Mount Evans and Mount Spalding Loop Trail

HARD 189 reviews
#2 of 27 trails in

Mount Evans and Mount Spalding Loop Trail is a 3.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,729 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

4.95 mile Mt. Evans Loop. Starting and ending at Summit Lake.

hiking
12 minutes ago

Rocky climb via Spalding. It was very cold, windy, and foggy today near summit. The true summit is not well marked especially the last 80ft. Definitely nice views. We went down the easy way (Northeast face) as we did not pack gloves. We did it in less than 4 hours up and down with very short brake at the summit.

hiking
18 hours ago

A beautiful hike up, made it to the summit just before the weather came in. A wet hike down to the road but no problem.

5 days ago

My dad and I set out for an ‘easier 14er.’ Headed out around 6:45am and got back to the car around 12:45. We started at Summit Lake and did Spalding to Evans, and then back down Evans and Spalding again (so basically out and back). The hardest part we thought was the return over Spalding after already having climbed across some tricky rocky scrambling to Evans. Did see goats which was the highlight for me, and the view on top of Evans was really beautiful. Would recommend maybe going down the road after summitting Evans to make the trip a little more pleasant.

hiking
6 days ago

Beautiful views the whole way up. There’s some scrambling near the summit. We saw lots of mountain goats and big-horned sheep.

hiking
8 days ago

Great trail!

8 days ago

This is my first 14er this year so far. Initially planned for Mt. Spalding but once that was crested, Mt Evans needed to be attempted as well. Started at Summit Lake with a good friend (her 1st 14er attempt) and we got to Spalding and then went on to climb, scratch and claw our way up to Evans Summit from this trail. It was damn tough but man, are the views worth it!! We were running out of time so we descended via hitchhiking back to summit lake. Without this ride, I would’ve been late for work!

J.F. You absolutely killed this today! Great job!

11 days ago

My first 14er, the views were incredible.

hiking
11 days ago

Sand to Summits on YouTube

GULP! ... This was my first 14'er and let me tell you, it was an eye opener. The Mt. Evans Loop from the Summit Lake is an amazing hike. Views of the Rockies for miles as to be expected and the crystal waters of Summit Lake taunting you every step of the way. Initially I thought we were taking the soft way up (HA.HA.HA.HA) by starting at the Summit Lake parking lot but the first 4 mins (which is not a difficult hike) had my legs and lungs burning. This is a moderately easy hike when it comes to the terrain. Slight bouldering as you approach the peak but overall it isn't a nail biter. Living at 1200 ft of elevation in Phoenix does no justice when coming to play in this playground. Definitely try to acclimate as early as possible and water / snacks are essential as on most hikes. ( Although drinking water became second priority to breathing as a sip of water was taking away precious oxygen my lungs were screaming for ) Be smart and watch the weather. Storms roll in quickly as it did on our decent from the peak back to the parking lot.

hiking
11 days ago

What a beautiful, fun hike. This is definitely one of the easier 14ers. Lots of goats and bighorn sheep.

Some cautions:
- Going around the west edge of Mt. Evans involves navigating a sizeable boulder field; this is solidly Class 2 terrain (getting off course can put you in Class 3 territory)
- The Mt. Evans road in is beautiful but scary; be prepared to drive pretty close to the edge of a mountain shelf road with no guardrail

hiking
18 days ago

1. Get there early. I arrived at 5:30am when parking was open. Please, make sure you pay!

2. The ascent to Spalding is pretty easy, but don’t rush. It doesn’t really become a challenge until you start your climb to Evans. Take in the views!

3. Look for markers before you plan a move.

4. The scramble up the backside has great holds and footing, and you only deal with slight exposure for a couple brief moments. Even if you lose track of the trail, just stay below the ridge and you won’t have to worry about falling.

5. Hiking up to Evans is simple. Enjoy the views and the goats/sheep!

6. Going down Evans to the main road is steep and loose! You’ll be tired by this point, so be mindful, it takes longer than you’ll expect. But, be mindful of the wildlife. I was charged by surly mountain goat (protecting its baby) and had to jump down to distance myself.

I loved this experience! It was my first 14er and I did the whole thing in about 4.5-5 hours.

27 days ago

Awesome hike! This was a good trail for me and my 14 year old son to do. Had a mix of well defined trails, ups and downs, scrambling, and viewing spots. Took us 4.5 hours (spent 20 minutes on top) and we went down the summit trail to the road. That part was a little tricky as the footing is horrible and it is pretty steep.

28 days ago

Views r absolutly a wow! Def bring lunch and plenty of fluids. Say hello to the goats and the rock scramble towards the end can make the trail a lil blurry of where ur going but once there def worth it!

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this climb! We did the long way and did Bierstadt also! It was by far my favorite! So beautiful and the drive up that road to trailhead at sunrise was absolutely breathtaking!

1 month ago

Great hike and easier 14er. Lake and summit were full of people so most enjoyable parts were between with few others on the trail. The weather allowed for late afternoon hike and was mostly cloudy which helped keep my energy level up from lack of sun.

1 month ago

Great loop; Very steep up to Spalding with awesome views! 4.65 miles took about 2.5 hours with photo breaks. There's quite a bit of scrambling with some exposure as you head up Evans. Getting up to Spalding took only about 40 minutes, and that was my favorite part because there were only two other people on that trail.

hiking
1 month ago

My first 14er , it was everything I expected and then some. A goat snuck up on us on the way up mount spalding !! 20 feet away . Wasn’t shy at all. The first section up to spalding was quite a climb & heart thumper for this flat lander . At the top the scenery was beautiful ! This isn’t a hike for beginners. The reroute at the top to get down was STRAIGHT down from Evans to summit lake !

