23 June 2013

Recommended Ride: Echo Lake Lodge

A Sunday ride up the road to Mt Evans, Colorado

I did a short climb today up Chicago Creek Rd (Colorado State Hwy 103) to Echo Lake Lodge and took exactly zero photos to share. I realized this while descending at rapid speeds, but since that was going pretty well I saw no point in stopping. At the top I had met a number of interesting cyclists who apparently were a distraction from photography, including one guy who was planning on doing La Marmotte in France (108m, 16.990 ft) in two weeks and was spending his day climbing up and down and up and down the same roads near Mt Evans.

Basically I climbed the road to Mt Evans (the highest paved road in the United States) from the Idaho Springs side.  In this neck of the woods (literally inside the Arapaho National Forest) all roads lead to Echo Lake Lodge where water refills await and an endless stream of cyclists flow in and out. Those who have good timing, or good weather, continue another 15 miles (24km) to a parking lot just short of the 14,265 ft (4,348 m) summit of Mt Evans.

As I climbed I kept thinking, I cannot believe my nephew won Cat 4 at age 21 in the Mt Evans hillclimb a few years ago - it is a tough road to race. Weather was looming today when I reached Echo Lake Lodge. From the sight of the shaking cyclists who had just descended from the peak of Mt Evans, I made the correct decision to turn around and glide back downhill 13.75 miles to the town of Idaho Springs. I returned home, showered, and went to yoga class in Denver under the sound of thunder and raindrops.

The Bob Cook Memorial/Mt Evans Hill Climb (Event Race Flyer) is July 20, 2013

I rode the entire ride today and never took a photo, not one, oops, but I do have a post I wrote in 2010 to share with you, same road, with photos!: Colorado High - a post from riding the road to Echo Lake Lodge from the Squaw Pass side.

This one image below may best describe my climb today. Ride: Idaho Springs to Echo Lake, 13.75miles one-way, 3028.22 ft elevation gain, max elevation 10,663ft. 
Oooh pinks and reds and oranges look much nicer than they feel
Mt Evans is west of Denver, and the closest to Denver of Colorado's 54 fourteeners.
Echo Lake Lodge is a good place to stop for a cold or hot drink