Mt Bierstadt
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Mt Bierstadt -  a great introduction to Colorado Fourteeeners

The whole route is easy to follow - Mt Bierstadt

The route seen from Guanella Pass, the Sawtooth to the left

The summit block scrambling - Mt Bierstadt

The summit block with a bit of boulder hopping

Summit shot a nice scramble and views - Mt Bierstadt

Victoria and Allan on the summit of Bierstadt

Mt. Bierstadt

Scramble: Class 2 Steep Hiking

Altitude: 14,060 ft, Trailhead 11,700ft

Elevation Gain: 2,800 ft approx, Round trip 6.0 miles

Start Time: 5am to 8am to be on your way down by noon and avoid potential lightning storms, 5am if you are doing the Sawtooth and intend to summit Mt Evans also, headlamps required for 5am

Ascent Time: 2 3 Hours for Bierstadt

Highlights

This scramble is a beautiful introduction to scrambling 14ers. One that is worth repeating.

Getting There

Guanella Pass Trailhead 11,700ft Yes restrooms

Take the Georgetown exit off of Interstate 70. Drive through Georgetown and follow the signs for the Guanella Pass scenic byway. You must drive through the heart of Georgetown. Drive up 12 miles to the parking area on the left just before the top of Guanella Pass (11,700') or the parking area just above on the right which has a restroom. Mt. Bierstadt and The Sawtooth fill the view to the East.

Camping

There are a couple of small forestry serviced campgrounds ($11) on the drive up to Guanella Pass, of course there is the old sleep in the vehicle at the trailhead if you want the earliest start.

Route Description

The Bierstadt trail starts on the east side of the road just above the first parking area (being redone in 2006). The trail drops down a few hundred feet to the willows. There is a good trail through the willows with wooden bridges in spots. The trail is easy to follow almost all the way to the summit. Just before the summit there is some boulder hopping to do as you climb the summit block. If you choose the really long day and want to do the Sawtooth ridge and summit Mt Evans also be prepared to bash through the swampy willows on the descent until you can hook up with the Bierstadt trail again. Victoria and I looked at the Sawtooth but having driven 1,150 miles to get there and speaking with an exhausted hiker who had just bashed through the swampy willows we decided to defer the Bierstadt/Evans combo for another time.