Mount Bierstadt Trail is a 7.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
The trail is almost entirely in the Mount Evans Wilderness. No mountain bikes are allowed in the Wilderness. Stay on the trail to avoid trampling the vegetation. This is a great all day hike in which you will climb two 4ers, Mt. Bierstadt and Mt. Evans. In the process you will also traverse the saw tooth that seperates these two mountains. The hike up Bierstadt itself is faily easy and we even ran into people with their dogs. However, the crossing of the saw tooth will take you on a very intense class 3 scramble and is not dog or little child friendly. In fact, its not friendly for anyone who is not in shape or not able to take on a class 3 scramble. Its a great hike and a fun way to bag two 14ers in one day! Start out early if you plan to do both peaks, especially if you aren't used to the altitude. Wear clothes that will keep you warn during the ascent up Mt. Bierstadt and that will be easy to shed once you reach the peak and sunshine. Also, be prepared for strong winds and colder temps on the way up Bierstadt. I would strongly recommend leather gloves for the crossing of the saw tooth.
Did Bierdstadt in early June. Friends said their would be no snow, yeah right! I wore my crampons and it was absolutely needed. The field at the bottom was all ice, my friends of friends were falling and slipping, a couple of them wearing running shoes. There was still a lot of post-holeing this time of year. I fell into snow up to my waste at times, but was easy to climb out but I'm not that big. We slid down that mountain after we reached the top. From what we could guess, we slid on our bottoms down about 1000 feet. There were already pre made "slides" that other people had slid down. We didn't slide fast because no one was wearing snow pants.
Just be prepared for a lot of snow and ice in June. Don't go up there thinking it's summertime and you'll be fine. I almost wore snowpants, friend said I was overreacting, but I really wish I would have worn them!
Very manageable summit hike. Trail is completely exposed and well-marked until the the rocky scramble near the top: best advice for an easier footpath is to pick a set of cairns and follow them.
Great late season hike! There was snow on the trail but very very little ice. I had heard of others saying wind dominated the hike earlier in the month especially at the top, but I did not have an issue with the wind what so ever. I have a feeling a got lucky, so plan accordingly and enjoy your late season hike. Highly recommend you do this before the pass is closed till spring/summer.
Great late season 14er. Couple patches with snow and ice, but very manageable. Highly recommend getting this one in before Guanella Pass is shut down for the winter.
Tough trail on Sunday Oct. 16, 2016. It was 40 degrees with 60mph of wind. I had a 30lb pack on my back. It took 4.5 hrs to get to the top in these harsh conditions. 2.5 down. More than half of the people out that day turned around at or before the half way mark. The trail was very steep and had numerous icy and very muddy spots that were very slippery. I recommend ice cleats and also to dress very warm and bring hand warmers and warm wind proof gear, (which thankfully I had) if snow and cold temperatures are present. I braved the weather and made it to the summit. It was a challenge in the weather but well worth the effort! I would do this trail again in nicer conditions but I warn you it is a lot tougher than it's rated for being the so called "easy" 14er. I clocked 4.2 miles from the parking lot to the summit. 8.4 round trip on the GPS. Good times!!
Hiked 10/13/16. Great trail that provides a little challenge if you push yourself. I went on a Thursday and didn't see many people on the trail. Took 3 hours to summit but I was pushing myself and packed a heavy pack with additional weight. Although I didn't do it- for those who want additional challenge - you can cross the sawtooth from the summit over to the Mt Evans summit. **watch every step on the decent! The snow patches get packed down and freeze- very slippery!
Took me and my wife a while to get up but very well worth it.
Oct. 9th - We got an early start: 6:30am & there were about 4-6 other cars in the lot. Feeling a bit under the weather the climb was a little difficult for me. There are a lot of misleading trails going up. Some snowy patches. 3 hours up, freezing cold/windy at the summit. Great views, totally worth it! 2 hours down. Had to be extra careful coming down on the ice/packed snow & also passed 141 people going up...so the earlier the better! Would do again
A great trip. I was amazed by the number of dogs and kids yet t wasn't an easy easy trip! Wud do again
Be prepared for the weather changes. Even in the end of June, there's still some snow on the trail. I started with a tank top and ended up with a hoodie and a down jacket on at the top. The view was absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. One thing I would have to say is it's kind of hard when you are going down. My knees hurt a bit by keep going down for about 3 hours.
I've hiked this twice, about 3 years apart (almost to the date, by accident haha). It's a great hike, especially for getting your feet wet with summiting 14ers. As with all 14ers, look at the most recent trail reports, check the weather, bring lots of layers/food/water, and starting earlier is always better.