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
A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy. Low around 39, with temperatures rising to around 41 overnight. West northwest wind around 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
A chance of rain showers before 9am, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms between 9am and noon, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms between noon and 1pm, then showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny. High near 56, with temperatures falling to around 50 in the afternoon. West wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
Showers and thunderstorms likely before 9pm, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms between 9pm and midnight. Partly cloudy, with a low around 39. West southwest wind around 12 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
Showers and thunderstorms likely after 9am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 59. Northeast wind around 12 mph, with gusts as high as 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms before 9pm, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms between 9pm and midnight. Partly cloudy, with a low around 40. West southwest wind around 12 mph, with gusts as high as 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Showers and thunderstorms likely between noon and 3pm, then showers and thunderstorms likely. Partly sunny, with a high near 60. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms before midnight. Partly cloudy, with a low around 40. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about