Mount Bierstadt is one of Colorado’s easier and more trafficked 14ers. The ease of access, extremely beautiful views and close proximity to Denver make it so popular. The hike features stunning views from the trailhead, and is one of the better 14ers for those looking to start trying the bigger mountains in Colorado.
Difficulty – Intermediate
Distance – 7.4 miles round trip (11.9 km)
Height – 14,060 feet (4,285.5 m)
Elevation gain – 2,710 feet (826 m)
Duration – 5 to 7 hours (book time)
Hike Class: Class 2
Seasons – Year-round (caution and experience needed in winter – see below)
Trailhead Location – Guanella Pass – 11,669 feet (directions below)
Bierstadt Trail | 7.4 Miles Round Trip | 2,710 Feet Elevation Gain | Class 2
This is the most common route to the summit of Bierstadt. It is heavily trafficked and easy to follow. The trail begins with around .9 miles of slight downhill and features stunning views of Bierstadt and The Sawtooth from the beginning. 1.1 miles into the hike, the ascent begins. There are various switchbacks to gain elevation quickly. 3.4 miles into the hike, the trail gets a bit more difficult with larger boulders, and more of a scramble to the summit. This trail is very well traveled, and the parking area and road leading fills up quickly. Because of this, it is recommended to arrive early to avoid crowds.
Hiking in Winter
Bierstadt is a great winter hike. This hike gains 4 miles round trip to become an 11 mile roundtrip hike with 3,600 feet of elevation gain due to Guanella Pass being closed. The trailhead is at lower Guanella Pass. The red mark along the road on the map above indicates the gate that closes when this road is closed. As with any 14er, the right equipment is essential in winter. Experience is highly recommended, even though this is one of the easier 14ers.
Directions & Parking
Guanella Pass is a beautiful road. To enter the Mount Evans Wilderness, hikers can grab free permits available at the trailheads.
To Guanella Pass Trailhead:
Current Weather Conditions
Here is a detailed forecast for the next 4 days. Check Mountain Forecast beforehand.
Silver Plume, CO
Snow showers likely. Cloudy. High near 28, with temperatures falling to around 26 in the afternoon. Southwest wind around 13 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Snow showers likely. Mostly cloudy. Low around 12, with temperatures rising to around 20 overnight. Wind chill values as low as -3. Southwest wind 12 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
A chance of snow showers before noon, then a chance of snow showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms. Partly sunny. High near 34, with temperatures falling to around 32 in the afternoon. West wind 15 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
A chance of snow showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14. West northwest wind 10 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
A chance of snow showers before noon, then snow showers likely and a slight chance of thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 33. West northwest wind 13 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Partly cloudy, with a low around 14.
Sunny, with a high near 41.
Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and sharing experiences with others. Max is a published author for various outdoor websites and digital marketing websites. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about