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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Mount Evans‏

August 18th, 2010 · 3 Comments

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My friend Sharon and I wanted to see Rocky Mountain goats this morning. Since the only place in Colorado where we knew they lived was on Mount Evans, we went to the Mount Evans Wilderness at the top of that mountain.

I count this as my first fourteener, one of the 54 mountains in Colorado higher than 14,000 feet. While three years ago I drove up the road to Pikes Peak and then walked the last five feet or so to the top, I’m not sure if that counts. Some people might not even count my ascent today, but Sharon and I did have to hike the last quarter of a mile to the summit.

On the Very Summit of Mount Evans at 14,265 Feet

On the Very Summit of Mount Evans at 14,265 Feet

Click on the picture above to enlarge

We took the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, the highest paved road in North America. It’s just a two-hour drive of 70 miles southwest of Boulder, but the road is open only from May 28 to September 27. Until today I missed it every year that I have lived in Colorado.

Except for the last quarter of a mile, the road goes all the way to the mountain’s summit at 14,265 feet. Mount Evans is the 14th highest of the 54 “fourteeners” in Colorado. From the summit we could see Longs Peak (elevation 14,259) to the north, and Pikes Peak (elevation 14,115), Mount Bierstadt (elevation 14,065), and Mount of the Holy Cross (elevation 14,011) to the south.

We reached our goal with surprising ease. All we had to do was to drive to near the top of the mountain. Just below the summit we found a herd of perhaps 100 Rocky Mountain goats.

Rocky Mountain Goats Like Rocks

Rocky Mountain Goats Like Rocks

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This Goat Has a Bi-Colored Tongue

This Goat Has a Bi-Colored Tongue

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A Kid Jumps

A Kid Jumps

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Who Is that Guy?

Who Is that Guy?

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Just One Lump Left to Shed

Just One Lump Left to Shed

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Goat and Sky

Goat and Sky

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Taking a Bath

Taking a Bath

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Goats Mostly Eat

Goats Mostly Eat

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A Kid Suckles

A Kid Suckles

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Sharon and a Kid Study Each Other

Sharon and a Kid Study Each Other

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Besides Rocky Mountain goats, Sharon particularly wanted to see bighorn sheep. So we found a large herd of them — although all had small horns — on the way back down the mountain.

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep

Sharon has been teaching me a lot about birds, so I made sure to photograph the ravens we saw.

A Raven on the Road

A Raven on the Road

A Raven in Flight

A Raven in Flight

Another Raven Flies

Another Raven Flies

As we walked among the goats, we saw lots of yellow-bellied marmots.

A Young Marmot

A Young Marmot

Another Marmot

Another Marmot

Marmot Lookout

Marmot Lookout

All this wildlife is wonderful. Of course, I was delighted to see Rocky Mountain goats for the first time in my life. But what gave me the greatest joy today was taking my first good photograph of a little creature that few people ever see. The pika lives only high in the mountains and avoids humans. As Sharon and I hiked to the top of Mount Evans I was carrying my camera over my shoulder, so I was ready when we came across this pika. Had I been carrying my camera in a pack as I usually do I wouldn’t have captured this one image of the pika before it scampered off into the rocks.

A Pika on the Summit Trail

A Pika on the Summit Trail

Finally, here is the landscape near the summit.

Mount Evans: Much Rock, Some Grass, A Little Water

Mount Evans: Much Rock, Some Grass, A Little Water

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Posted in: Hiking, Photography

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gretchen // Aug 20, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Great photos of goats!

  • 2 AbhayaMedia Health // Aug 24, 2010 at 12:45 am

    Spectacular photos of goats, and other animals. The scenic beauty of mountains are a refreshing change indeed.

  • 3 Brian H. // Oct 14, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Amazing shot of the pika. Need to get to Mt. Evans. I’ve been on Mt. Evans, but not to the top. However, that was years ago.

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