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 before 1am, then snow and blowing snow. Mostly cloudy. Low around 12, with temperatures rising to around 15 overnight. Wind chill values as low as -8. West wind 37 to 45 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.
Snow and blowing snow before noon, then blowing snow and a chance of snow. Partly sunny. High near 17, with temperatures falling to around 15 in the afternoon. Wind chill values as low as -12. West northwest wind 31 to 39 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Areas of blowing snow and a chance of snow showers before 1am, then a chance of snow showers and patchy blowing snow between 1am and 2am, then areas of blowing snow and a chance of snow showers between 2am and 4am, then a chance of snow showers and patchy blowing snow. Mostly cloudy. Low around 12, with temperatures rising to around 16 overnight. Wind chill values as low as -10. West northwest wind 30 to 35 mph, with gusts as high as 43 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Areas of blowing snow and a chance of snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 25. Wind chill values as low as -6. West northwest wind around 35 mph, with gusts as high as 41 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Areas of blowing snow and a slight chance of snow showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 16. West northwest wind around 33 mph, with gusts as high as 43 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Areas of blowing snow before 7am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 37.
A slight chance of snow showers after midnight. Partly cloudy, with a low around 23. Chance of precipitation is 20%.