Colorado State Highway 5

State Highway 5 (SH 5) is a 14.89-mile-long (23.96 km) state highway in the U.S. state of Colorado and is the highest paved road in North America. However, this is not a through highway;[2] it is simply a scenic spur route to the summit of Mount Evans, altitude 14,264 feet (4,347 m). The southern terminus of State Highway 5 is at a parking lot somewhat below the actual summit, and the northern terminus is at SH 103 at Echo Lake.

State Highway 5 marker

State Highway 5
Mount Evans Highway
SH 5 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by CDOT
Length14.89 mi[1] (23.96 km)
Mount Evans Scenic Byway
RestrictionsClosed winters
Major junctions
South endSummit of Mount Evans
North end SH 103 at Echo Lake
CountiesClear Creek
Highway system
Colorado State Highways
SH 3US 6

Route descriptionEdit

SH 5 is short, slightly less than 15 miles (24 km). It passes through the Mount Evans Wilderness. This particular state highway is quite unusual in that it does not pass through any cities, towns, or unincorporated communities.

The route is entirely contained within the county of Clear Creek. This highway forms half of the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, running from the summit of Mount Evans to the junction with SH 103 at Echo Lake Park, about 13 miles (21 km) south of Idaho Springs, the nearest municipality to SH 5.

Because of its mountainous route, SH 5 is closed seasonally when snow clearance becomes excessively difficult, usually from Labor Day to Memorial Day. During the warmer months the road is open 24 hours a day. A toll (or "park fee") is charged, though technically the toll is only necessary for the use of the parking lot at the summit between 8am and 6:30pm.[3] As a state highway, the road is open to the public and free to traverse out and back.

State Highway 5 from summit of Mt. Evans


SH 5's current routing up to Mount Evans was originally a part of SH 103; however, it was renumbered as SH 5 by year 1955.

Major intersectionsEdit

The entire route is in Clear Creek County. [4]

14.89423.970Mount Evans summit parkingDead end; southern terminus
0.0000.000Squaw Pass Road (SH 103)Northern terminus; Mt. Evans Scenic Byway continues as SH 103 north
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


Route map:

KML is from Wikidata
  1. ^ "Segment list for SH 5". Retrieved 2007-05-12.
  2. ^ The highest through highway in North America is Trail Ridge Road, the portion of U.S. Highway 34 that passes through Rocky Mountain National Park.
  3. ^ "Mount Evans Recreation Area Fees and Regulations". US Forest Service. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Highway Data Explorer, Online Transportation Information System". Colorado Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on September 10, 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2016.