Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Uraling once again to the top of Mount Evans


Another beautifully sunny Spring day here in the great state of Colorado and it was time to introduce Valencia, my 2011 Ural Patrol Sidecar Rig to the summit of Mount Evans. Billed as the nation's highest paved road, CO5 or the Mount Evans Road is paved all the way to 14,130 feet above sea level and is a beautiful drive not far from the Denver Metro Area.

I arrived at the National Forest Service Fee Station near Echo Lake and paid the $3/person fee for motorcycle riders.
I took I-25 to I-70 and cruised westward on I-70 into the mountains. The ride was smooth though windy, with very light traffic due to the Memorial Day Holiday. I'd left the house shortly before 6:30 AM and was Idaho Springs shortly after 7:30 AM to fuel up.

Traffic remained light as it was just shortly after 8:00 AM or so when I left the fee station and at times it felt I had the entire road to myself! I cruised slowly up the winding Mount Evans Road and was soon above the treeline and enjoying the scenic views of distant peaks, plunging precipices just off the unprotected roadside, and the distinct feel of cooling temperatures as I gained altitude.

Taking pictures along the way, I still made good time to the summit of Mount Evans and paused for a quick break in the sparsely filled parking lot. The temperature was in the low 20s so I did not linger at the top for long. I spent more time cruising slowly back down the mountain, taking pictures at the apex of the hairpin turns mostly but sometimes parking on spots where it was safe to do, right up on the edge of the steep drop offs.

There is still some snow remaining on the mountain but it was such a mild Winter this year that what little remains won't last long I fear; even with the bitter cold at the top third of the mountain!
Once back on CO 103, I turned East and with some detours to explore forest roads where I found folks target shooting, ended up riding past Squaw Pass and soon turning onto Witter Gulch. This road takes one down to Upper Bear Creek Road which then you can ride East towards the mountain town of Evergreen with its big lake and golf course.

The crowds were out at Evergreen, enjoying the cool sunny weather. I took CO74 ever Eastward, through the small towns of Kittredge and Idledale and soon reached the town of Morrison which was bustling as well with folks out enjoying the weather. The road home from there was just slab time mostly on US285/I-25/I-225 to Parker Road and from there to my home neighborhoods.

I was home shortly after Noon, a bit over 130 miles ridden. As you can tell, the summit of Mount Evans is within easy driving distance of Denver as I mentioned, quite worth it as a day trip!

 Echo Lake




 Summit Lake













9 comments:

BeemerGirl said...

Great slide show! That is a tiny little summit structure. Is there a shop in there? Or were they bathrooms?

Charlie6 said...

Beemergirl

I believe that used to be a souvenir store/snack bar...burned down during a fire....never rebuilt. Thanks for the visits.

Circle Blue said...

I like the photos of Velencia next to the snow banks. After our record breaking high temperatures of the weekend, it certainly looks refreshing.
~k

wet coast bob said...

Dom:

glad to see Valencia on top of the world. Looks too cold for me. That is a neat structure on top, too bad they didn't rebuild it. If I were there I would be wondering where the WC was

bob
Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

RichardM said...

Wonderful photos. My favorite, as if I had to pick just one, was the mountain lake. It really reminds me of scenery while hiking in the Sierras.

I was also curious about the shell of a building.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

What a great slideshow! Then again, I have come to expect nothing less from you, pictures in which your bike defined against striking backgrounds of jagged mountains, and curves carved by certain death.

I was surprised to see snow piled higher than a foot or two, but equally surprised to read the temperature at the top was still n the mid-twenties (F).

I once suffered oxygen sickness after being in Breckinridge for 24-hours. Would I have felt a dramatic difference at this elevation, even for a short period?

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep
Twisted Roads

Charlie6 said...

Circle Blue and RichardM, thanks for the visit and comments.

Jack...glad you liked the photos as well. It was pretty cold up there....I think everyone feels the effect of the altitude, the effect depends on your level of exertion. I tried to walk as little as possible.

SonjaM said...

Brilliant pictures, and I cannot get enough of the colour scheme. That orange is simply marvelous.

Charlie6 said...

thanks Sonja! I am sure Steve of Scooter in the Sticks will remind me of his comment from previous....that an Orange Ural is almost an unfair advantage when it comes to photos.....