The Mt. Evans Field Station is owned by the University of Denver and operated under a special use permit from the Arapaho National Forest of the U.S. Forest Service. The facility is available year-round to academic groups and individual researchers with interests in the geology or ecology of the Colorado Front Range. The facility, location and setting are ideal for small (10- to 30-person) academic groups that seek a rustic, natural and affordable setting to serve as a base camp for accessing the diverse natural features of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. This would include summer geology field camps or ecology field courses from academic institutions within or outside Colorado. Facilities may be reserved by the day or week and accommodate only one user group at a time.
Ecologically, the elevation gradient from Denver to Echo Lake traverses a diverse mosaic of mature and disturbance communities ranging from grasslands and foothills on the western edge of the Denver Basin to the montane and subalpine ecosystems of higher elevations in less than 50 km of road travel. In addition, the station rests on the northwest flank of the Bear Creek Watershed and Mt. Evans Wilderness Area, a natural outdoor laboratory of some 30K ha that overlooks the Denver Metropolitan Area and includes nearly 100 km of access trails to a diversity of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The Mt. Goliath Research Natural Area near tree line at 3500 m features an old-growth stand of bristlecone pine and excellent examples of krummholz (elf-wood). The Mt. Evans alpine rises nearly 1000 m above tree line and offers exceptional ungulate viewing (deer, elk, mountain goats, big-horned sheep), birding (including white-tailed ptarmigan, black-capped rosy finch), and botanizing.