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Mount Evans Highway opens for the 2022 season, reservations required

Plowing Mount Evans 2022 copy.jpg
Posted at 12:02 PM, Jun 10, 2022

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. — The Mount Evans Highway up to the top of one of the most prominent mountains along the Front Range opened to the public for the 2022 season on Friday morning.

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) said the highway opened at 8 a.m. Friday. Reservations are required through Recreation.gov to drive up the mountain and park anywhere along the way. Hikers and bicyclists do not need to make a reservation.

Mount Evans Highway is open for the 2022 season

Here is the cost breakdown:

  • One-day personal vehicle on fee free days: $0
  • Reservation for Mount Evans and any of its recreation sites:
    • Three-day personal vehicle: $15
    • Three-day two-person motorcycle: $6
    • Three-day one-person motorcycle: $3
  • Reservations for Mount Evans, Mt. Goliath Nature Center, and summit of Mt. Evans Interpretive Area:
    • Three-day personal vehicle: $10
    • Three-day two-person motorcycle: $6
    • Three-day one-person motorcycle: $3
  • Reservations for vehicle at Summit Lake Park only:
    • One-day personal vehicle: $5

CDOT said its crews worked throughout May and into June to clear snow along the 15-mile highway, which ends at the 14,264-foot summit — the 14th tallest fourteener in the state.

The Mount Evans Highway, also called Colorado Highway 5, is the highest paved road in North America.

READ MORE: Independence Pass, other mountain passes reopen for the 2022 season

Cell service is poor at the base of the mountain, so don't expect to be able to purchase a reservation online once you arrive. You can make reservations up to 30 days in advance. If poor weather forces the highway to close, refunds will drop automatically through Recreation.gov.

Plowing Mount Evans 2022.jpg

In mid-March, the Clear Creek County Board of County Commissioners voted to rename Mount Evans to honor the Indigenous people of Colorado. The Mestaa'ehehe Coalition — Mestaa'ehehe means Owl Woman in Cheyenne — said the decision came after three weeks of meetings, public comments and discussions.

Mount Evans is named after former territorial Gov. John Evans (1862-1865), who authorized the murder of Native Americans in Colorado and was responsible for the Sand Creek Massacre in 1864, which ended with reportedly hundreds of Cheyenne and Arapaho men, women, and children killed, according to the Sand Creek Massacre Foundation.

The Mestaa'ehehe Coalition recommended renaming the mountain to Mount Blue Sky. The Arapaho were known as the Blue Sky People and the Cheyenne have a ceremony each year called Blue Sky.

READ MORE: The Clear Creek County commissioners voted to rename Mount Evans. Here's what happens next

The recommendation will go to the Colorado Geographic Naming Advisory Board for consideration. On May 31, the Mestaa'ehehe Coalition said the advisory board will add this to their agenda "sometime this year," but it's not clear exactly when.