Idaho Springs is the gateway to Mt.Evans.
Mount Evans is a 14,265 feet (4,348 m) mountain in the Front Range region of the Rocky Mountains, in Clear Creek County, Colorado. It is one of 54 fourteeners (mountains with peaks over 14,000 feet (4,300 m)) in Colorado, and the closest fourteener to Denver. It is often compared to Pikes Peak – another Front Range fourteener – which it exceeds in elevation by 154 ft (50 m).
The peak is one of the characteristic Front Range peaks, dominating the western skyline of the Great Plains along with Pikes Peak, Longs Peak, and nearby Mount Bierstadt. Mount Evans can be seen from over 100 miles away to the east, and many miles in other directions. Mount Evans dominates the Denver Metropolitan Area skyline, rising over 9,000 feet above the area. Mount Evans can be seen from points south of Castle Rock, up to (65 miles (105 km) south) and as far north as Fort Collins (95 miles (153 km) north), and from areas near Limon (105 miles (169 km) east). In the early days of Colorado tourism, Mount Evans and Denver were often in competition with Pikes Peak and Colorado Springs.
Echo Lake Park is a park located along the Mount Evans Scenic Byway about 14 mi (22 km) from Idaho Springs, Colorado. The park provides a stone shelter with picnic tables and barbecue grills on one end of the lake, and the 1926 Echo Lake Lodge (gift shop and restaurant service only) and an Arapaho National Forest campground are found at the other. Access to backpacking trails, including the Chicago Lakes trail and Lincoln Lakes trail, can be found adjacent to the lake. The park is part of the Denver Mountain Parks system.
The Mount Evans Crest House is a building, now in ruins, located at the summit of Mount Evans in Colorado. It is notable for both its significant architectural design, and its unusual location. Built at the terminus of the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, it was the highest business structure in the United States. Constructed between 1940 and 1941, it served as a restaurant, gift shop, and tourist attraction until it was partially destroyed by a fire in 1979.
Mount Evans was originally known as Mount Rosa or Mount Rosalie. Albert Bierstadt named it for the wife of Fitz Hugh Ludlow who he would later marry. The name is also a reference to Monte Rosa, the highest peak in Switzerland. Bierstadt and his guide, William Newton Byers approached the mountain along Chicago Creek from Idaho Springs in 1863, and spent several days painting sketches of the mountain from the Chicago Lakes before climbing to Summit Lake and onward to the summit. Bierstadt’s sketch Mountain Lake accurately portrays the view of Mount Spalding over the Chicago Lakes. His painting (below) Storm in the rocky mountains is based on that and other sketches.