Colorado State Highway 5

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State Highway 5 marker

State Highway 5
Route information
Maintained by CDOT
Length: 14.89 mi[1] (23.96 km)
Major junctions
South end: Summit of Mount Evans
North end: SH 103 at Echo Lake
Counties: Clear Creek
Highway system
Colorado State Highways
SH 3 US 6

State Highway 5 in the U.S. state of Colorado 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.

Route description[edit]

Highway 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 State Highway 103 at Echo Lake Park, about 13 miles (21 km) south of Idaho Springs, the nearest municipality to Highway 5.

Because of its mountainous route, State Highway 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. As a state highway, the road is open to the public and free to traverse out and back.


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

Major intersections[edit]

State Highway 5 from summit of Mt. Evans

The entire route is in Clear Creek County. [3]

Location[3] mi[3] km Destinations Notes
0.000 0.000 SH 103
14.894 23.970 Mount Evans summit parking
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


Route map: Google

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. ^ a b "Highway Data Explorer, Online Transportation Information System". Colorado Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 2, 2016.