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hiking
1 day ago

Tough hike in general, but easy for 14ers. No hike is easy when with so little oxygen though, so don't underestimate it. The climb is relentless, and due to loose gravel and steep grade you'll want good hiking boots for the way down. Saw several people slip and fall, and 2 out of 3 of us in my group with good hiking boots took spills going downhill as well. Very rewarding for such a short distance. Go on an early weekday to avoid the crowds. And summit before noon to avoid electrical storms!!!

As with many others, this was my first "fourteener" and it was a blast. Couldn't of asked for better weather. Stayed in Georgetown, and got to the Guanella pass parking lot at approximately 0600. Yes, it was already full, however the summit overlook parking lot still had spaces left.I'm a flatlander from northeast Ks. but went prepared. Took my time, with frequent breaks, especially the higher I got. The scramble to the top was probably the toughest part, but by that point you've gone to far to not do it. While many folks, myself included, do Mount Bierstadt because their research reports it as being the easiest fourteener. Be forewarned - if you are a flatlander, even one who is in decent shape, there is nothing easy about trying to breathe at altitude.However do not let that dissuade you from doing this hike, as I can assure you that you will not be alone. Start to finish approximately 6 hours, half hour to 45 minutes on the summit.

it was an amazing hike. lots of people are suggesting to srart going up from bross. I personnally wouldnot reccomend. I am beginner hiker and this was my 5th fourtener. Starting from bross you will loose all the energy you got an you may not be able to do all 4. Yes going down on bross is tough due to steep slope and loose rocks all the way down.

I loved this hike! Started with Democrat around 6:45am, then went to Cameron, Lincoln, and finished with Bross, back to the car about 6 hours later. My dad and I were worried after reading reviews about the descent down Bross, and made a game time decision to go ahead and go for it. In my opinion, it wasn’t as bad as a lot of people describe- definitely lots of loose rocks and prepare to slide a lot- but it wasn’t dangerous or life-threatening in terms of sending you off the mountain. I had my heart set on bagging all 4 peaks so for me doing Bross was worth the tough descent. My dad thinks maybe he would have just skipped Bross altogether. The rest of it we absolutely loved. Definitely the toughest hike up Democrat so I’m glad we got that out of the way first. My favorite view was on top of Lincoln.

Great 14er for first timers and out of staters.

Rocked out this hike yesterday 8/11. Awesome hike! Highly recommend camping at trailhead the night before. Actual parking lot was already full by 10pm! If you dont camp you still will want to get there as early as possible, Getting stuck parking down the road will just add miles to your already tough hike! Took our jetta almost all the way to the trailhead but theres one large bump that our car could not clear so we stopped and camped there. only a couple hundred feet from the parking lot. Hit the trail at 445am done at 1215p with breaks and summit stops. I believe doing Democrat first is by far the way to go. Not only do I think going up bross in the dark would be terrible. Having to go up Democrat last would be a tough climb after bagging the other 3. Also another reason would be that by the time u would get to the democrat climb it will be packed. By 10am there looked like there was a line all the way up democrat. Going down bross was def tough and took a lot of concentration watching where you step and keeping balance. Poles for sure a must. Not sure what my fav was. Being almost to the top of democrat for sunrise was amazing, but being atop bross and being able to see all of what you just did was awesome too! Bross' summit is huge but lincoln and democrat's a lot smaller. Took our dog whose used to hiking and is a larger dog. She was very tired at the end and I got a little worried about her paws coming down bross as it is very lose rock but she made it down without any cuts and passed out the whole way home.
Overall amazing hike. Very fulfilling finishing all 4.

- Did these four yesterday. great hike with amazing views from each summit. There is a lot of small rocks and loose slag, especially on Bross and Democrat. Like other climbers i would highly recommend starting with Bross. It is a pretty good climb up and around to the summit but it's a good warm-up for the other three and the descent of Bross is much harder on the knees of you do it last. Mt. Democrat is probably the steepest climb but its worth it when you get to the top. Do yourself and your knees a favor and please invest in poles. You won't regret it, especially the descent of Democrat.

