An Amazing Morning with the Mountain Goats on Mt. Evans

I made it up Mt. Evans for the first time recently and I was so happy I did.  Thankfully the sun rises early as I was up at 5am.  Out the door 15 minutes later and on my way to Mt. Evans.  It’s the closest 14er (14,000′ peak) to Denver, but still almost a 2 hour drive to the top.  The road up is windy and you can’t go all that fast.  I kept having to slow down for marmot that were crossing or even hanging out in the middle of the road!  There was no traffic which was great.  The fee stations are closed that early, but you still need to display a pass on your car.  I have the America the Beautiful pass which allows me access for free. My first encounter with a goat was actually on the way up.  There was a lone goat on the side of the road.  It decided to run along side my car as I drove past it.  I was laughing at that because I think it was trying to out run me.  Even at a slow speed, I passed it.  When I arrived at the top, there were no goats in sight.  Within 10 minutes there was a herd moving on up.  They apparently like to hang around the vaults at the summit parking area because of the added salts in the soil.  They eat the salts up and lick their noses.  A fun thing to watch as they lift their head up.     I was also fortunate to have at least 3 kids in the herd that wandered up.  There was one kid that couldn’t have been older than a week!  So precious!  The kids enjoyed play time and then followed momma around as she nibbled at the ground.  There is a stone structure on the top and they liked hanging out inside it!  I walked into the structure and was taking photos from inside looking out at the goats.  There was a dad with his young daughter and they apparently turned a corner in the structure and scared a goat by accident.  Well, the goat then scared the crap out of me by jumping about a foot over my shoulder! Another woman was photographing right next to me and she couldn’t believe it. There are not just goats up there though.  I also found a lone big horn sheep that looked pregnant and she was hanging out with a marmot!  No matter where I looked the animals were amazing.  Oh and don’t forget to actually take in the views from up there!  I climbed to the summit and captured a few photos from up there.  Unfortunately, with all the wildfires in Colorado right now there was a smoky haze in the air.  I hope to head back again soon and capture more goats and maybe a clear vista.  Although I stayed over 2 hours at the summit, please be aware that you can get altitude sickness at 14,000 ft.  It is serious and if you feel it, you should head down.  I am acclimated to the high altitude because I live here and I hike in it.  Don’t push yourself and make yourself sick please.  Do enjoy the ride, the views and watching the amazing animals.