Highest paved road in North America
In General: Seasonal Closure
Summit open Memorial Day through Labor Day only.
- Length: 63 miles
- Driving Time: min. 2 hours 10
Daily Vehicle Pass including Summit Lake Park – $15
The byway climbs more than 7,000 feet in just 28 miles, reaching an altitude of 14,130 feet. The upper section of this road is the highest paved highway in North America.
Photo opportunities abound here: mountain vistas, bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain goats, other wildlife, flowers, bristlecone pines. All within an hour’s drive from nearly anywhere in the Denver metro area. This is perhaps the best place in Colorado to catch a glimpse of bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain goats.
- Mile 0.0 SH 103/I-70 — Head south on SH103
- Mile 6.5—SH 103 begins to climb through a series of switchbacks. Watch for some pull outs and a picnic area on the right side of the road. There are some really nice views of Mt. Evans. Morning light is best.
- Mile 12.6—Echo Lake. Again, nice vistas of Mt Evans.
- Mile 13.1—Turn right on SH5, the road to the summit.
- Mile 16.0—Dos Chappell Nature Center and TH’s. Bristlecone pines.
- Mile 17.9—Mount Goliath, a mountain peak section of the Denver Botanic Garden accessible by the M. Walter Pesman Trail.
- Mile 22.1—Summit Lake. Be sure to take the short hike along the edge of the lake to stand atop the cliff overlooking the Chicago Creek drainage. Rocky Mountain goats are common here.
- Mile 27.5—The summit of Mt. Evans. There are several dramatic overlooks and you can expect to see bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain goats anywhere in this section.
- Mile 41.9—Return to SH 103, turn right to continue on the Byway over Squaw Pass.
- Mile 43.8—Picnic Area. Short walk to an overlook with a vista extending to ?Kansas?
- Mile 59.7—The Byway ends at the junction with SH 74, Evergreen Pkwy, at Bergen Park.
- Turn left and drive 3 miles to return to I-70.