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. Mostly cloudy. High near 20, with temperatures falling to around 8 in the afternoon. Wind chill values as low as -9. West wind around 16 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Snow showers likely before 11pm, then a chance of snow between 11pm and 4am, then snow likely and patchy blowing snow. Mostly cloudy. Low around 3, with temperatures rising to around 8 overnight. Wind chill values as low as -15. West wind 14 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Snow likely and areas of blowing snow before 4pm, then blowing snow and snow likely. Mostly cloudy. High near 12, with temperatures falling to around 4 in the afternoon. Wind chill values as low as -22. West wind 20 to 35 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Snow likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 4. Wind chill values as low as -22. West wind 35 to 44 mph, with gusts as high as 70 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Snow likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 21. West wind around 43 mph, with gusts as high as 68 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
A chance of snow before 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 32.
Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, 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. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about