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Mountain Goats on Mount Evans picture in Denver
Echo Lake picture in Denver
Mount Evans Scenic Byway picture in Denver
Mountain Goats on Mount Evans picture in Denver
Echo Lake picture in Denver
Mount Evans Scenic Byway picture in Denver

Key Info

Price & Hours

  • $15 per vehicle
  • 24/7 daily

Details

  • Hiking, Sightseeing Type
  • Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend

Local Experts Scorecard
Based on 10 interviews

  • Must-see
  • Recommended
  • If You Have Time

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

If you came to Denver to experience the Rocky Mountains, you'll want to reserve a day to take a drive up to Mount Evans. In this instance, it isn't the destination that travelers rave about – it's the journey. To get to Mount Evans, you'll have to hop on the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, a two-lane road known as the "road into the sky" because of the nearly 9,000 feet of elevation change. At the Mount Evans peak, drivers will be 14,264 feet above sea level. Along the way, you'll find a number of lookout points from which you can admire the view of the Rockies.

Those who have driven to Mount Evans recommend taking it slow and admiring the scenery, especially around Echo Lake Park. Located about halfway between Idaho Springs and the top of Mount Evans, Echo Lake boasts excellent fishing conditions, as well as picnic facilities and hiking trails. You can also stop by the Denver Botanic Gardens' Mount Goliath location, just beyond Echo Lake. But the views aren't the only reason to take your time along the Mount Evans Scenic Byway. Recent visitors cautioned others to drive carefully and slowly since there are steep drop-offs; they also recommend dressing in layers as the temperatures fluctuate depending on the elevation.

To start your drive, head west from Denver on Interstate 70 for 32 miles to exit 240 at the town of Idaho Springs. In order to access the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, you will need to pay a $15 fee (vehicles carrying more than 12 passengers will be required to pay more). Hikers, bikers, Federal Recreation Passport holders and those who simply drive to the top and back without stopping will not have to pay. Note that the road is only open to motor vehicle traffic between May and September, though hikers and bikers can access it all year long. Visit the Mount Evans page on the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service website to learn more about the scenic byway.

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#1 Union Station Denver's Union Station is a two for one: it's a working public transit station and a highly praised dining and shopping center. The station was a huge success ... Read more » powerofforever / Getty Images

#2 Denver Art Museum With galleries showcasing more than 70,000 works by famed artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Winslow Homer, the Denver Art Museum houses one of the most impressive collections ... Read more » Steve Crecelius / VISIT DENVER

#3 Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre With its excellent views of the Rocky Mountains, miles of hiking trails and cinnamon-hued sandstone cliffs, Red Rocks Park is a big draw for outdoors enthusiasts. Occupying 700-some acres, this ... Read more » Steve Crecelius / VISIT DENVER

#4 Larimer Square In 1858, a group of American Indians and settlers struck gold at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Their discovery soon spread back to the East Coast, prompting people to ... Read more » Stan Obert / VISIT DENVER

#5 Denver Botanic Gardens The Denver Botanic Gardens' 24 acres feature a whopping 50 gardens for visitors to explore. This expansive facility in downtown Denver's Cheesman Park treats travelers to a variety of ... Read more » Scott Dressel-Martin / VISIT DENVER

#6 Denver Museum of Nature & Science With exhibits featuring everything from dinosaur bones to Egyptian mummies, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science inspires learning in the young and young at heart. This impressive facility houses ... Read more » Accretion Disc / Flickr

#7 Coors Field Named for Denver's famed beer, Coors Field in Denver's LoDo district is home to Major League Baseball's Colorado Rockies. The stadium occupies a whopping 76 acres and ... Read more » Rich Grant / VISIT DENVER

#8 Denver Zoo Modeled after a Kenyan nature preserve, the Denver Zoo is home to more than 4,000 animals, including tigers, black rhinos, kangaroos and orangutans. Sprawling across 80 acres of City ... Read more » Courtesy VISIT DENVER

#9 Molly Brown House Museum Nestled among the contemporary architecture of the Capitol Hill district is the Molly Brown House Museum, an eccentric example of Victorian life and design that no history buff should miss ... Read more » Steve Crecelius / VISIT DENVER

#10 16th Street Mall The 16th Street Mall is to Denver what Rodeo Drive is to Los Angeles. This mile-long pedestrian thoroughfare, which stretches across the southern end of the LoDo district and bypasses  ... Read more » Steve Crecelius / VISIT DENVER

#11 Washington Park Located south of central Denver, Washington Park is consistently praised by Denverites and visitors alike for its ample facilities and enjoyable atmosphere. Occupying 165 acres, this immense park boasts miles ... Read more » Courtesy VISIT DENVER

