The incomparable Mount Evans Scenic and Historic Byway—the highest paved road in the United States—leads to the summit of 14,264-foot-high Mount Evans. This is one of only two Fourteeners in the United States that you can drive up (the other is her southern sister, Pikes Peak). More than 7,000 feet are climbed in 28 miles, and the road tops out at 14,134 feet, 130 feet shy of the summit, which is a ¼-mile stroll from the parking lot. The toll road winds past placid lakes and through stands of towering Douglas firs and bristlecone pines. This is one of the best places in the state to catch a glimpse of shaggy white mountain goats and regal bighorn sheep. Small herds of the nimble creatures stroll from car to car looking for handouts. Feeding them is prohibited, however. Keep your eyes peeled for other animals, including deer, elk, and feather-footed ptarmigans.
From Idaho Springs, State Rd. 103 leads south 14 miles to the entrance to Hwy. 5, which is the beginning of the scenic byway. The U.S. Forest Service fee station is here on State Rd. 3, Idaho Springs, Colorado, 80452, United States