Colorado State Highway 5

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State Highway 5

Mount Evans Highway
SH 5 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by CDOT
Length14.894 mi[1] (23.970 km)
Mount Evans Scenic Byway
RestrictionsClosed winters
Major junctions
North end SH 103 at Echo Lake
South endSummit of Mount Blue Sky
CountryUnited States
CountiesClear Creek
Highway system
  • Colorado State Highway System
SH 3 US 6

Colorado State Highway 5 (SH 5) is a 14.89-mile-long (23.96 km) state highway in the U.S. state of Colorado that is the highest paved road in North America with its upper terminus at 14,140 feet (4,310 m) elevation near the summit of Mount Blue Sky and its lower terminus at 10,650 feet (3,246 m) elevation at State Highway 103 near Echo Lake.

Route description

SH 5 is short, slightly less than 15 miles (24 km) long on its way up to the summit of Mount Blue Sky. 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 Clear Creek County. This highway forms half of the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, running from the summit of Mount Blue Sky 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 8 A.M. and 6:30 P.M.[2] As a state highway, the road is open to the public and free to traverse out and back.

State Highway 5 from summit of Mount Evans


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

Major intersections

The entire route is in Clear Creek County

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


  1. ^ "Highway Data Explorer". Retrieved January 22, 2022.
  2. ^ "Mount Evans Recreation Area Fees and Regulations". US Forest Service. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  3. ^ "Highway Data Explorer, Online Transportation Information System". Colorado Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on September 10, 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2016.

External links

Media related to Colorado State Highway 5 at Wikimedia Commons