Great hike yesterday. 4AM start. Two goats at the top. No clouds or wind. I think they should resurrect that pile of rocks on the top to make it higher than Elbert again!

Checked this one off 8/11/18. We left the trailhead at 5:20 and hit the summit at 9:20. The bike race up the Peak was today. I don’t know if they delayed opening the road to vehicle traffic because of that, but when we hit the top, the only folks there were the cyclists (including two unicyclists, you maniacs), and a couple other hikers who got there before us. But the tour busses started showing up while we were milling about the summit house (note: I ate a donut because I think you have to the first time, but it’s kind of a garbage donut). As others have said, you have to understand there are going to be a lot of people in the summit, but it was certainly a lot more pleasant before the Devil’s Playground parking lot filled up. So, I guess I’m saying that if you take off early enough, and move at a decent pace, you can avoid most or all of the crowds. The downshot there is you’ll be waking through a gorgeous pine forest in the dark when you first set out. But you’ll see it on the way back.

I made a mistake regarding the weather. I expected temps to stay steady in the mid-40s all the way up, which is what I dressed for (shorts and a pullover). I would have been fine, except I didn’t account for how long it would take the sun to get over the top of the mountain. We were well above tree line before the sun finally appeared, and I was freezing my ass off. But, I’m a pretty cool moment, the sun topped the mountain, the trail leveled out a little, and the summit came into view, all within seconds of each other. I should note, I had more layers in my bag, but I was being stubborn and didn’t want everyone to stop so I could put some pants on.

It’s an easy route to follow. We had (almost) no trouble with wayfinding. Right before treeline, we somehow started following a social path that switchbacked through some gravelly scree, but it led us right back to the main trail. Probably no more than 3 minutes off trail. We had no trouble with route finding coming down. The steepest sections below Devil’s Playground and above tree line was a bit loose in spots. Trekking poles would have probably come in handy, but it was fine.

All in all, a good hike. Good physical challenge, great views looking west, with the Sawatch at the far end of the horizon.

Saturday Aug 4th. Great trail. Started at 4:30 am. Heard a mountain lion scream around 5 am...super scary but we pressed on. Made it to the summit at 10:30 am...the last section with scrambling was difficult but fun. enjoyed a donut at the top. We took the free shuttle to devils playground and then hiked the rest of the way down. Glad we took the shuttle because we got to the car just in time before it started storming! My tip for others is start early, bring headlamps, proper gear, cash for tips if you take the shuttle down and watch the skys.

Maybe my new favorite 14er. Really gorgeous, especially for a 14er. Not as much traffic as a lot of popular peaks either. Highly recommend early start, if for no other reason so you can see the sun rise above the Mosquito Range to the East. Also recommend a camp at Elbert Creek Campground the night before. Top notch campsites and just around the corner. And folks, please: STOP starting 14er climbs too late in the morning. Lightning is a real threat with late starts so get on the trail early.

Went on a Saturday morning, arrived at 615 at trailhead and couldn't believe all the people there. But at least it was good company on the trail.

My wife and I made it up to 13,500 with a 2 and 5 year old. 2 yr old we had to carry the whole way, 5 yr old was able to do some hiking but we still had to carry a decent amount (she did great on the way down). This was very tough with the kids, I pride myself in my abilities to do bigger hikes with the kids. The kids had enough at this point, we stopped my wife and kids ate while I pushed as hard as possible up to the top.

At times on way up, it felt like torture carrying the kids but the views were amazing. Last section solo, pushing very hard and was getting headaches.

Views on top great. My first 14er.

Three stars for being a 14er and the boulder scramble to the summit which was a blast. Overall more of a moderate hike than hard... Lost two stars for the crowds (which are huge), exposure start to finish (no relief of making it to treeline and shade on the descent for this one), and the view (not fantastic-there are other 14ers and 13ers with better views). Do it to bag a 14er, but not really any other reason to go.

