Mount Evans Summit / Interpretive Site
Adress: Idaho Springs, Colorado
Drive the highest paved road in North America. Whether it is for the views, wildlife or history, “The Top” offers something for everyone. To the east, look out at the plains of Colorado and the Denver area. To the west, take in views of the continental divide, including Grays and Torreys peaks, the only 14,000 foot mountains on the Continental Divide. Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park is visible to the north. Pikes Peak, South Park and New Mexico's Sangre de Cristo Mountain's can be seen to the south. There are three significant structures at “The Top,” two of which are historic: the ruins of the Crest House, the High Altitude Lab and the Meyer-Womble Observatory. The Crest House was first open to the public in 1942, serving as a restaurant and souvenir shop. In 1979, the Crest house burned in a propane fire. The oldest structure up there is The High Altitude Lab. A wooden double A-frame building that was constructed by the University of Denver in 1935 to support cosmic ray research. In 1979, the University of Denver added a telescope, which in 1997, was expanded into an observatory. Take advantage of interpretive signs onsite that tell the story of these structures in great detail.