread for a partner to start evans from the top, climb the 150ft-ish to the top, then down the ridge toward guanella pass and turn back up at the willows at about 11,300-ish then proceeding back to the summit thereby gaining my required 3000+ feet and bypassing the willows and mud. The route is also easier to follow going down first then up. I also have it plotted in my GPS.

User avatar
Posts: 7281
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:23 pm
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: Mt. Evans - Good 1st 14er?

Postby Jim Davies » Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:24 pm

2WD parking for Huron is about 2 miles from the 4WD trailhead, but it's a flat, easy and scenic two miles.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

User avatar
Posts: 1717
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 9:26 pm
Location: New York

Re: Mt. Evans - Good 1st 14er?

Postby nyker » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:08 pm

Some good info from everyone already...

If you have your heart set on Evans, trying doing it from the other side from Summit Lake: See some pics of this route here:

http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=10667&parmuser=nyker&cpgm=tripuser

To get additional gain, just start lower down :-)

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: thomas p, trhoppe and 10 guests