While you can drive up to the top of Mt. Evans, I parked at the Summit Lake area for a 2 mile hike up and 1 mile hike down. The elevation change was about 2000ft to top out at 14,270ft.
Going around the lake, I quickly began to climb to the summit of Mt. Spaulding. On the way up, I caught and passed about 7 other hikers. As we chatted, they nicknamed me “Speedy” and were impressed that a flatlander from North Carolina caught them.
From the summit of Spaulding, I dipped down onto the ridge to Mt. Evans. By this time I was trekking alone once again. Also the trail disappeared and so I started having to follow the cairns. It’s here that Speedy got caught by a young coed who led me astray atop the mountain.
Crossing the ridge, I circled back to civilization to climb the final couple of hundred yards with the “tourists”-those folks who drove to the summit and claim they climbed a 14er by hiking the final 100ft up hill.
Atop the summit I was able to enjoy a PB&J and have devotion time. Then I heard one teenager exclaim, “This would be a kick as place for quiet time. Look, that man over there is reading his Bible.”
On the return trip I passed the tourist trap area to find my trail down…unfortunately I missed the trail head. So my return trip was bushwhacking down the side. Halfway down, I could see people easily trekking down the designated path and so had to begin traversing over there.