Mt. Bierstadt

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Trail Stats & Info

RT length 7 miles
Elevation gain 2,850 feet
Difficulty strenuous
Lowest elevation 11,700 feet
Highest elevation 14,060 feet
Trail type out & back
Trails Illustrated Map™ # 104
Restrooms @ TH? yes

Directions

From I-70, take exit 228 to Georgetown. Take 15th St. South to CO Rd. 306 (Argentine Rd.) and turn right onto Co Rd. 306. Follow this road to 6th St., and take a left onto 6th St. Follow the sign for Guanella Pass. After 2 blocks, take a right onto Rose St. Follow Rose St. all the way to the end to the sign for Guanella Pass. Turn right onto Guanella Pass Rd. Take Guanella Pass Rd. for about 10 miles all the way to the top of Guanella Pass. Parking is on the left, but if that lot is full there is additional parking on the right side. Or, you can park along the side of the road.

From Hwy. 285, take Guanella Pass Rd. in Grant, CO. Follow Guanella Pass Rd. for about 13 miles to the top of Guanella Pass. Parking is on the right side by the restrooms, or on the left if that lot is full.



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Description

This hike is one of the easier and more accessible 14ers in the Front Range. You can get to the trailhead either by 285 or by I-70. If you get there from I-70, make sure to check the road closures/updates before heading out. They are doing construction on Guanella Pass Road. In the past, there are temporarily closures throughout the day, depending on the day of the week. Make sure you get there early as both parking lots get full quickly, especially in the summer time. The trailhead is either at the lower parking lot, just left of the restrooms, or off Guanella Pass Rd. just south of the lower lot. You can register at a small stand as you enter Mt. Evans Wilderness. The start of the trail descends a little bit as you go up and down wooden pathways that were built over marshy lands. If you hike this in the early summer as the snow is still melting, or after a heavy rainstorm, expect to hike on a muddy and soft trail. Once you reach the bottom of the meadow, you’ll have to carefully cross a stream by jumping from boulder to boulder. I’ve seen several people slip and fall into the water. You can possibly cross the stream further downstream, as there might be a log or boulders that are closer together. After crossing this stream, the trail slowly starts to ascend and eventually gets steeper. After climbing for awhile, you’ll come up to a flat area, which is a popular spot to take a break and eat a snack. From here, it get steeper and steeper. The trail get very steep with loose rocks and dirt, so watch your footing and balance. You’ll definitely be huffing and puffing. Then, you’ll come up to another flat area and here you are at the base of the summit. This time of year, as you head up from this base, I had to traverse over a small snowfield, but nothing too hard. After that, the rest of the hike requires some scrambling or easy Class 3 hiking. Slowly, but surely you’ll get to the top. The summit is not very broad and is mainly made up of boulders. You just got to find a nice broad boulder to sit on, but enjoy the view! You can see Mt. Evans and Grays and Torreys peak form here. You can also see the “Sawtooth” ridge, which looks a bit perilous, but I’ve heard it is much easier than it looks. If you plan on continuing on to Mt. Evans, you’ll have to cross the “Sawtooth” first. This trail gets very busy and populated, so if you’re looking for a 14er with solitude, this is not the one. I’ve seen from elderly folks to little kids hike up this 14er. Heading down was much faster than going up, but boy was it hard on my knees. Also, I can’t say i like that last part of the trail that ascends back up to the parking lot or road, but luckily it’s not too steep. I’ve done this 14er 4 times and it is about the same each year that I hike it.

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About Jake & Mar

Jake and Maria have spent a good chunk of their time hiking and exploring all that the Colorado wilderness has to offer. Their ambition is to seek out all the hidden treasures of the Rocky Mountains from pristine alpine lakes, to tall dense Aspen forests, to high mountain summits. They both bring their own unique talents and abilities to Findhikingtrails.com, whether it's the organizational skills and consistent ambition to take on new terrain, or the desire to creatively record and document the experience. They are truly passionate about their site and the outdoors. "We thank you for visiting Findhikingtrails.com and wish you safe and fun adventures!"