Excellent "first fourteener" hike. Trail is well-maintained and clear until the rocks; follow cairns to reach the top. parkling lot was nearly full by 4am, even on a day with forecasted storms. Really great trail with great views, very cool to see where you're going and then where you came from. Always keep an eye on the sky!

We hiked this se trail on our descent after hiking up the steeper sw trail.
This trail was a dream.

This was my 2nd 14’er (Bierstadt was the other) and the first for my son and sister who was visiting from sea level. We hit the trailhead at 9:00am on the first Sunday in August. There were quite a few others hiking, but most on their way down.

It took us a bit under 2.5 hours to summit with a number of pauses. The ridge was super windy, but it was quiet at the top with great views of Leadville, Turquoise lake in the distance as well as the surrounding mountains despite the fire haze. Hiking poles helped as there is plenty of loose rock and ankle twisters to hike across on the way up.

There are a lot of cool abandoned mines and mining equipment to look at right near the trailhead. That can make the bumpy drive worth taking even if you don’t complete the full summit.

It sprinkled a little on our hike and was cold near the top so we were happy to be prepared with rain and warmth layers. I saw a number of hikers who weren’t as prepared.

I agree it’s a great first 14er due to the short distance of the hike, but don’t let that fool you, it’s still a climb at altitude and my legs were complaining afterwards!

Loved it. First fourteener and I liked the long approach, seemed a steady incline. With beautiful alpine meadow views. Brought the dogs and they did great, water on the ct section. Only at the scramble portion at the very top did I feel the need to keep them out of people’s way for safety.

hiking
9 days ago

This was our first 14er (with 3 kids, 9, 12, and 15 yrs) and it certainly was the highlight of our 9-day trip to Colorado. We decided on Bierstadt since there were only 3 peaks recommended for the 1st timers and/or with kids (Sherman, Quandary Peak and Bierstadt) and the location of Bierstadt worked best with our schedule. We left the trailhead parking lot around 6:15 am and came back around 1:10 pm so it took about 7 hours total (roughly 4 hours to ascend, 30 min at the summit, and 2.5 hours to descend. My Garmin showed a round trip of 7.8 miles and 2400 ft of elevation gain). We had done longer hikes with more elevation gains before but since we had never done a hike at this altitude (we're from Chicago and we did this hike on the 6th day of our Colorado trip) we took our time going up. We had read the reviews so we were prepared for the rock scramble at the top and had all the gear we needed such as trekking poles, gloves, hats, wind/rain proof jackets, etc. It was amazing to stand at the top of the mountain with my husband and kids and look down below where we had hiked from and the beautiful scenery all around!!

Did this hike on Saturday 8/4 and it was my second 14er. It was definitely easier than my first which was Grays, but it was still a very long hike and I was exhausted by the end of it. It was so beautiful though and worth the climb to the top! Bring lots of layers and gloves since it was pretty cold and windy. We started at 430 am to avoid the chaos with the amount of people getting there and we were happy we did that even though everyone we met along the way was very nice. My mind still gets blown that people head up at 12 or 1 and think that’s a smart idea..storms roll in people! Be safe about it :)

Hiked this yesterday, Sunday August 5th with my sister and brother in law and family - was an incredible experience. All the comments about being clothed in layers are right on. As we began the ascent through the boulder field beneath the summit, a summer squall came through with winds up to 50 miles an hour with sleet and hail and it got downright cold. After that passed and we reached the top, the views are magnificent. Although rated as an Easy hike by some, the boulder field is a considerable challenge, more so on the way down. As a sixty-nine year old male in excellent condition, but who lives year round in New Jersey, this was all the challenge I needed. Easy road access to the trail head with plentiful parking and “rest rooms” contribute to making this an ideal climb.

