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First this is not a moderate trail. No way, no how. That said, it is a great hike but not for the feint of heart. Bring walking sticks, gloves and wear ankle high boots for support. We took the skyline up and the runners trail down. Lots of places to fall and break something. The decent is very technical, especially through the creek.

hiking
1 day ago

A tremendous hike that's both challenging, but very rewarding for the physically fit. We took the jeep trail to the hikers trail and it wasn't as difficult as the runner's trail up, which I did last year. It is a great race to watch on tv, but plan to change your underwear after coming too close to the edge more than once, or on the downside part of the scree. If you survive that, the chute with running water and loose rock will make you long for the scree. However, stopping at Seward Brewing for a few cold beers and food are a just reward for conquering this HARD climb. I love it and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing the entire region from the summit. You're welcome for the near death experience, Jeff!

hiking
2 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.

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.

hiking
3 days ago

Absolutely AMAZING time hiking up Quandary on Sunday. After camping near Blue Lake just down the road, my girlfriend and I got started up the trail at about 6:20am. The trail had lots of friendly folks on it, but i never felt that it was overcrowded. I can honestly say, this wasn't easy. However we didn't feel it was extremely hard either. It was the perfect balance. Total roundtrip was just about 6 hours from the lower lot and that was with spending about 20-30 minutes at the summit. The Summit experience was very rewarding! So many people up top smiling, taking photos, and sharing stories. The hike down was extremely hard on my knees, but trekking poles made it a bit better.

As a side note, I believe I accidentally left my light blue Camelback backpack in the lower lot so if anyone happened to find it, please contact me at jasondlyman@gmail.com.

hiking
3 days ago

I tackled Quandary for the second time on Saturday. I’m a moderately active 38-year-old from Kansas City. We arrived in Summit County on Thursday, hiked Shrine Pass in Vail on Friday to warm up our legs and lungs, and then hit Quandary trailhead on Saturday morning at 5:45 am. Had no trouble parking in the lower lot, but cars were arriving regularly. It was a perfectly clear day - my husband and I reached the summit in about 4 hours. Last year it took me nearly 6 as I had no idea what I was getting into and almost quit several times. This year I prepared mentally and trained starting with using the stairclimber at least once a week since April, weightlifting once or twice a week, hill sprints, hiking mild hills with a weighted pack, lunges and box step-ups, and pushing and pulling a weighted sled. Additionally I used trekking poles this year which I did not have last year, and we brought a little can of oxygen we found at the grocery store. It was a much more positive experience for this flatlander and though it was still very difficult, I couldn’t stop smiling! The trail is intense and nearly straight up from the beginning with only a couple short flats. I think the ascent from 12k-13k ft (as well as the descent of this part) is mentally the worst as it takes a lot longer than you think this part will. But getting up to that 13k ft ridge provides amazing views and a nice rest before hitting the final steep ascent. We also got to see a mountain goat here, both on the way up and when we were headed back down, which was a highlight for me. The trail was very busy, as I expected from last year, but it was fun meeting people along the way as everyone was friendly and supportive. The last ascent to the summit is grueling and steep, rocks on rocks on rocks, and it’s difficult to see the summit most of the way so it feels like you are going nowhere for a long time. But reaching the summit was so exhilarating, especially after shaving a couple hours off my time from last year! Attitude is everything but proper training helps too, especially if you aren’t conditioned to the mountains! Even with trekking poles, I do think the descent was more difficult this year and took longer, but last year we got caught in a snow squall until we reached the tree line so that may have sped us up a bit! Also, both years I did this, my iPhone clocked over 10 miles, as opposed to the 6 on the description.

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.

First 14ner . What an awesome experience. I trained for six months, with cardio. Swim spin and cycling. The reality being from Ohio is there is no way to prepare for the altitude. Everyone is going to be affected differently. I would say having enough water can’t be understated. I consumed 3 liters and wished I had more. The key is the summit is taking your time. As previously stated very loose rock at the top. The reward is at the summit. Enjoy it! The trip down is / equally challenging. Poles are a plus for stability. Your knees will thank you. I hiked this on 7/20, with an awesome weather day. Hazy in the morning, but cleared on the way down and it got warm. A week later they experience snow and hail. Always be prepared for changing weather regardless of the forecast.
I did have full cell service at the summit. None at the trail head.

hiking
5 days ago

Amazing! We hiked up the hikers trail (not the runners). The middle section (bench trail) was really muddy and tight with vegetation so got pretty wet since it was raining. Where the trail turns left to go up the ridge, we hiked into the bowl instead, following the river, and through a wildflower meadow and up some snow patches and scree piles. Came to a ridge above a little alpine lake there. It was cloudy so we could only see a few of the crags above the bowl, not any mountains across the valley. Really pretty though! I'd definitely hike this again and try to do the actual ridge part of the trail (called the skyline section?) probably would bring sandals too for the muddy parts because my shoes and socks got soaked from hiking through wet plants and mud.

