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A nice trail for a first timer and out of hiking shape climber. I was expecting more switchback but it is mostly straight up. When you are right below the summit that last 250 feet is easy with your adrenaline pumping. Definitely bring a wind breaker, hat and gloves. The sun was only out briefly while on the summit but when it did reveal from behind the clouds it was beautiful. Pic is of me at the top on 8/14

hiking
23 hours ago

Joan House here - I wrote the review of Mt. Bierstadt and I would like to amend it. There ARE switchbacks on Bierstadt - just not many. Check a route map. I will be 67 next month so it seemed like there weren't any switchbacks, but there are. Since I am not a super-athlete, it was a challenge for me, not just a walk.

I hope I didn't mislead anyone. kj

We had a great experience with this hike. If you're not up for the Sawtooth from Bierstadt, and want more of an adventure than just driving up, this is your hike! Having Mt. Spalding as an extra summit along the way is an added bonus. We started around 7am on a Friday, and found very little car (on the way up) or foot traffic on the trail; by far the least populated 14er I've done. The views are great the entire hike, since you start above treeline. Lots of marmots, pikas, bighorn sheet, and mountain goats. We did not attempt to loop this (descending in scree isn't our thing), and our distance was around 6 miles RT. The trail can be a little hard to follow at times, but is generally well-marked with cairns. After Spalding, you'll drop down to the Spalding-Evans summit, then follow the rocky path to the right (not up to the highest ridge) for the easiest route.
Remember to bring $5 for the self-service pay area at Summit Lake.

8/17/17: 3 "older" lady hikers hit the trail at 7:30 a.m. (we had the last parking space in the main lot - crowded but not horrible). Frost thru the willows - @ 37 degrees. THANKS AND KUDOS to the young man who helped us to cross the stream by lending us an outstretched hand! Dark clouds and corn snow and cold winds at the summit at 11:30 a.m. Stayed about 5 minutes at top. Sunshine and slight corn snow on the way down periodically but did not experience thunder or lightning. Yes, it was cold. Bring layers including gloves and hat. Bierstadt, while often ranked as "easy," is also an uphill climb. I don't think there are any switchbacks and it's class 2 scrambling at the final pitch - no definitive trail. Grays Peak offers greater stretches of trail with switchbacks and fine trail to the summit. Love that hike.
Check weather before you go and if it's your first 14er - prepare! Oh, and have fun and be safe.

It was very windy & chilly at the top. My gps said we did 9.94 miles total, even though we had been told it was a 7.3 mile hike round trip. Definitely bring water, snacks and GLOVES!!! (So cold at the top!!). A challenge, but a fun hike regardless. It was very crowded, even on a Thursday morning at 6:00 am.

great trail for my first 14'er. However as others have said this is a very busy trail. starting around 5:30 am is key to avoiding a lot of people during your ascent. trail conditions were great, just be ready for some rock hoping at the steam and while going over the boulders at the top.

Many beautiful wildflowers near the bottom. Beautiful views of the mountains all the way up! It was quite busy though so I would recommend going early. We got there about 6:30am and watched the sun come up over the mountains. This is my third fourteener in CO and I must say they never disappoint! I would definitely hike this trail again if I ever get the chance!

1st 14er!!! Was awesome!

Traveled left past the first flat ground mine site. Summit is a little over 13,000 ft

Do it now!

hiking
6 days ago

Don't pick this hike unless you have a high clearance vehicle. The road is about 3 miles, covered in rocks and many steep dips.

As for the hike, it is a great moderate hike. Forests, wildflowers, views, and the lake is beautiful as you can see from all the pictures.

backpacking
6 days ago

Climbed our first 14er yesterday - myself and 14 yr old son. Beautiful scenery and great, challenging trek! We departed trailhead around 5am, and for the first hour or so used headlamps. Made the summit around 8:45-9 (took our time up). Descent took around 2.5 hours and was equally challenging. Great experience.