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Very cool to see, smell, and learn more about the bristle cone pines! Would highly recommend stopping here

14 days ago

Today, 4/08/18, I needed something to do. After doing some homework. Bierstadt it was. Being from Minnesota, hiking ...lets just say the mountains are a different beast. After reading numerous reviews here: my 4 year old had his first summit to the dogs and 100's...and 100's of people to contend with..well, didnt sound too challenging. But, I did read a few well written reviews to go prepared.
Not nearly for what I was about to face.
left late...really late from F.Collins (2:30pm) arrived at what was apparently the Silver Dollar parking lot as the road to the Guanella pass summit was still closed for the season...my homework skills need honing. talked to a guy there that was going to do some skiing and he thought the trailhead to Bierstadt would be a couple of miles. lucky I brought my winter gear including Sorrels, ski mask and micro spikes. headed up the hill at about 4pm. didnt need the spikes but postholed more than a few times but not bad. An hour later I was at the trailhead. Id say the wind was 40+ and the temp around 0. I knew a front was coming in but looking off to the west it seemed to be coming a good couple of hours early. I was alone and the only soul I had seen was a couple skiing down right as I set off...I really wished I had that idea..I need to think this over, if only I could get in the outhouse - frozen halfway shut and buried in snow. I get it open and have a seat. I decide to at least go a bit before turning back. I see what appears to be the start of the trail by the marker and another marker some 30 yards out. Off I go...postholing it every step. Wow..where are the snowshoes... (even those didnt seem to help one reviewer and his friends) Anyways, I realize Im out of my league here and want to see another day so after 20 or so yards of this I turn back down the mountain thinking of those skiers. Once back to my car the Blizzard hits with full force and Im out of there. I have to say..the whole experience - including the solitude and the views walking back down were soooo worth it!!!

off road driving
14 days ago

was just here March 9th 2018, didnt see any closed signs. Trail was plenty open with minimal snow concentrate most on short flat sections. some fun obstacles and pull off points. completed fairly quickly in 3 inch lifted Land cruiser with 32 inch tires (didnt air down) and no lockers other than center. nothing overly difficult, would have made some of the harder obstacles easier if i had aired down. if your on the fence because of the difficulty rating, as long as you got some ground clearance, youll be fine. crow creek trail via slaughterhouse was gated off.

Great trail for fun. I drive a stock Jeep Liberty with no lift but good tires. I can make it clockwise but not the uphill (without possibly messing my vehicle up) not the uphill counterclockwise. Not great views for mountains but you are in the woods. It’s wonderful. You need 4wheel drive for sure. Great trail but more a 3 in rating 4 counterclockwise I guess. 4 hour round trip Denver to Denver with a great adventure in between. I probably shouldn’t do this trip in my vehicle so don’t imagine it’s just easy. Fun though.

off road driving
21 days ago

Took my 97 land rover discovery to this trail for the first time. First part of the trail is easy then there are small sections that are little harder. Generally when the trail gets harder you have a second easier option right next to it. Snow was very slippery down hill. I was in low gear while applying the brakes. Part of the uphill trail gets very hard and I had my center locker on the entire time. Great trail and will come back for more!

off road driving
1 month ago

A few of us took a great rzr ride today! Great weather, beautiful sky & a casual chill ride!

hiking
1 month ago

Well maintained, didn’t see any other people today, trail is clear of snow and ice. No trail markings and there are forks in the path where it gets confusing which is why I rated it 4 Stars. Pretty pine and aspen forest.

off road driving
1 month ago

Not open until April 1st. There is no gate, however signs are clearly visible that the area is closed.

First 14er. The gain in elevation was harder than expected for my friend and I, which meant the hike took longer than we had planned. Best views I've ever had and the experience was exhilarating! Make sure you have plenty of water, protein and healthy fats snacks(nuts, bars, etc.). Went in October 2016, temp went back and forth between just a hoodie and needing a wind resistant, thermal coat.

Slept in my truck to wake up to the sunrise. Well worth it! Beautiful views

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing views and feeling. We made the summit by 2:05pm 01-09-18 (start time 8:53am). Lucked out with beautiful blue skies. The terrifying brownish grey clouds scattered away as we ascended out of the willow area. I'm not the fastest so took about 9 hours total. Winter trek is 11+ miles (my GPS said 12) due to having to park at Silver Dollar Lake TH as Guenella Pass is closed from there. Walked down Guenella Pass in the dark on the way back to the car, but as long as I was of the actual trail before dark I was felling comfortable and our eyes adjusted to the dark. Micro-spikes were perfect, there was no need for snowshoes. I agree with the review before me do not look over that snow bank down to frozen lake too much as its sketchy and snow is slightly deep there.

Started from the winter parking lot ~2 miles below the actual trail head (roads well plowed to this point). Round trip is about 11 miles over a mixture of packed snow, gravel, and patchy ice. Leave your snow shoes and crampons in the car, microspikes are more than sufficient. I hike pretty quickly and it took me ~7 hours (4 up, 3 down). No ave danger except at the final quarter mile up the ridge to the summit; there’s a sketch snow bank overhanging the eastern slope. Don’t get curious to peak over the edge and this is easily avoidable.

hiking
3 months ago

This is one of my favorite hikes in Colorado!!! It is rarely busy and offers a wide range of environments to trek through from forest, to boulder fields to tundra. In July the fields above tree line are covered in a wide variety of wild flowers, and there are giant patches of columbines.

The climb begins quickly. You'll accumulate a big chunck of elevation gain through the first 2 miles. The trail leads to an incredible view down the valley from a pretty exposed overlook. The next couple of miles are a more gradual uphill. It is a beautiful hike through boulder fields and forest with the sound of the stream ever present. The last third of the trip is the most grueling. It is a sustained climb to the lake.

