Peak(s):  Mt. Evans  -  14,264 feet
Date Posted:  09/06/2011
Date Climbed:   09/03/2011
Author:  jcgeissler
 Mt. Evans - West Ridge via Chicago Creek  

My wife and I hit the trail head at Echo Lake Lodge around 3:00 am as it was supposed to be a long hike. With the information found on the website it was easy to find the Chicago Lakes trail head and start our hike.

I was borrowing a GPS unit from a friend just to try it out and reset the trip report just off the parking lot.

Found that I had some early apprehension knowing that I would have to climb up another 400' at the end of the climb. More on this later...

We made it up past the fishing pond and into the deeper forest part where the large boulders start showing up and the trail becomes more difficult.

We passed the first lake as the sun was starting to lighten things up a little, and we almost made it to Summit Lake by sunrise. I have to say this route must be one less traveled, compared to the revival mountains of Quandary, Grays, Torrey's etc. because the trail was kind of hard to find in some places in the dark especially.

It was a beautiful morning and not many people were on the trail, as we started up the trail from Summit Lake, it was pretty daunting to see what else we had to do to reach the summit.

We followed the trail to the top of the ridge line and made our way across, eying Bierstadt and the Sawtooth (which looks pretty menacing from this angle).

Hiking along the backside of Mt. Evans was fun for me not so much for my wife as it was somewhat technical. It seemed to take for ever though and about 3/4s of the way around we slipped off the marked trail to see where we were in relation to the true summit.

When we got to the top, finally it was about 9:40 and my GPS read 9.57 miles, a bit longer than we were expecting. Needless to say we were tired and honestly weren't fully prepared in the aspects of food/snackage. We made our way down the north east slopes...which the first half of which is 'HAMMERED DOG *&@^' skree and slippery rock, i thought my wife was going to kill me. Once the ground cover started taking hold it wasn't so bad but damn it sucked.

Which was probably the kicker didn't want to have to hike another 5.5 miles and change back to Echo Lake and had to get home to the aunt watching the kids at a reasonable hour so we bummed a ride from Summit Lake back to Echo Lake....slacker action I know, please don't be a hater.

Overall I must say one of the tougher hikes for me and the wife this summer, which includes Bierstadt, Greys, Torreys and Quandary. Most likely the distance I think.

Safe travels all.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Great Pick
09/08/2011 15:56
My brother-in-law and I did this first of August. Look at my trip report ”In the Hall of the Mountain King” and see what else uses the Chicago Creek Trail.

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