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Perfect for our first 14’er!!

Did this with Evans! Amazing this one was an easy 14er!

Loved this climb! We did the long way and did Bierstadt also! It was by far my favorite! So beautiful and the drive up that road to trailhead at sunrise was absolutely breathtaking!

Overall: This 14er was amazing! I was absolutely in love with the views all the way up. Wild flowers still pepper the trail and you have amazing views of multiple lakes.

Timing: We left our home on Monday at around 5:15 am and made it to the trailhead at 7:15 am. We summited right at 2 hours, although many around us said it took them closer to 3 or 4, and then sped down the mountain in 1 hour, for a total hiking time of 3 hours!

Parking: Do not let other reviews scare you. If you are hiking on a weekday, parking is easy, especially if you arrive earlier in the morning. The lot was full but there was plenty of parking on the road right next to the lot.

Difficulty: The first mile of the hike was nice and flat, followed by 2 miles of steady uphill, and approximately 0.7 miles of scaling large rocks at the top. Total distance, tracked on my Garmin Vivoactive, was 7.5 miles roundtrip.

Popularity: It was not nearly as busy as I had expected and the other hikers we met were nothing but friendly! You are certainly not going to hike alone, unless you leave early enough to make the summit for sunrise. But, based off of my other hiking experiences in Colorado, this was by far not at crowded.

Other: Bring a snack for the top of the mountain and at least 40 oz of water! I wore Hoka running shoes and they provided plenty of traction to make it up and down safely. I also had on yoga pants, a long sleeve t-shirt, and a light jacket. We had not weather problems on our hike though, so warmer dress could be necessary if colder conditions occur.

I did this as my first 14er over the weekend. I did quite a bit of research before tackling this. I am not in the best shape of my life, but this was do-able for me. I got to the trail at about 4:15am and cars were slowly but surely coming in. I realized I forgot my headlamp and thought my eyes would adjust to the dark. I ended up giving that dream as the beginning of the trail was icy and had a bunch of random puddles. I took A LOT of short breaks. On the way up everyone was nice and encouraging. Once you're done with the first part of the trail, there's no coverage for taking bathroom breaks. I was worried about altitude sickness so I ended up taking in a lot of water and having to pee like 7 times. Luckily, I went early and only saw a handful of people on the way up. The summit was crowded but everyone up there was super friendly. The walk down was ridiculous. I've never seen so many people on a trail in my life (although I'm coming from Michigan). There must have been hundreds of people starting at like 9-10am. I'm glad I went early and honestly would go even earlier next time. People were super loud, playing music, and some people were pretty rude considering you had to share the trail. It was an eye-opening experience in more than one way. The whole trip took me about 6 hours, I spent about 30 minutes up at the summit.

Great hike and easier 14er. Lake and summit were full of people so most enjoyable parts were between with few others on the trail. The weather allowed for late afternoon hike and was mostly cloudy which helped keep my energy level up from lack of sun.

Great loop; Very steep up to Spalding with awesome views! 4.65 miles took about 2.5 hours with photo breaks. There's quite a bit of scrambling with some exposure as you head up Evans. Getting up to Spalding took only about 40 minutes, and that was my favorite part because there were only two other people on that trail.

hiking
3 days ago

great hike. Did the first week of June 2018, last water mile had to walk around/through some snow wasn't bad just make sure to not lose the trail. very lightly trafficked. we started at 730am and were the first ones up and saw three groups on the way down. would deffinetly do again.

My first 14er , it was everything I expected and then some. A goat snuck up on us on the way up mount spalding !! 20 feet away . Wasn’t shy at all. The first section up to spalding was quite a climb & heart thumper for this flat lander . At the top the scenery was beautiful ! This isn’t a hike for beginners. The reroute at the top to get down was STRAIGHT down from Evans to summit lake !

Great trail, easy to follow. Wonderful views. Would hike this many times. Note the summit will be crowed but don't let that take away from enjoying a beautiful hike. If your adventurous and want to add to the hike, try the ridge from Spalding to Evans, its a class 2 or 3.

