Mount Evans and Mount Spalding Loop Trail

HARD 97 reviews
#3 of 21 trails in

Mount Evans and Mount Spalding Loop Trail is a 3.6 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
3.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1666 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

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

hiking
3 months ago

Great day out there! A really enjoyable trail. Be ready to climb some.

hiking
4 months ago

This was such a fun hike. 14er's are always fun and challenging and Mt Evans did not disappoint. We were unable to make it to the full summit due to incoming weather but that is a part of the journey!

hiking
4 months ago

Lots of scrambling.

4 months ago

My first class 2 14er! We did veer off the path slightly on the way up from Mt. Spalding. Went early on a Saturday morning and there were very few people on the trail, making it harder to follow. Just look out for the cairns! Up top, there were too many tourists which made the spot a little too crowded to hang out and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment! Went down the other way which seemed much shorter but it was pretty steep with loose rock, so make sure you have really good shoes!

hiking
4 months ago

We reached the trailhead about 6:45am on a Sunday morning. Most but not all parking spots were taken.

We hiked the loop - Summit Lake to Mt Spalding to the summit and down the NE face (the thin black line that connects to the road, which is reflected on the topo map AllTrails provides). Total distance: 4.97 miles and 5 hrs 16 min, which includes lunch, bathroom breaks at the top (yes, facilities at the top).

It's a beautiful hike and challenging (tricky ascent to Spalding followed by the boulder field - definitely class 2), but extremely rewarding. If you return via the NE face, you'll drop 1,200 feet in elevation in 0.7 miles, according to my sportstracker app. There's a fair amount of scree so definitely bring poles for the descent.

hiking
4 months ago

Accidentally went to Evans instead of Beirstadt but I'm glad it happened! This mountain is a great climb! It'll test your endurance and strength, and the pay off is incredible! There are a lot of other hikers and tourists but still a great 14er to complete! Be sure to wear good shoes as the saddle is a very rocky. Happy trails!!!! And remember to have fun!

hiking
4 months ago

Accidentally hiked this mountain because google maps said this was the way to bierstadt, nope. Overall great hike but be sure to stick to the route and look for cairns! A group of us got way off trail and it turned into a class 2/3 scramble. Just keep your eyes peeled as you start to climb. Great views and pretty easy climb if you actually stick to the trail. Great to meet fun hikers!

4 months ago

$5 per vehicle at the Summit Lake TH
My boyfriend, dog and I did this hike today (Sunday). We left the car at 7:25 and got back to it at 10:55.
Most of the climb is in the beginning and is easier and pretty steady once you're about to summit Spalding. We enjoyed our views from Spalding much more than Evans, so be sure to hang around there a little longer!
We decided to walk down the road rather than the trail. That saved some time as well as our knees! I'd totally recommend doing the same. Maybe somebody can give you a ride back to your car!
Beautiful views. No snow anywhere and hardly any people on the trail itself (the top of Evans is a much different story).

hiking
4 months ago

We had a great experience with this hike. If you're not up for the Sawtooth from Bierstadt, and want more of an adventure than just driving up, this is your hike! Having Mt. Spalding as an extra summit along the way is an added bonus. We started around 7am on a Friday, and found very little car (on the way up) or foot traffic on the trail; by far the least populated 14er I've done. The views are great the entire hike, since you start above treeline. Lots of marmots, pikas, bighorn sheet, and mountain goats. We did not attempt to loop this (descending in scree isn't our thing), and our distance was around 6 miles RT. The trail can be a little hard to follow at times, but is generally well-marked with cairns. After Spalding, you'll drop down to the Spalding-Evans summit, then follow the rocky path to the right (not up to the highest ridge) for the easiest route.
Remember to bring $5 for the self-service pay area at Summit Lake.

5 months ago

Good stuff! The last leg is pretty tough!

5 months ago

I've been hesitant to do Evans, because I was concerned the summit-moment would be killed by the tourists at the top. To be honest, it was. We walked up to the top and didn't take pictures. BUT- throughout the hike we saw way fewer hikers than on any other 14er I've done.

More great news: the views from this trail are incomparable. The ridge you follow is U-shaped and so you see completely different views from every side-- including Bierstadt, Grays/Torreys, the Chicago Lakes, and of course, Summit Lake. The path is clearly marked and at a very steady incline. I think this would be perfect as a first 14er.

As previously stated by a lot of my fellow hikers, the loop is hard to find. Most of the people ahead of us either turned around or walked down the road. Going down either face is super steep and loose. We planned to hitch hike to save time.

We started at about 9:30 and were down by 1:15, we stopped several times and ate lunch on the saddle.

I'll definitely be returning but would just plan to do Spalding and come back down. As that's a pretty short bit, it'd be perfect for sunrise/set!

Happy hiking!

PS: Your National Parks Pass works here! A very pleasant surprise.

5 months ago

The trail does NOT loop around like the map shows.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful hike. Didn't do the loop as shown, did the ridge via Spalding and terraced my steps back down. LOVED this hike.

hiking
6 months ago

Attempted the full loop as shown on the AllTrails map today - there is no trail that comes down the shoulder as the map shows!! Because it was all scrambling down boulders and sometimes very loose scree, it took us a really long time to get down, adding about an hour (and some seriously sore knees) to our hike. The hike from Summit Lake to Spalding and Evans was absolutely stunning and I highly recommend it, but either go down the Northeast Face trail (essentially a beeline down to the road) or retrace your steps back down to Summit Lake - I don't recommend going down the south shoulder as this route map shows.

6 months ago

beautiful trail and not an intense 14er. pretty rocky, get an early start. Not really a loop trail unless you want to walk along a busy road..or hitch-hike down like we did

hiking
6 months ago

beautiful views, some parts are hard, some are easy, it was awesome

hiking
6 months ago

My first 14er on 7/27/17. We started at Summit Lake and did the full loop. Definitely some technical areas, but nothing an intermediate hiker can't handle. Very rocky and climbing over boulders near the top, and the descent down the north face is extremely steep with a lot of loose gravel, but MUCH quicker and easier than going back the way you came. Took us about 7 hours, including numerous stops along the way and lunch at the top.

hiking
6 months ago

Amazing hike. Great 14er for beginners if you start at Summit Lake. Beautiful views on the way up. There is some scrambling you have to do on West Evans. Definitely an exposed hike with winds picking up frequently. We decided to take the east ridge down. If you decide to do the same be careful. It is very steep with several spots of really loose rock.

hiking
6 months ago

This was a challenge being my second 14er. We started early and did Spalding then scrambled up to West Evans and last Mount Evans then took a different way down so it was 4 miles. We zigzagged down the .5 mile dotted-line trail and finished walking on the road for a little to get back to our car. Great weather today. We didn't use microspikes since there were only a few really short areas of snow. Sticks helped though. $5 parking fee

6 months ago

Not my favorite 14er trail, but still beautiful! Some slick snow fields still melting. Saw a mountain goat family with three babies at the top.

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