End of Summer at Mt. Evans

Over Labor Day weekend, my husband, Chris and I drove up to Mount Evans and it was breathtakingly, Colorado beautiful.

While I had been up to Mount Evans a few other times, this time, I felt more gratitude than I have in the past.  I’m not sure why except for a deeper appreciation for that which has survived.

I’m fascinated by The Mount Evans Crest House.  This is a structure located at the summit of Mount Evans.  It’s now in ruins but you can still walk through what’s left of it.  It is notable for both its significant architectural design and its unusual location. Built when the Mount Evans Scenic Highway was finished, it was then the highest business structure in the US.  It opened to much fanfare in 1941 and it served as a restaurant, gift shop and tourist attraction until it was partially destroyed by a fire in 1979.

The crazy idea to build a structure at the top of the summit was dreamt up by carpenter and immigrant Justus “Gus” Roehling.  He wanted to build a “Castle in the Sky” for his then girlfriend and future wife, Edith.  Awwwww. I just love that.

Mount Evans Scenic Byway is the highest road in North America. I don’t think I knew that fact but I do now!  My husband loved driving the windy road to the peak.  I enjoyed the exquisite scenery from the passenger seat, windows down, taking in the fresh mountain air.

On our way down the mountain, we stopped at Summit Lake Park. It’s the highest city park in North America and the highest peak in the Denver Mountain Parks system.  Oh and then we went and ate mountain crust pizza at Beau Jo’s in Idaho Springs.  If you get a chance, head up to Mount Evans (it’s a great little day trip).  We enjoyed every minute!

By: Meg Nugent

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