hiking
3 days ago

This was an awesome 14er! Definitely one I would do again. We started around 5:30am and hit the peak around 8am. It was my friend's first 14er, my dogs first 14er, and my 8th. So we took it slower for their benefit. I only had to lift my dog (Aussie/BC mix ~45lbs) on and off of a few boulders but other than that he did the trail on his own. It if very easy to lose the trail so keep an eye out for cairins. We took the route to hike up to Mt. Spalding first and didn't take the scramble trail down, we walked the road down which was probably twice as long but I stand by the decision, just watch for the cars (they go faster than they should).
There was a lot of wildlife in the area; we saw deer, elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, pikas, and marmots. If you bring your dog, PLEASE keep it on the leash! We saw a husky chase away a large herd of bighorn sheep down a steep hill.
The road up to the trail head is paved, the parking lot is dirt. Fair warning: pay the parking fee, this is heavily regulated. And lastly, if you pack it in make sure you pack it out! Let's keep Colorado beautiful people =-)

This was our first 14er of the season. We got to the main parking lot at 6am and found the last spot so get their early or you can park along the street. The first mile was the toughest for elevation gain up to Mt. Spalding. On the back side of the mountain is some intense scrambling so take your time. Wouldn't recommend it for beginners. We didn't take the trail down that's on this map, the guide up top said it was too dangerous and to do the one by the welcome sign right by the parking lot. It's the Evans summit trail to Evans road which takes you back to the lake. It was much easier.

There were many mountain goats which their young in the parking area. This is very exciting and they are used to seeing people and being near them, however I witnessed many people petting them or chasing them around. This is not okay. There should have been rangers regulating this, unfortunately they were only monitoring the parking lot. So if you plan on taking the drive and exploring the top please be respectful of the animals, observe from afar and stay out of their way. This is their home and we’re all just visiting. Also, if you see any of this behavior take place don’t be afraid to say something, just to keep everyone safe.

Amazing! Hiked it on 7-14! Got there a little after 6 and boardwalks were very icy and slippery in the morning! Parking was easy and the views amazing!

on Mount Bierstadt Trail

3 days ago

I hiked this with three others about a week ago after having done a handful of other fourteeners. At 7:00 there were already parked cars lined on both sides of the pass for a quarter mile; get there early! There was plenty of parking in the westerly lot, however.

All things considered, this was the easiest fourteener I have completed to date. The trail was well travelled with essentially no exposure nearby, so finding our way to the summit was easy. Bierstadt is essentially a walk-up, with a very minor amount of scrambling or boulder-stepping near the peak. In fact, the only thing that exhausted me was the overwhelming number of people, but it was a weekend day after all.

As with all fourteeners take plenty of water, sunscreen, and maybe some layers at this time of year. The ride up the pass is beautiful so take note of it. You will still be above tree line on the mountain so if the weather turns, head back the way you came. We were lucky to have summited in two hours and escaped some rain rolling in from the east on the descent. As this hike is very popular be sure to pack out what you pack in.

This was my first 14er. It was easier than I thought but I have been lifting, running, power walking in hot temps and stairclimbing for months (getting back in shape). That being said I ran into a few people that were REALLY struggling. We started at 7 am after waiting in line at the bathroom for about 15-20 min. The first part is easy. it was chilly. Watch your step on the wooden bridge it was really slippery/icy. The next part will have you out of breath with your heart racing so drink water, eat good snacks and take breaks. I recommend bringing layers as you’ll be warm but then cold later and back to warm. Also bring plenty of water and snacks. Watch your step at the top you will be scrambling over rocks. This hike is not for anyone who is out of shape. Be prepared for the descent to be almost as hard (especially on the knees) I had a great time!!

It was harder than we expected! It was my wife’s first 14er and my third or fourth. The first couple miles really aren’t bad but the path up to the false summit and then the full summit are pretty difficult. We had to stop a lot and even ran out of water even though we each had a full camelbak. I’d bring plenty of water and if it’s your first, possibly even bringing canned oxygen. Very busy summit and some guy had a drone that was incredibly annoying. Last thing I wanted to listen to after summiting a mountain was his drone.

off road driving
4 days ago

As beautiful as it gets! Xj on 33’s with 4.5 inch lift.
Fun all the way to the top, seen 3 mountian goats. Goats photo bombed us lmao! Will post the pics.

