Mt. Bierstadt

Standard

[All: 1 Avg.: 5]

Distance

7 Miles

Highest Elevation

14,060ft.

Lowest Elevation

11,669ft.

Ascent

4,200 ft.

Difficulty

Class 2

Overview

This standard route up Mt. Bierstadt is perhaps the closest 14er trailhead to Denver. In peak season, the parking lot will fill before 4am. Hundreds, if not over a thousand hikers and runners of all abilities use this trail on weekends in the summer. Plan for traffic on Guanella Pass, distant parking, but great views from the top. Bierstadt is know to have distant views of the city and cloud inversions.

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How to Run Mt. Bierstadt

From the parking lot, take the trail toward the summit. The trail is well defined nearly the whole way. You’ll be paralell with the lake about 0.3 miles in. At 0.7mi, there is a shallow river crossing with plenty of large rocks to hop across [7]. From here, you’ll be in the willows. They are taller than most people’s line of sight, but the trail is wide and gentle [8]. At mile 1.8, 12,200ft, you’ll be on the saddle of the mountain. The terrain from here is extremely fragile alpine grass. Leave no trace by resisting stepping on any grass surface [12]. Large cairns and poles will mark the way. Near mile 3 at 13,200ft, the trail becomes thin and dissipates into rock. Follow cairns across generally stable, large rocks to the summit. Some big steps may be required, and use of hands for balance, though, vertical falling risk is minimal if you stay on route [16, 17]. The summit is rocky and offers views of a lake, and Mt. Evans and the Sawtooth [18]. The Sawtooth is technical class 3 travel, with vertical exposure and falling risks and is not for beginners. Weather can be extremely variable on this mountain, even in summer months. Go prepared.

How to Train for Mt. Bierstadt

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