It always surprises me how early morning adventures make you feel so much better, more productive, more positive for the rest of the day. Now summer is here, high alpine ridges are increasingly snow free, allowing for safer scrambling conditions.
One of my personal favorites is the ridge between Mt Spalding and Mt Evans. Most people know you can drive to the top of Mt Evans by car, but this route is way more fun and can be done relatively quickly (5 miles round trip). Getting to Mt Evans road before 8 am allows you to drive up without a reservation.
Start by parking at Summit Lake and ascend Mt Spalding. It's a well defined trail. After summiting this unofficial peak, descent for a bit until you begin to climb back up towards Mt Evans. You will have two options: follow the trail, which stays off the crest of the ridge, or attempt to stay in the actual top of the ridge. It's mainly class 2 and 3 and not great for dogs. There is no trail - just scramble your way up until you reach the summit of Mt Evans. You can wave to all the tourists who drove up and walked a quarter of a mile... You can then descend the grassy slope to the paved road, taking you back to the parking lot.