This was my first 14er and it’s supposedly one of the “easy” ones, but this is no walk in the park. I went with a group of mostly newbies and we started at 5:50am knowing we would be slower and wanted to be down early in case of storms. The bridge over the marsh was frosted at the time and SLIPPERY. We opted to jump down and walk through the marsh at areas so avoid a slip and injury. Watch for that. The first 1.5-2 miles is fairly easy. A moderate hike at best. The last 1.5-2 miles is hard and nearly everyone you see will agree....so don’t feel compelled to go fast. Take lots of breaks, even if they are short ones. The trail was crazy busy and lots of people boasting it was their first but everyone was polite and allowed you to pass or was patient until you let them pass. Shortly after the “shoulder” area (tip: definitely stop and have a quick snack here it’s about to get real) the trail gets steep and then you head into rocks. If you have read all the reviews and blogs you’ll be ready for a rock scramble but let me tell you that doesn’t really start until the last quarter mile. Don’t be fooled! By then you are so close you almost forget how tired you are and you power through. Others say you can do this in tennis shoes but unless you are experienced or the most stable person ever I recommend hiking shoes for the traction. Drink lots of water. I drank 3 liters and had an extra for the walk down. Summit is busy (pick your head up to avoid being stuck in an awkward position on a rock when someone unexpectedly stops) and chilly but very worth it. What no one really tells you about your first though is that the hike down is almost as hard. Your legs are tired and you’ve just experienced the high of the summit and now you have to reengage all the tired muscles and your knees and stay upright. You goal now: getting to the bottom and taking off your shoes! Overall I did it in 6 hours with about 30-40 minutes at the summit and I was slow...or felt it...but was consistent and realistic. Thoroughly enjoyed being able to check this off the bucket list! I recommend starting early if you are new just so have the comfort of taking your time and still beating the storms.

STAY SAFE ALL!
Beautiful, but busy. We saw many people coming up, planning on summiting after 1 p.m. as a storm was obviously forming. We also saw a guy with very bad altitude sickness at the summit who came from sea level and brought no food and little water. Please if you’re planning on hiking this or any high altitude hike, consider the weather always, bring plenty of food and water, and make sure you know your limits. This may be an easy 14er, but that doesn’t mean it’s actually easy at all. 14ers are serious business. Take it seriously and be safe!!
Also, please be courteous!! There were an amazing amount of people who played music off of speakers from their backpacks. If you’re someone who enjoys music while hiking, please put in headphones or don’t bring music at all. The majority of hikers want to enjoy the hike itself and the sounds of nature, especially at the summit, peace is preferred!!
Lastly, this goes for any hike or outdoor excursion, be respectful of the animals and surrounding environment, don’t feed or try to pet the animals and if you pack it in please pack it out!

hiking
5 days ago

A wonderful and challenging experience. Beautiful views and plenty of people on the trail. My first fourteener!

Loved it, but some dogs off leashes

Short and sweet! One of the easier ones and eases into the trail.

hiking
8 days ago

We started this hike at 6:00 am on 7/6. It was our first 14er and despite hearing that this was on of the easier 14ers it took us 7 hours to summit and get back to our car. We took our 4 yr old and 8 yr old on this trip, both were troopers on the trail but only the 8 yr old summited. Overall this is a really well marked and busy trail.

So beautiful! Well worth the extra elevation and miles. Even saw moose and mountain goats - bonus!!! One word of caution: I would very much recommend you don’t take your dog across the ridge connecting to the Sawtooth (even though the route description says dogs are allowed). With a couple of nearly vertical sections, it could be dangerous for the dog and/or you.

we ran this trail yesterday.
2007 wrangler Sahara Unlimited
3.5 pro comp lift
35 in tires
32 psi
a couple of snow piles nothing you could navigate the trail was clean and easy to navigate well kept and a lot of fun. Mostly dry except in the valley. this would be easy for just about any vehicle with a moderate list. hell of a lot of fun.

Did this yesterday (Sunday) and it wasn't as crowded as I expected based on the other comments! We started at 9:50 and didn't have any trouble parking. We saw a lot more people coming down than up, so I was glad we'd started a little later and weren't doing it at the same time as everyone else! Quite a few people at the summit, but not too crowded. Saw lots of marmots. It took us a little less than 3 hours to summit, we spent 30-40 minutes at the top and finished at 2:00. Gorgeous hike!

hiking
10 days ago

My first 14er. Great hike on a well-maintained trail. Go during the week though. There were 100s of folks on the trail and on the summit.

hiking
10 days ago

Just got back from this pretty hike , lots and lots of wildflowers . The first mile had me so out of breath I couldn’t enjoy the views !! LOL when you cross the boulder field there is a huge flat one to take in the first of many scenic views ! The upper stretches are very scenic with the clear lake. A must for the avid mountain hiker

Challenging hike to do the Spaulding/Evans loop after Chicago Lakes. I came down the face of Evans to make a straight shot back to Summit Lake. Recommend an early start since this took me about 10 hours to complete with a dog.

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