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, easy to follow. Wonderful views. Would hike this many times. Note the summit will be crowed but don't let that take away from enjoying a beautiful hike. If your adventurous and want to add to the hike, try the ridge from Spalding to Evans, its a class 2 or 3.

hiking
1 month ago

This was an awesome 14er! Definitely one I would do again. We started around 5:30am and hit the peak around 8am. It was my friend's first 14er, my dogs first 14er, and my 8th. So we took it slower for their benefit. I only had to lift my dog (Aussie/BC mix ~45lbs) on and off of a few boulders but other than that he did the trail on his own. It if very easy to lose the trail so keep an eye out for cairins. We took the route to hike up to Mt. Spalding first and didn't take the scramble trail down, we walked the road down which was probably twice as long but I stand by the decision, just watch for the cars (they go faster than they should).
There was a lot of wildlife in the area; we saw deer, elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, pikas, and marmots. If you bring your dog, PLEASE keep it on the leash! We saw a husky chase away a large herd of bighorn sheep down a steep hill.
The road up to the trail head is paved, the parking lot is dirt. Fair warning: pay the parking fee, this is heavily regulated. And lastly, if you pack it in make sure you pack it out! Let's keep Colorado beautiful people =-)

hiking
1 month ago

This was our first 14er of the season. We got to the main parking lot at 6am and found the last spot so get their early or you can park along the street. The first mile was the toughest for elevation gain up to Mt. Spalding. On the back side of the mountain is some intense scrambling so take your time. Wouldn't recommend it for beginners. We didn't take the trail down that's on this map, the guide up top said it was too dangerous and to do the one by the welcome sign right by the parking lot. It's the Evans summit trail to Evans road which takes you back to the lake. It was much easier.

1 month ago

Beautiful! Went on a clear, windy day but enjoyed every second. We also lost the trail (look for cairns!) and make sure you stay on the red line.

1 month ago

Listen to others who recommend going up Spalding! Beautiful hike. We lost the trail a bunch, but made it super fun by scrambling all across anyways.

hiking
1 month ago

Great 14er. The Loop ended up being 4.9 miles. The first section was the steepest up to Mount Spalding, then it was beautiful views and ups and downs. Make sure you follow the Cairns on the right when it gets rocky! Very easy to lose the trail without the Cairns. We went down the Loop from the top, via a VERY steep 1 mile incline down to the road by the lake. Would not recommend going up that way as it is straight up with no switchbacks and loose rocks.
Overall beautiful hike with views and wildflowers for days!!! Very windy from start to finish.

1 month ago

Did this hike today 6/ 25/ 18. We did 5.4 miles total. Although we mistakenly went off trail and lost about a total of 20 mins before getting back on track. Be sure to go up the steep trail of dirt and rock when you see it on your right. Do not go straight, you will end up on the edges of the mountain, unless you want that. It was extremely windy and cold the more exposed you were at the top. I wore a hat, gloves, long sleeve pullover and a light jacket underneath a puffy jacket at one point. Lots and lots of rock scramble. Especially after coming down Mt Spaulding and hiking up to Evans. Trail is not well marked but there were lots of cairns. It was a challenging hike, even looping down Mt Evans because it was steep, and very loose dirt and rocks for about a mile or so. The trail was also not very well marked but we found it. Overall, it was an awesome hike with beautiful views and lots of challenges. We started from trailhead at 630 am and got to summit at 1030 am.

1 month ago

Tougher than it sounds....the traverse across the rocky west slope was hard. Lots of cairns but not much trail at that point. And the last mile down from the top on the loose and steep scree and dirt killed my knees. Nevertheless-fantastic views and scenery. I love the Mt. Evans Wilderness area.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a very challenging hike for myself and my 13 year old. For the first official weekend of summer, there were LOTS of people at Summit Lake and the summit. We didn't do the entire loop-but started at Summit Lake and parked at the summit. Saw some animals, including baby mountain goats!

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent hike, my 5th 14er! Very windy and gloves are very helpful! 4hrs round trip including breaks and 30min break at the summit. We started a little after 6am. First 30 minutes were brutal but after that it was wonderful! Amazing views of greys, Torrey’s, bierstadt and quandary.

Hiked 6/23 - extremely windy, make sure to layer up.

1 month ago

Great hike with amazing views. we did a sunrise hike and was able to find the trail rather easily up until we reached Evan's from Spalding. The trail after the ridge from Spalding is rather difficult to follow and we couldn't find the trail from the summit back down to Summit Lake, so we took the road. Overall a great hike. I wore my puffy and gloves the entire time as it was rather windy and very chilly.

2 months ago

Loved the hike, though I prefer the Parking lot to Mt Spaulding to Mt Evans portion to the loose rock and downhill on the last stretch of the loop. I’ll consider out and back via Mt Spaulding next time I hike Mt Evans.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike with amazing views throughout. Definitely bring gloves and a windbreaker, it’s quite windy and your hands can get ripped up from the cold rock. The cairns were easy to follow throughout the trail. There was some class 3 climbing with exposure around 14,000 feet. After the summit, you can scramble down the side to get to the main road. This is a difficult hike, but definitely worth it.

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