Animals of Mount Evans, the Highest Paved Road in North America

As a parent one of the things I enjoy most with my children is exploring new places together.  It is one of the reasons we choose camping as our main method of traveling.

Whenever we camp it is hard to not want to be in the great outdoors checking out the local sites.   This weekend we decided to take a drive up the highest paved road in North America to Mount Evans.

Views from Mount EvansThe trip up Mount Evans is not for inexperienced drivers.  With its tight turns and winding bends even I found myself using the imaginary brake in the passenger seat as my husband drove.   As we continued to climb upwards, the views were amazing.

To take the road to the top of Mount Evans, there is a fee per vehicle.  Be sure to take a jacket of some kind along with you even on the hottest of days.  It was in the high 80′s when we left our original destination, but by the time we reached the summit of Mount Evans (14,264 feet) it was high 30′s and windy.  Of course, I had no idea this would be the case and I was in shorts and t-shirt.

Lesson learned!

Mount EvansBefore we even started up Hwy 103, we saw a herd of elk laying in the front yard of one of the homes in Evergreen.  I laughed as I watched them grazing on the flowerbeds nicely planted by the homeowner.  I’m thinking that person will be rethinking planting in the upcoming seasons.

drive up Mount EvansOur journey up Mount Evans was nothing short of exciting.  About 10 miles into the drive, we had our first animal siting of a baby fox.  Unfortunately, despite the warnings of a concerned homeowner to not feed the wildlife, you could tell people were not obeying this rule.

Baby Fox on Mount EvansThe baby fox was not afraid of us at all and even began to approach us in the hopes of being fed.  It was such a beautiful animal.  I am hoping that it will learn to fend for itself so it can make it through the cold Colorado winter.

 We had no idea the amount of animals we would see on our scenic drive.   However, it made for the perfect day for our family!

Drive up Mount Evans

As we reached timberline, these little critters could be seen at almost every turn.  I believe they are called marmots.  They were very healthy in appearance and had long bushy tails.  Watching them run across the rocks was quite the amusing site.

Mountain Goats on Mount Evans

We came upon an entire herd of mountain goat above timberline.  As you can see from the above picture, they are still in the process of losing their winter coats.

baby mountain goats on Mount EvansThey appear to be very used to interacting with people and were not afraid of humans.  We even saw some people who wandered right into the middle of them.  I wouldn’t advise this!  Several of the females had young babies and like any mother can become protective.  Also, I believe in being respectful of the fact that they are wild animals and should be left as such.

Big horn sheep on Mount EvansLastly, right before we reached our final destination at the summit of Mount Evans, we ran into the bighorn sheep.  There were only about 5-6 of them, but we were excited none the less.  I watched as this one grazed on the grass.  She wasn’t seeming like she wanted a photo opportunity, so I made a loud noise in hopes of  her looking up.  From the appearance of this photo, I think I may have scared her.

Big horn sheep on Mount Evans

Seriously, doesn’t she have a surprised look on her face!

After taking this drive, I don’t know why I have waited so long to take the journey up Mount Evans.  What an amazing trip to experience with my children.

I highly recommend this to anyone who lives or is visiting in Colorado.

Visit the KOA “Around the Campfire” community to chat with others that love the outdoors.  There is always fun conversations and great advice being given to help plan your next outdoor camping or RV trip.  We would love to have you as part of the community.

 

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Comments

  1. Beautiful photography, as well as good advice for making such a trip! We, too, have just returned from a trip to mountains. It is amazing how quickly the climate/temperature/need for warm clothing can change with additional altitude!

  2. What beautiful animal pictures! Looks like a fun trip.

  3. By the time they lose those coats, it’ll be time to start growing a new one!

  4. Great pictures! Looks like fun!

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