In past years I have camped along the trail then tackled Square Top the next day.

Things to note - County Road 1038 is not well taken care of and has boulders that you will have to get over or around. There is almost always standing water a few inches thick somewhere on the road. I have seen a Prius make it to the trail head, but have been on trips where the driver of a Subaru didn't feel comfortable and parked two miles from the trial head. Be aware before you try and get there and don't be afraid to park before the road becomes brutal.

Also, the trail head isn't extremely well marked when you are heading up the road. I needed my GPS to make sure I was headed the right direction and find the trail. But, there is a very large boulder with a sign that guides you, it is just easier to see if you are looking back down the road toward the entrance from Geneva Road.

Bring bug spray or permethrin clothing. This trail is along a creek and bugs become unbearable without it. You may also want to make sure your hiking boots or shoes are waterproof. The trail has standing water sporadically and there aren't ways around the soupy parts. Lastly, once you get above tree line 7-foot-tall shrubs are grown right up along the trail and can feel like they are attacking you. Long sleeves offer a fair bit of protection.

super easy made it up and down in a few hours. too many tourists.

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing trail with excellent views 100% of the time.

off road driving
3 months ago

I had a 2009 Lexus gx470 with a 1.5 inch lift on 33” tires and front and rear bumpers and rock sliders. Did it on 12/23/17 in a snow storm with 4-5 inches of snow on the trail at the start. Went right at the loop. Made it 3/4 of the way through before I had to turn around and put chains on. I didn’t have my chains on the way out but I’m confident I could finish the trail with chains on or when the trail was dry. Very intense trail to do in the snow. My friend in her JK with a 3.5 inch lift on 35” tires also couldn’t make it all the in the snow. Overall amazing day and can’t wait to try it again to conquer it!!!

We found this trail looking for the Rosedale Peak Trail. Both trails start at the same trailhead and intersect about a mile and a half up the trail. This trail is well maintained. We visited with a fellar at the trailhead and he said the Rosedale trail took some trail finding. It was a fun hike !!!

fun not hard except its a 14er

hiking
4 months ago

I'm sure this trail would've been beautiful, the area was amazing but I didn't even make it to the trailhead. This area is only open to hunting/fishing after Labor Day so the road was gated 4.3 miles from the trail head. This area is also totally closed from Jan 1 to June 14th.

We live just 2 miles from Slaughter House. Take the ATV with my husband and have a blast.

It will be to your benefit not to rely on the map for this hike. It did not match the actual trail. We cut off trail a bit to find the trail on the map and ran straight into a mountain lion. My advice, stay on the trail, don’t try to do the loop just make it an out and back, travel in groups and know the protocols for a mountain lion encounter. It was a fun hike up until that point and mountain lion sightings are rare. Be safe, be smart, and just follow your instinct.

Hiked this trail on 11/26/17 and it was snowy, but not deep at all - just packed from fellow hikers. It was slick on the way down though, when the sun had been out for a bit. I'd recommend traction for the descent at least. It was a beautiful hike with lots of people and pups on the trail, and pretty views the whole way. As expected, the summit was very cold and windy, but a fun steep ascent at the end!

great trail. started at 9:40am made the summit at 12:20pm left summit at 1:20 got back to parking lot around 3. microspikes are needed although I saw people not wearing them which I thought was crazy. guenella pass is open as of now

hiking
4 months ago

So beautiful. When you think your not going to get there, that is when you are so close. Was a little erie as we spent 7 hours on this trail and did not see one human. Mountain playground all to ourselves. Went in middle of September when all the colors were beautiful below tree line. Lake see through blue, chilly but worth it.

Did this trail 3 times this year. Love it. Can anyone tell me if Guanella Pass is drivable for a regular passenger car in winter?

off road driving
5 months ago

87 4runner
35s
No lockers
Solid axle swap

There are areas with 2 or more paths if you choose to take the harder path. I had no problem getting through most of it.

hiking
5 months ago

Directions below from Karin are accurate. Pay attention though to the signs at the Wilderness area entrance - if it states it is closed for hunting, do not enter and turn around. You will get ticketed. It opens again on Nov 20 and stay open till Dec 15.After that it is closed for the winter.

I started at 4:30 am on Sunday 10/29 to avoid the other hoards of hikers. Around 12,000 feet snow starts to cover the trail. It's pretty packed down and icy so I advise spikes/crampons. Gaiters might not be a bad idea because you will likely lose the trail due to the snow and you may fall in up to your ankles. The snow really doesn't get much worse towards the top. I peaked just as the sunrise edged over the mountains to the east and it was quite windy. I wore an arc'teryx atom LT hoodie over a base layer and a midweight shirt and I was fine until the top. I had to put on my warm parka over everything and cover my face as well as put my hood up. It's cold. It's nearly November. But it's totally doable and I love having the trail to myself. Would definitely recommend hitting this peak before it gets too snowy!

off road driving
5 months ago

it was awesome

Did this trail today (10/27). It was very snow/ice-packed for most of the upper half. I’m a relatively inexperienced CO hiker but would recommend some form of microspikes, though we saw a few people who said they summitted without them (a few guys were even just wearing Vans). We turned around about 1/2 mile from the summit as it was extremely slippery and windy (I’d guess about 20-30mph gusts). We started at 11:15. Would definitely recommend an earlier start, but again, we’re inexperienced and fresh from sea level so we took a lot of breaks. Took us about 3 hours to our turn around point and almost 2 to get down. We were dressed warmly but it was extremely cold when we turned around. Still worth the effort with all the beautiful views.

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