#12 Sports Authority Field at Mile High Football fans won't want to pass up the chance to spend some time on the Denver Broncos' home turf. The stadium can hold more than 76,000 NFL junkies ... Read more » Courtesy VISIT DENVER

#13 United States Mint Even if you hate the sound of excess change rattling around your pockets, you'll find a tour of the Denver branch of the United States Mint to be an ... Read more » smithcjb / iStockphoto.com

#14 Coors Brewery Brewing since 1873, Coors has become a Colorado institution worth visiting. "Cold as the Rockies" is a phrase we hear uttered during its commercials, and Golden, Colorado – the home of ... Read more » Courtesy VISIT DENVER

#15 Mount Evans Scenic Byway If you came to Denver to experience the Rocky Mountains, you'll want to reserve a day to take a drive up to Mount Evans. In this instance, it isn ... Read more » Rich Grant / VISIT DENVER

# Denver Climbing Company Read more » PeopleImages / Getty Images

# Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art Read more » Courtesy Kirkland Museum

# Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey Tour Read more » Richard Theis / EyeEm / Getty Images

Union Station picture in Denver
Outside the Denver Art Museum picture in Denver
Concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre picture in Denver
Evening in Larimer Square picture in Denver
Entrance of the Denver Botanic Gardens picture in Denver
Dinos at the Museum of Nature & Science picture in Denver
Baseball Fans at Coors Field picture in Denver
Tigers at the Denver Zoo picture in Denver
Tour of the Molly Brown House Museum picture in Denver
Busy Day on the 16th Street Mall picture in Denver
Fall in Washington Park picture in Denver
Sports Authority Field at Mile High picture in Denver
U.S. Mint picture in Denver
Coors Brewery picture in Denver
Mountain Goats on Mount Evans picture in Denver
Denver Climbing Company picture in Denver
Kirkland Museum picture in Denver
Stranhan's Colorado Whiskey Tour picture in Denver
Union Station picture in Denver
Outside the Denver Art Museum picture in Denver
Concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre picture in Denver
Evening in Larimer Square picture in Denver
Entrance of the Denver Botanic Gardens picture in Denver
Dinos at the Museum of Nature & Science picture in Denver
Baseball Fans at Coors Field picture in Denver
Tigers at the Denver Zoo picture in Denver
Tour of the Molly Brown House Museum picture in Denver
Busy Day on the 16th Street Mall picture in Denver
Fall in Washington Park picture in Denver
Sports Authority Field at Mile High picture in Denver
U.S. Mint picture in Denver
Coors Brewery picture in Denver
Mountain Goats on Mount Evans picture in Denver
Denver Climbing Company picture in Denver
Kirkland Museum picture in Denver
Stranhan's Colorado Whiskey Tour picture in Denver

Union Station, a 100-year-old landmark, offers opportunities for shopping and dining in addition to tours. powerofforever / Getty Images

You don't necessarily have to go inside the Denver Art Museum to see some incredible works. You'll find immense sculptures (like the one pictured here) all around the building. Steve Crecelius / VISIT DENVER

Sitting west of central Denver, Red Rocks Park offers excellent hiking during the day, while the on-site amphitheater hosts concerts and shows in the evenings. Steve Crecelius / VISIT DENVER

Larimer Square marks the birthplace of the Mile High City. This historic area now boasts a variety of restaurants, bars and shops. Stan Obert / VISIT DENVER

Scott Dressel-Martin / VISIT DENVER

Accretion Disc / Flickr

Coors Field is home to Major League Baseball's Colorado Rockies. Rich Grant / VISIT DENVER

These tigers are just two of the more than 4,000 animals housed at the Denver Zoo. This 75-acre facility also features rhinos, elephants and lions. Courtesy VISIT DENVER

Steve Crecelius / VISIT DENVER

A popular pedestrian thoroughfare, the 16th Street Mall features a wide array of shops and restaurants. You'll find it bustling with activity day and night. Steve Crecelius / VISIT DENVER

Located south of downtown Denver, Washington Park is one of the city's most popular green spaces. Denverites often spend their weekends walking or biking alongside its two lakes. Courtesy VISIT DENVER

Sports Authority Field at Mile High can hold up to 76,000 Denver Broncos fans. Courtesy VISIT DENVER

The Denver branch of the U.S. Mint produces all types of circulated coins, including Sacagawea dollars. The facility has the ability to produce up to 50 million coins a day. smithcjb / iStockphoto.com

When you're not touring the Coors Brewery, spend some time exploring Golden, Colorado. You'll find several Wild West-themed attractions and plenty of opportunities to get outdoors. Courtesy VISIT DENVER

Take a drive along the Mount Evans Scenic Byway for spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains (and possibly their residents). Rich Grant / VISIT DENVER

PeopleImages / Getty Images

Courtesy Kirkland Museum

Richard Theis / EyeEm / Getty Images

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