Info from Brant at USFS - Mt Evan road will not open to vehicle traffic this year. It is open for non-motorized access (biking, hiking etc).
- To ensure the safety of the public and the long-term viability of the Mount Evans Recreation Area, the Mount Evans joint management agencies, in coordination with Clear Creek County, have made the shared decision that Mount Evans Highway remain closed to motorized use this year.
- Opening the highway would make it more difficult for tourists to practice social distancing, as more than 200,000 people from all over the world visit the summit of Mount Evans while the road is open.
- On weekends, thousands of vehicles pass through the fee stations, and visitors gather in large crowds at the summit, visit the nature center, attend interpretive programs and wait in lines to use the restroom facilities in large numbers, creating a challenge in properly managing social distancing.
- We acknowledge people are excited to get outside and recreate. Recreation opportunities across the rest of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests are open and there are still many opportunities to safely enjoy Colorado’s vast, great outdoors.
- In making this shared, data-driven decision with our management partners, we carefully considered the economic feasibility of operating an abbreviated season on Mount Evans while mitigating health and safety risks in alignment with federal, state and local guidance.
- A thorough fiscal analysis determined that the cost of operating Mount Evans for an abbreviated season with limited services, additional protective equipment for employees, and metered visitor entry would create a steep operating budget deficit that would impact the ability of the mountain to open next year.
- Managing and maintaining the 14,000-foot mountain’s facilities, nature centers, restrooms, parking, traffic and safety requires a large seasonal crew of employees.
- Mount Evans operates entirely on fee collections. By not operating Mount Evans in 2020, 2019’s collections can be used to operate Mount Evans for a full season in 2021.
- There will be no restrooms or services provided by USDA Forest Service and Denver Mountain Parks on Mount Evans this summer, but there are no plans to prohibit the use of Mount Evans Highway for non-motorized activities such as hiking and biking.
- Recreationists should be aware of and plan for extremely limited parking and please do not block the main gate to Hwy 5.
- Visitors to public lands should practice the seven Leave No Trace principles and follow state and local orders regarding recreation throughout the summer.
- Due to the higher demand on law enforcement and rescue operations, high-risk activities that increase your chance of injury or distress should be avoided.