Peak(s):  Mt. Evans  -  14,264 feet
Date Posted:  09/08/2008
Modified:  09/13/2008
Date Climbed:   09/07/2008
Author:  mt_turtle

 Evans via Guanella Pass via Grey Wolf/Spalding drainage  

A few weeks ago my wife and I did Mt. Bierstadt and the Sawtooth. My wife got sick, and we didn't finish Mt. Evans. On our way down the gully, heading to the willows, we saw two women coming up over the ridge to the right (as you look down). Their boots were dry, and they said it was not nearly as steep as the gully. I asked on this site how to get to this route. Jim Davies gave us the following answer, "Take the Bierstadt trail to just past the big lake (before the creek crossing), turn left and climb over the little hill, continue north through a potentially soggy low section, go over another hill, turn left (back toward the pass) to circle 100 feet or so back around the end of another soggy section, and you'll find the beginning of a dry trail that will lead you up to the Grey Wolf/Spalding drainage (not the gully)." This information proved to be very accurate and helped us in having a very enjoyable and dry hike. On the previous hike, I was up to my knees in muck in the willows.

Below, these guys were on the trail, and we were close enough to pet them. We did respect their space and gave them time to move.




As we approached the peak, the parking lot was empty! And for a brief period of time, we had the summit to ourselves. That was very nice!



The trip down was amazing. It provided great views of the Sawtooth!


Below, you can see the easy work we had before us. This is the Grey Wolf/Spalding drainage where you avoid the steep gully.


The picture below shows a trail that is high and dry; to the left you can see the willows.


The next one is my favorite picture yet. I didn't notice the cross made by the jet contrails until I got home.


Another great shot of Bierstadt and the Sawtooth! The trail is still high and dry!


After getting back to the car, my boots were dry and Mt. Evans was complete. The trip was 10.3 miles. After doing both routes, I would take the Grey Wolf/Spalding drainage route again!


This was my favorite summit yet!


The red tracks show our route, the black goes through the willows and the gully.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

09/09/2008 03:53
I thought there was a more intelligent way to do the west ridge by staying further west. Hmmm...


Thanks for the report
09/09/2008 15:20
Does this link show essentially the same route that you took back?

A friend and I found this trail back in June, and I went back a few weeks ago to record it better than I had the first time. Both times, the trail seemed to end in the willows close to the trailhead. The second time through, we had a short but REALLY soggy ending. It sounds like you were able to avoid that. Can you describe how? Thanks,


Looks the same!
09/09/2008 18:01
Your report looks the same. The only thing I can think of is we found the narrowest low section between each hill, it was soggy but my boots never sunk and they stayed dry. In some of the wider sections it looked like I would get wet. Also we took the upper route on the drainage there and back (high above the creek); it seemed to make finding the trail on the way back easier with no scrambling.

I have a tracks file from my GPS I could send you along with the TOPO map, if you have the software. It was dead on getting us back to the same crossing over gomer creek!


to: mt_turtle
09/09/2008 21:56
Thanks for the response and offer, but I don‘t have any GPS unit or software at this time. Also, I edited my TR in a few small ways - one of which was to link to your TR. - DaveM


Wouldn‘t mind getting the tracks file
09/03/2009 06:39

I tried to send you a PM, but I couldn‘t figure out how to do that. If you still have it, I would love it.

I tried this on 9/1/09, and realized too late that I had summitted Spalding, thinking it was Evans!!!

hehehe ... Jokes on me.

Thanks, Pat


Good job
05/30/2012 23:28
This is pure genious. It would make the return trek better. And it looks very scenic to boot. This should be the standard route up Evans IMO.


Another option
07/21/2014 21:51
It is also possible, instead of heading up Spaulding, to continue low on the SW side of Scott Gomer Creek and reach the steep gully used on the ”standard” route. You just follow the drainage divide between Scott Gomer Creek until you get past the willows, then continue along Scott Gomer Creek until you get to that gully. There is one very short somewhat soggy section at a low spot on the drainage divide, but when I did it, it was not wet enough or soft enough to go over my boots, and there were no willows. It's a bit longer than the ”standard” route starting on the Bierstadt trail and then re-crossing Scott Gomer Creek, but eliminates the willows, mud and creek crossing, so, IMO well worth the bit (1/2 mile?) of extra distance.

Broken Knee

07/23/2015 06:55
...for labeling the map. The dry path is not intuitive to many of us soggy bottom boys.

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