We ran out of time and only ended up doing Democrat, Cameron and Lincoln. It was a really great, but challenging hike. My biggest complaint was that Democrat was super crowded. We started around 7:30, so that's partially our fault. If this bothers you though, you may want to consider doing Bross first or get there around 6. Democrat was much more challenging than Cameron and Lincoln. So, if you have the time, it is worth doing 3 if not all 4. In my opinion, I would not want to do the first part of the hike again (not that it's hard, it's just I don't like repeating), so it's better to get at least 3 out of the way rather than coming back to cross those off. Sort of one of those if you've gone this far, why not keep going situations.

hiking
9 days ago

My first 14er

Excellent hike that takes you through pine forest, sub-alpine shrubs, and an amazing ascent up the massive granite field (which is full of marmots and pikas). Views are phenomenal, especially at the very top. Bring lots of water and food to stay energized.

This is my second 14er of the summer and the views are beautiful! Hiked on Saturday. Plan to get there very early as parking lot and trail were packed by 6:30am. Because it’s rated as one of the easier 14ers, lots of folks try to do it. No 14er is ever easy so be fully prepared for all conditions. Cold and windy at top - I was happy to have extra layers and gloves. Hiking poles were helpful until the top scramble. Large boulders that take a while to climb and are packed with people. Because the trail was so busy, it took us 2 hours and 45 minutes to summit and just as much time to get back. It was a steady line of people the whole way. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen as there is virtually no shade the entire time.

This was my very first 14ner and only did Democrat, but had a great workout! I didn't have issue with illness but air got thinner and thinner. It was such a great accomplishment to get one done, however, 7.6 miles for the whole loop is impossible for me to think since Democrat itself was 4.2 miles. I will prepare to go early next time to get all 4 done!

This is the first 14ner we have ever done, it was AMAZING!! People say that it is the easiest one in Colorado, not easy by any means but well worth every step. We were blessed to see a Moose couple and a Mountain Goat family. Please read the comments that are left by others, they are very helpful. I think the mileage on this on may be a bit off. Our count on Samsung Health was almost 9.5 miles. We arrived at 6ish on a Wednesday and the parking lot was almost full. It was a busy trail but everyone you meet is very encouraging and offer motivation to get to the top. Cant wait to hit the next one!!

hiking
10 days ago

Lost Orange Garmin GPS today :(
If found please call 303-717-4127

Got there 0430, plenty of parking, did step into creek right away so glad I brought extra socks! Today was rainy and super windy, please bring a down jacket and warm gloves...poles were a huge help! Beautiful! I can’t wait to go back in a clearer day :)

hiking
10 days ago

If you want to park in the trailhead lot you will have to get there around 5am. This is a very busy hike. Started the hike at 6am with temps in the high 30s. It took 2 hours to get to the top with a couple minute breaks in between. I was grateful for past reviews recommending gloves for the cold and the scramble when you get to the top. We spent an hour at the top drinking some wine and took 1.5 hours coming down. Overall, a great hike for everyone!

11 days ago

Great hike and accessible for most anyone. A perfect intro to 14'ers.

Don’t forget - gloves, sandwiches for the top, several layers for wind and temp, poles would have been nice to have especially for the descent.

This was my first 14er, so it was certainly challenging but the reward was worth it! For context, I’m in my late twenties, have been living at altitude for 2 months, and have done several 4-5 mile hikes before this one. We started hiking at 8am. Took 2:50 to get to summit, 45 mins at summit, 2 hours down.

The ascent was rough on the lungs but we took it slow and steady with many small breaks along the way. The hike was very crowded but we expected that after reading other reviews. You climb up boulders the last short stretch to get to the top, and the top is basically a boulder field. So we found a couple rocks to sit on that were shielded from the wind. When the sun went behind the clouds at the top and the wind picked up, wind chill was probably 35. The peak was crowded but everyone was friendly and encouraging. The decent was long and tough on the quads. Poles would’ve been nice!

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