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I would rate this trail as difficult. Vail is already at 8150ft with this trail giving you a steady incline of +1000ft which was pretty rough on us coming from California coast only the night before. We went as far as the falls for this hike and took a lot of rest. I would say the very beginning is the steepest stretch, so don’t get discouraged when you start. There were a handful of flat areas a few meters long, with the valley opening being the longest. This area was a very beautiful view of the vegetation. For the falls you do need to cross two creeks but there are rock stepping stones, so your feet will not be submerged. A good portion of the path is rocky, so I’m glad we wore our hiking boots for this one.

As someone from Michigan, this hike was a little difficult for me. There were some flatter areas but overall it was an incline. Took me about 3 hours to get up to the lake and 2.5 to get back down. However, it is pretty rough on the knees going down. Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks/lunch for the lake.

hiking
3 days ago

My wife and I did this yesterday. Nice trail with wildflowers and great scenery. It is a combination of open fields of wildflowers and areas with large shady aspens. There were also some wild raspberries and blueberries (or possibly huckleberries) along the trail of which I munched on here and there. I would recommend hiking shoes as the trail can be rocky in places although I did see many folks in tennis shoes along the trail. There were several steep places where a trekking pole came in handy. I'm 63 and about 220 lbs and I find a single trekking pole helps balance and knees on the steps. My wife and I made it to the falls in 1 and 1/2 hours. I'm from a southern low land area but we've been here about 5 days to get somewhat acclimated to the elevation. While getting a bit winded at times, it wasn't that bad. Would do this again.

hiking
3 days ago

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.

I really enjoyed this hike. Lots of places to explore off the trail, plenty of water sources along the way to cool yourself and your dogs off. I love a trail/hike that has water so I think thats why I dug this one so much.

The only downfall is the parking situation-- we got to the trailhead around 10am, and there was zero parking. We had to park about a mile away from the trailhead, and we weren't sure how to access the shuttle so we ended up walking to the trailhead. I recommend googling the free shuttle and figuring that out beforehand :)

Great 14er for first timers and out of staters.

hiking
5 days ago

Says Hard but I don't think its hard. Beautiful trial.

I am in Vail for a 9 week post-surgery checkup for my hip. I had a personal goal to do some hiking while in Vail. This trail was steep but had enough shade and flat surfaces that I was able to complete it! The hardest part, for me, is getting used to the elevation. Make sure to pack plenty of water and healthy snacks. I found a walking stick, which was very helpful. We took alot of breaks and completed the trail in and out in 5 1/2 hours. Great scenery and plenty of friendly, encouraging hikers along the way.

I ended up hiking to the top of Bergen Peak. Definitely worth it to do that. It’s a long hike, but I wouldn’t characterize it as “Hard.” It’s a long moderate. Like many trails in Evergreen, alternations between rocky-narrow paths, forest paths, pretty summits, scenic views, aspens, and lovely wildflowers, especially by the meadows. But I was a bit bummed that I heard the cars on the highway almost the whole time. I tuned it out, and a few times amidst the aspens it was truly quiet. But that’s why I give four stars. Sometimes some mountain bikers come barreling down, and you’ve really got to have your wits about you. But otherwise, the views, the thick smell of pine all along the way, and the serenity of the hike, even on a Saturday morning, is why I live out here :)

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!

Awsome !

Amazing views along the way with lots of wildflowers. There are parts that are steep but manageable. There are plenty of places to rest on the way up that are shaded. Enjoy the gorgeous views of the falls at the top!

The perfect acclimation hike. The hike itself is at high elevation, but generally flat the whole way so you can become comfortable moving around at high elevation. We loved all he different historic sites from the boom town up there. You could step off the trail and wander through old wooden house frames and find metal cans, rings from barrels, bricks, etc. We also did the little side loop towards the end around mile 5. The way out was nice, but the way back was essentially non-existent. You could either walk out to the end of the rail line there and then turn back, or just be ready for a bit of bushwhacking.

Excellent hike! It took us 2:.5 hours to reach the lake at a good pace....and then a nice dip in the lake!!

hiking
11 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 :)

hiking
11 days ago

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.

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 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
12 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
12 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!

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!

My first 14er! Arrived on Saturday at 8AM. Plenty of street parking about ¼ of a mile past the lot. The trail was packed but I didn’t mind it much. Everyone was in a great mood and it almost felt like a big party. I doubted the ‘Hard’ rating when I saw 6.9 miles, but I have to say that this hike is definitely not easy. Overall a fun hike, very windy and no shade so come prepared. Also, don’t drink too much water if you’re going on a busy day. I had to run into a hedge 'forest' and relieve myself when I got down off the mountain. There’s pretty much nowhere to hide during the majority of the hike. Although there are restrooms at the parking lot

hiking
13 days ago

Beautiful! Not many people for a Saturday in Vail. Caught the end of wildflower season.

Stunning views! The trail is well marked and criss-crosses a creek a few times so my pups could cool off. Beautiful flowers line the trail. We hiked to the falls which has dramatic drops, so keep your dogs and kids close!

Arrived on Friday at 8am, the parking lot was full but we found street parking right by the trail head and bathrooms. The weather was overcast and had a light drizzle so I would say this kept some people away.

The first mile of the trail crosses a meadow which is relatively flat. There is hedges on both sides and a water crossing. Keep your balance on the rocks or you could get wet shoes. This first part also offers numerous areas to hide and relieve yourself.

After the meadow begins the ascent which is relatively easy but offers no cover. You then arrive at the "False summit" this is a good place to catch your breath and prepare for light scrambling/bouldering to the summit. Probably 15 minutes or less.

Given the weather conditions the summit was quite cold. Gloves help your hands from going numb. After giving the traditional high fives, fist bumps, and photo opportunities we headed down as the weather was getting worse.

Be careful during the scramble/bouldering off the summit especially if the rocks are wet. After returning to the well marked trail the decent is quite easy as there are not many areas to lose your footing.

It took 2 hours 10 minutes to get to the top and 1 hour 55 minutes to get down. This was accomplished by 3 forty year old males who live in Florida. This was our 5th 14er and probably the easiest even with the rain and wet conditions.

Good hike - solid, consistent ascent after you pass approx 1.5 mile mark. A lot of boulders / scrambling at the end. Cold at the top and wind picked up so definitely be prepared. Took us 4 hours all in with a short stop at the top

hiking
15 days ago

the trail was pretty easy the whole way. beautiful view from the top of the tunnel. went around 12 and saw maybe 10 people the whole time. definitely recommend giving this hike a go

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