Background photo - U.S. #5 Pikes Peak CO.
Photos are in sequential order going up the mountain.
Start (click and drag map; double click to move forward)
Note: Click on “View full route" (top left) which opens the Mt. Evans RideWithGPS page. Hover over the distance line at the spot you would like to begin a sub- segment for this climb. Click your mouse on the start point and drag the vertical graphing line the distance you wish to obtain sub-detail from, then release the mouse at the end point. This will give you the following sub-detail for the selected segment in the “Metrics” window top right of the page: (a) distance, (b) elevation gained and lost, (c) max grade, (d) average grade (e) that segment's climb category – e.g. Cat 1, HC, etc., and (f) FIETS score for the segment.
Hover cursor over segment slices, below, for exact grade of a particular segment. Map route (bottom) colors correlate with elevation legend colors.
There are not many rides you will do where you can say "This is the highest . . .", but this is one of them. Mt Evans - the highest paved road (therefore the highest paved climb by bike) in North America! For all that strive to climb the hardest, the longest, the steepest, the highest, this is a Must- Do! You will encounter unique wildlife as you climb this mountain, including Rocky Mountain big horn sheep, mountain goats (photo, above), marmots (they seem very curious and you likely will encounter them staring at you along the side of the road towards the very top of the climb). Great summaries of Mt Evans are found at SteepClimbs.com, Wikipedia - Mt Evans andMountEvans.com. Be aware that the top 5.3 miles of the climb is limited to foot and cycling traffic after Labor Day (as of 2014) and closes to cyclists/hikers when weather dictates. You will have no SAG support after Labor Day from mile 22.1 (Summit Lake Park) to 27.4 (summit).
This is as high as you'll ever get on a road bike in North America, so be prepared. 3% less oxygen for every 1,000' of climbing (42% less oxygen at 14,000' than at sea level). It is highly recommended that you climb a few of the "lower" peaks in the area before tackling Mt. Evans - I was a bit light headed and wobbly towards the top (I had climbed several 8,000' peaks in California the week before the trip, but that didn't sufficiently prepare me for another mile of climbing after 8,000'!
Roadway and Traffic: Miles 0-13 are along Highway 103 (Chicago Creek and Squaw Creek Roads). The highway surface is a smooth two lane road with no bike lane, but minimal traffic, particularly along the last several miles before the Mt Evans Road turn off. Traffic is mild for the entire climb on Mt Evans Road (14 miles) and the roadway surface good, although a little rough for the 5 mile descent from the top to Summit Lake.