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!

hiking
5 days ago

Awesome first 14er. Wife and I made it up with relative ease. Summit views of the adjacent peaks are gorgeous!

Did this 14er today. It was my first 14er alone so I wanted a heavy trafficked trail. I am an in shape 27 year old and well acclimated to 14ers and altitude and it took me 5 hours start to finish. I would say this is a moderately hard 14er. If you are in shape and used to altitude you will not have any problems. :) It hailed on and off pretty much my whole decent even though the weather forecast did not say that was coming. I ended up running down hill almost a mile in the storm to make it to my car before it really downpoured. As with all 14ers its a good idea to bring a rain jacket of sorts so your not soaked while hiking if a storm does come your way. If you are hiking alone and nervous this is a great trail as you are constantly surrounded by people. If you want solitude I would not recommend this trail. There was barely even room to sit at the peak!

hiking
6 days ago

We did it! By we, I mean two 48 yr olds and 3 teenagers: Nina, Casey and Reagan. We've been here for 6 days & have done a few hikes already. Hit the trail at 9:30 on a Friday. Parking was easy as the early hikers were coming off. Prior to the hike read all these reviews and then some. Definitely helped to prepare. First time doing a 14er and so glad we did it! We are not seasoned hikers and found this challenging especially walking on all the loose rocks. Steep incline most of the entire hike so was dreading the hike down. Hit the summit in 3 hours. Then the storm rolled in. Hail in August! Snow on neighboring mountains. The forecast was for a clear day...got to love Colorado! Then the thunder...thankfully the rain held off for awhile. We made it down in only 1 hr 15 mins! Views were amazing! Overall a tough hike but take your time and enjoy the views!

Spectacular hike, with amazing views :) When it came to the fork in the trail we went right, which was a good decision for us. It is a bit longer but not as steep of climb! Then on the way back down we came the other way which was nice cause we were cold and wanted to get down faster. Overall it took us 3.5 hours which included a decent break when we ate lunch :) Trails are kept nicely and other than the first short section, the trail is nice and open so no chance of running into bears.

trail running
8 days ago

It was the perfect morning for a jog! The trail was easily followed and it only took me 2.5 hours up and back down. :)

Weather was perfect. Whole family made it to the summit. 7 year old climbed on own and 4 year old rode on my back. Distance is at least 1.2 miles off, not even close to 6 miles round trip. Plan on 7.2.

my 1st 14er and it was amazing! Starting hiking at 5am (with head lamps) & watched the sunrise once we got above the tree line. The upper section had me sucking air. I don't hike on a regular basis, so anyone that hikes can make this climb. the views on top are incredible!!! I would recommend this hike for anyone that wants to do a 14k mountain.

I’m giving this a 5 Star because the feeling is amazing when you finally get to the top and the views are beautiful, but PLEASE don’t take this lightly. I consider myself a seasoned hiker that has tackled lots of “thrill” hikes around the country, but this was my first 14er. I underestimated the difficulty of hiking at altitude (never hiked above 10k feet) and it’s safe to say I suffered a minor case of altitude sickness. Blue lips, numb fingers, almost complete loss of ability to move my body up towards the last half mile. Had to dig deep and finally got a second wind (or fight or flight lol) and made it to the top. The descent was painfully difficult. There are people who will review this as “easy” and I admire them, but for A LOT of people - even seasoned hikers and athletes - find this extremely difficult. Super worth it, but know your limits! Also, I clocked the distance on my watch at closer to 8 miles round trip from parking lot to summit and back. Keep that in mind as well!

Amazing! Would do it again in a heartbeat!

hiking
10 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
10 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.

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
10 days ago

It took me 9 hours to complete the hike trail head to peak and back. Possibly i was out of shape this year. Not a starter 14er for me.

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