When I went to Colorado the first time eleven years ago, I discovered Mount Evans, which is right outside of Idaho Springs. It may sound cliché, but driving up that mountain by myself changed my life (more on that later). So, since we were staying in Idaho Springs for a month, I knew I had to take Rueben to experience its beauty with me.
At the base of Mount Evans is Echo Lake, which was just the start of breathtaking views. There’s a great visitors’ center there, as well, to get some snacks for the drive.
Echo Lake from up high!
The next stop is my favorite – Summit Lake.
The first time I saw Summit Lake, I couldn’t believe how amazing it was. I was also lucky enough to see a bunch of mountain goats in the area, as well! We didn’t see any this time, but we did see a bunch of adorable marmots that you’ll see soon.
I saw this animal and thought, wow is that a huge fox, a wolf, or coyote?? Nope, just someone’s dog 🙂
This cracked me up. I heard this high pitched squeak/scream and knew immediately that it was a marmot, but where? That’s when I looked up and saw this guy at the top of one of the hills! I pointed him out to a few people and we all got a good laugh.
Marmots! They are seriously too cute and such chonks.
The drive up to the top of Mount Evans is exciting in a scary way – the roads get narrow in some spots, there are switchbacks, and you’re right on the edge a lot of times! Rueben is an excellent driver and got us to the summit while I took as many photos as I could.
I never thought that driving up a mountain would be life-changing, but I have to say, it was for me. It was the icing on the cake for a solo road trip I took to Colorado in 2011. I had done everything alone that week – eaten, went to a bar to see a band, explored, white-water rafted, and then drove up and down a 14,265 ft mountain. The views, the fact that a storm was rolling in so the sky was gorgeous, the fresh air, it all made me so grateful to be there. Grateful to be able to see the beauty, and brave for doing it all by myself. It’s definitely a memory that I’ll never forget.
Next up: Reaching the summit!