Mount Blue Sky Scenic Byway (formally Mount Evans), the highest paved road in North America, climbs over 7,000 feet in its 28-mile length and reaches an altitude of 14,130 feet. The Scenic Byway starts near Idaho Springs and leads through Mount Blue Sky Recreation Area, offering visitors scenic views of the Continental Divide, mountain goat and bighorn sheep herds, marmots, birds, alpine wildflowers, and Rocky Mountain Bristlecone Pine trees. Come make Mount Blue Sky your first 14er!
Mount Blue Sky Scenic Byway is jointly managed with the Colorado Department of Transportation
Mount Blue Sky History - Learn about the history of the mountain and the road.
Watch this helpful video by Colorado Parks and Wildlife for important information to know before visiting Mount Blue Sky.
Closed for the Season as of October 10, 2023
There is NO cell phone service in the area. Please purchase your reservation ahead of time, at home or before leaving the towns of Idaho Springs or Bergen Park.
Visitors who arrive by vehicle or motorcycle must purchase a timed entry reservation and must enter on the first day of the reservation at the required entry time. Tickets must be purchased online at Recreation.gov or use the Recreation.gov mobile app.
Reservation tickets will not be sold at the Mount Blue Sky Welcome Station.
We do not sell the Federal Recreation Land Passes on site. Please visit the USGS online store for America the Beautiful passes at
Please arrive as close to your 2-hour reservation time reservation as indicated on your ticket. If you booked a reservation for the 8-10AM time slot you have between 8-10AM to enter. You may not enter the area prior to your reservation. Once entered, visitors can stay the entire day.
Visitors are allowed to have up to 1 private vehicle reservation per day for only 1 time slot. Reservation holder must be in the vehicle at time of entry.
Motorcycles tickets are per person and must purchase a reservation for each driver/rider.
Interagency pass holders are required to make an entry time reservation and the non-refundable $2.00 fee applies. This includes Interagency annual, senior, military volunteer, 4th grade and access passes. Please be prepared to show your pass with your reservation ticket. Federal Recreation Land passes are not sold on site.
Please have a printed or digital copy of your timed entry reservation available to be scanned at the Welcome Station each day you enter. Print or download your reservation to your phone prior to leaving a near by town with cell service. There is No cell service at the Welcome Station.
All reservation holders be prepared to show photo ID.
Conditions can change quickly and drastically on Mount Blue Sky. Regardless of the weather conditions at the start of Highway 5, come prepared for any of the following: intense sunlight, cold temperatures, snow, hail or rain, extreme wind, and low oxygen levels. The road can close any day throughout the summer due to winter-like conditions.
Road damage near Summit Lake Park, Slow Down before approaching.
Observe animals from a safe distance - safe for you and safe for the animals.
Never chase or harass wildlife - it is unlawful and can harm them.
Respect others who are viewing the same animals.
It is illegal and harmful to feed wild animals.
Check out Colorado Parks and Wildlife video on what to know when visiting the area.
Camping and campfires are not allowed within one-half mile of Highway 5 and the entire Summit Lake Flats area.
Feeding or attracting wildlife is prohibited.
Hunting is prohibited within one-half mile of Highway 5 when it is open.
Dogs are welcome, but they must be on a handheld leash at all times.
The Mount Blue Sky Scenic Byway climbs more than 7,000 feet in just 28 miles, reaching an altitude of 14,130 feet. The views are breath taking, but the road is in poor condition and has no guardrails so be prepared for slow and possible difficult driving conditions. Also beware there are many bicyclists that cycle this road. The maximum allowable length for vehicles (per CO Department of Transportation) is 30 feet due to the narrow steep and winding road. Motorhomes are not recommended.
Fees are waived on Fee-Free days. A non-refundable $2.00 reservation fee still applies. To reserve a ticket for a Fee-Free day, select Personal Vehicle Fee Free Day Entry. Fee-Free days are as follows: June 8, 2024 (National Get Outdoors Day), June 19, 2024 (Juneteenth)
The Mount Blue Sky road (Hwy 5) will be CLOSED for a recreation event on June 23, 2024 and on July 20, 2024. The road will close to the public the night before the scheduled events approx. 8PM.
Reservations for these two days will only be open for the 2 and 4 PM reservation times.
On September 3, 2024 Highway 5 will close for the season for road construction.
A commercial vehicle timed ticket is required for commercial operators entering the area and will not be providing additional visitor services (guided hikes, climbing, etc.). This includes commercial test cars. All commercial tour operators must register with the Forest Service in order to purchase a ticket. Call the District Office at 303-567-3029 for more information.
These events are not permitted along Highway 5 or at developed sites located on the corridor. The developed interpretive sites on this corridor are designed for interpretation and education for the public and are not appropriate for special events as they are continually at or over capacity.
CFR: § 261.16 Developed recreation sites. Prohibited: (a) occupying any portion of the site for other than recreation purposes.
For additional information about Mount Blue Sky, please visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/arp/recreation/natureviewing/recarea/?recid=28452&actid=64
Primary Booking Window: 75% of the timed tickets will be available 30 days in advance at 10AM EST, on a daily rolling bases.
Secondary Booking Window: 25% of the timed tickets will also be available two days in advance at 10 a.m. ET on a rolling window. Example: On June 1 tickets will be available for June 3; on June 2 tickets will be available June 4.
Cancellations must be made up to 24 hours in advance of the entry time for refund minus $2 processing fee. Refunds must be processed through www.recreation.gov.
No refunds for no shows, weather or cancellations less than 24 hours in advance.
Once printed, the ticket is considered issued and modifications or cancellations will no longer be allowed.
Highway 5 Idaho Springs CO 80452