Scenic Byways and Drives Scenic Byways and Drives

Colorado Scenic Byways Map
Mount Blue Sky Scenic Byway


Mount Blue Sky (fka Mount Evans) Scenic Byway Map, Colorado Click Here to go to the Echo Lake Lodge page Click here to go the Idaho Springs town page Click here to go to map legend

Map of Mount Blue Sky (fka Mount Evans) Scenic Byway near Evergreen, Georgetown, Idaho Springs, and Denver

Mount Blue Sky Scenic Byway

Mount Blue Sky (fka Mount Evans) Scenic Byway increases in elevation an impressive 7,000 feet in just 28 miles, and is home to diverse wildlife, dazzling scenery, and many recreational activities to keep visitors busy. Mt. Blue Sky Scenic Byway is the highest paved highway in North America, reaching an altitude of 14,130 feet.

Vehicles and motorcyclists must make a reservation and pay a fee to access the road. Bicyclists and hikers must pay an entrance fee. Fees range from $2 to $12.

Mount Blue Sky Scenic and Historic Byway is set to reopen for the season the Friday before Memorial Day 5/24, weather permitting and will remain open through Labor Day. Reservations will be available beginning 5/21 and can be made up to 30 days in advance of planned visit.

Mountain Goats up on rocks near the top of Mount Blue Sky, fka Mount Evans, in Colorado.
Mountain Goats Perched High on Rocks Near the Summit of Mount Blue Sky (fka Mount Evans)
View of Echo Lake along the Mount Blue Sky Scenic Byway, Colorado.
There are Lots of Hiking Trails near Echo Lake, Spend the Day Exploring Area

At the summit, visitors will feel small in comparison to the breathtaking scene laying out before them. The entire Front Range and the Continental Divide stretch out below and beside them are wildflowers, lichens, grasses, pristine alpine lakes, marmots, rock-jumping mountain goats, and big horn sheep. Not only do some consider this the best place to catch a glimpse of the big horn sheep, but it is also one of the few places where alpine tundra exists below the Arctic Circle.

When looking for adventure, this is the place to find it! Recreational opportunities are endless; go fishing in clear mountain lakes and streams or stop for a picnic and view wildflowers and wildlife; for a more athletic experience, there is also hiking, horseback riding, backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, rafting, biking, and four-wheeling.

Family in front of hiking trail sign on Mount Blue Sky Scenic Byway, Colorado.
Bring the Entire Family for a Hike and Picnic Along the Scenic Byway
Family hiking near Mt. Blue Sky Scenic Byway, Colorado.
Park Your Vehicle Along the Mount Blue Sky Byway to Enjoy the Fresh Mountain Air

The mountain offers medium to hard grade trails for biking; a popular trail of medium grade is approximately 17 miles to the top of Echo Lake. One should get an early start on this trail as the weather and traffic get worse later in the day. Take time to stop in this area at the Echo Lake Lodge and Restaurant. Built in 1926, its authentic log cabin design and unique architectural artwork are reason enough to visit.

Bristle Cone Pine trees at Dos Chappell Nature Center along Mount Blue Sky Scenic Byway in Colorado.
Bristlecone Pines are Twisted To Increase Their Resistance to High Winds
Echo lake taken from the front porch of Echo Lake Lodge on the Mt. Blue Sky Scenic Byway, Colorado. Photo courtesy of Echo Lake Lodge
Blue Skies and a Fresh Dusting of Snow Surrounds Echo Lake

There are several points of interest that shouldn't be missed when visiting this area. Many prospectors struck it rich during the gold rush in Idaho Springs, located at the beginning of the Byway. The town itself is rich in history and tradition; the quaint Victorian community offers camping, lodging, biking, hiking, rafting, and relaxing in the hot springs pools.

Evidence of the gold rush still remains in the Argo Mill & Tunnel, which was once the longest tunnel in the world, connecting Idaho Springs to Central City. Colorado School of Mines uses an old mine as an underground classroom and it is also open to visitors for tours. Whether you are looking to be dazzled with adventure or just to escape the everyday pressures of work and the city, this is the place to come to.

Please note that there will be a FULL CLOSURE of the Scenic Byway from Labor Day 2024 to Memorial Day 2026 for road repair. The Federal Highway and CDOT in partnership with the USFS, Denver Mountain Parks, Clear Creek County, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, will be working together to insure the road repairs will be done in a way that maintains the beauty and wildlife of this beloved Colorado fourteener.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: From Denver, take I-70 west and take Exit 240. Travel south and follow Highway 103 to Echo Lake. At Echo Lake is the Forest Service's check-in station. From here, the road runs to the summit of Mt. Blue Sky (fka Mt. Evans). The byway is 28 miles (44.8 kilometers) long and will take about an hour to drive.

More Activities & Information

Denver Mountain Area, Colorado includes: Black Hawk, Central City, Empire, Evergreen, Genesee, Georgetown, Golden Mountains, Idaho Springs, Idledale, Morrison

Scenic Byways in Colorado

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