Echo Lake Mountain Park is a 616-acre Denver city park on the east side of Mount Evans. Echo Lake, a glassy 24-acre lake formed by a glacial moraine, is the park’s centerpiece. Dense spruce and fir forest surrounds the lake. The park, acquired by the city in 1920, is a popular stop for visitors driving up the Mount Evans Road. Recreational activities include hiking on Echo Lake Trail; trout fishing along the shoreline; and picnicking at tables near the north shore or at the historic Echo Lake Picnic Shelter. Echo Lake Lodge, a historic 1924 log building, lies south of the lake at the start of the Mount Evans Road. Echo Lake Campground, an 18-site Arapaho National Forest site, is also south of the park. The 10,600-foot-high park lies next to Colorado Highway 103, providing quick access to the lake, parking areas, trails, and restrooms.
- The 0.8-mile, out-and-back Echo Lake Trail makes a half-circle around Echo Lake. The easy hike has views of the lake and Mount Evans as it passes through forest to Echo Lake Lodge. Dogs are allowed, but must be leashed.
- Echo Lake Campground, east of the park at the junction of highway 103 and the Mount Evans Road, is an 18-site campground for tents, trailers, and RVs. Sites are available by reservation or first-come first-served.
- Mount Evans Scenic Byway, only open in the summer, begins at Echo Lake Mountain Park. It climbs 15-miles and almost 4,000 feet to a parking lot below the 14,271-foot summit. The drive, the highest paved road in North America, offers scenic views, rare plants at the Mount Goliath Natural Area, and Summit Lake Mountain Park. Mountain goat sightings are frequent along the upper road so be on the lookout.
- Echo Lake Lodge is just south of Echo Lake Mountain Park. Its restaurant serves country cooking. Eaters enjoy breakfast scrambles, buffalo chili, and assortment of pies. The gift shop sells Colorado souvenirs so you can pick up your Mount Evans t-shirt, shot glass, or fridge magnet.
Recommended season(s): Year-round.
—Stewart M. Green