Mount Bierstadt, The Sawtooth, and Mount Evans Loop

hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(200)
Mount Evans Wilderness

Mount Bierstadt, The Sawtooth, and Mount Evans Loop is a 10.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length10.2 miElevation gain4,048 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashHikingRiverViewsBugsMuddyRockyScrambleSnowOff trailNo shadeHistoric site
Description
Waypoints (0)

SEASONAL ROAD CLOSURE: Roads leading to this trailhead are subject to seasonal closure. For more information, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/arp/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5292500. Although dogs are allowed to use this trail, users have reported that the scrambling after The Sawtooth can be very dangerous for them. This is a great all day hike in which you will climb two 14ers, Mount Bierstadt and Mount Evans. In the process you will also traverse The Sawtooth that separates these two mountains. The hike up Bierstadt is fairly easy however the crossing of The Sawtooth will take you on a very intense class 3 scramble.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (206)
Photos (3,454)
Recordings (155)
Completed (528)
View user's profile page
David Wentzel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 3, 2021

Climbed up the return route on the Bierstadt Evans loop. Had to snowshoe for 6 hours ( up amd back). Made it to the beginning of the last Evans hike and turned back. Was pretty exhausted from floating up the mountain. Awesome fun beautiful hike but a little too much snow to enjoy. Be careful on the ravine going up and down, it looks like it's ready to cave in.

View user's profile page
Robert Whalen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMarch 22, 2021
HikingMuddyNo shadeOff trailRockyScramble

This was kind of boring. There were only a couple of class 3 moves on the sawtooth, and after that it was a never-ending class 2 slog to the summit of Mount Evans. To top off the day, you get to slide down a loose, steep, scree filled gully and stomp through a marshland immediately afterwards. The best part is all of the weird looks you get from people who are just climbing Bierstadt once you make it to the trailhead.

View user's profile page
Tom Malinaric
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 1, 2021
Hiking

Really sketchy in the winter. If you decide to do this in the winter. I highly recommend taking the top route over the gendarme on the sawtooth. There are really scary snow patches on the lower route in the winter. The wetlands/willows area, after the descent, is marked very poorly and I ended up trudging around a lot trying to find the route. Amazing views on this route though. I saw sheep and goats.

View Tom's Recording
View user's profile page
John C
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 10, 2020
HikingRocky

Completed on Saturday 11/7. Road was closed about 2 miles leading up to the Bierstadt trailhead so that adds about 4 miles round trip. This is probably the reason we didn’t see a single other person on the trail. Not much snow but pretty windy towards the top. It was hard at times to find a route on the sawtooth since the cairns were hard to spot. Saw some mountain goats too ;)

View user's profile page
Michael Savage
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 18, 2020
Hiking
View Michael's Recording
View user's profile page
Aaron Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 17, 2020
Hiking
View Aaron's Recording
View user's profile page
Sean-Alex L.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 5, 2020
HikingMuddyOff trailRockyScramble

10/5/20 The GF and I left Denver at 3:30am and started the Bierstadt trail and ascent at 5am. Headlamps were obviously needed for most of this. We had no issues ascending, just be prepared for a cutting cold wind at the summit. It actually being my first 14'er, I thought it was relatively easy. We just barely missed sunrise, but the warm glow of the sun bathing everything was still absolutely spectacular. The descent down and the traverse of The Sawtooth was slow going and difficult, more so because of not knowing the best routes to go due to easy to miss cairns (and not many of them). A lot of back tracking and wasted time and energy due to this. Thankfully another group caught up with us halfway across, and we tackled the gendarme together as we couldn't find the route around it. Take it slow and it's very doable actually. That's where we cut left onto The Ledge (which was definitely my favorite part), and made the ascent up the scree slope. As other people have said - The Sawtooth is more of a mental challenge than anything; just take everything slowly and carefully, and I stress to diligently search for the cairns before continuing forward. It was epic! Mt. Evans was definitely our least favorite part of this trip. It is a brutal slogfest. Yes we expected it to be long and in no way easy, but summiting it was very slow going due to the seemingly endless scrambling, and again made more difficult with easy to miss cairns, and with multiple routes of cairns to confuse things further. Very frustrating as there was even more back tracking involved. The gulley descent in my opinion was the hardest part of Evans, as its steepness, loose dirt, and scree made it very challenging and slow going. My feet and knees were wrecked descending this. Incredible view though - something out of a fantasy. There was one confusing section at the start of the muddy willows, as people had made multiple trails to try and avoid the mud, so we had to spend a little of bit of time figuring out which one was the actual path (they probably all connect though). Yes it was muddy, but after everything Evan's threw at us, it was definitely the least of our concern. It's a long walk through the willows to reach the Bierstadt / parking lot trailhead, but it was so very beautiful. If you plan to summit Mt. Evans, as with The Sawtooth, I stress to diligently search for the cairns when ascending the boulder scrambling fields, as they're easy to miss. There is an upper route and a lower route along the false summit. We did a combination of them both *face palm* We clocked the whole loop at 13.5miles, and it took us 13 hours with stops for pictures, snack breaks, equipment changes and such, and unfortunately back tracking. Would we do this again? Hell no you couldn't pay us. But was it all worth it? Absolutely!

View user's profile page
William david Leonard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 4, 2020
Hiking

The cairns are difficult to follow in the sawtooth and from there to Mt Evan’s peak. Stop at each cairn until you see the next on the sawtooth—otherwise you could be like me, off trail with some hairy west exposure. The gully isn’t hard to find. When you leave the gully, go straight across to find the willow trail—it’s far to your left.

View user's profile page
Sarah Boggs
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 3, 2020
HikingMuddyOver grownRockyScramble

This was HARD. Summitting Bierstadt was a nonissue (except it’s COLD until you get up to the sun) the trail is really well marked and maintained, LOTS of people. The Sawtooth is No. Joke. ESPECIALLY the second half. As others have said, it can be incredibly difficult to locate the cairns, and the trail follows several sheer drop-offs over cliffs on the west side that are absolutely terrifying when the wind picks up, which it does OFTEN. Many times I put up my poles and just crawled or death-gripped the rocks. Once you get to the other side there’s a nice break in climbing before you start up Mt. Evans. Note that the cairns do NOT always follow the “trail” on the app, and that’s okay, either way is fine, the app trail runs along the peak and there’s a lot of wind so keep that in mind. Don’t be fooled towards the end - it looks like the Crestone House sits on the summit but that’s where the parking lot is for Mt. Evans Road and if you walk over there you actually missed the summit and have to turn around and do the 0.6 mile switchback trail. The descent down the gully is VERY steep. Walking through the willows feels like trying to navigate a haunted forest. My Fitbit and GPS both read 11.25 miles at the end. These were my 7th and 8th 14ers and definitely the most challenging hike I’ve ever done.

View user's profile page
Melissa Baker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 1, 2020
HikingGreat!

We couldn’t have asked for a better day for this. Is was LONG, clocking in at just under 14 miles and 11 hours round trip but the weather was gorgeous all day and we met some great people along the way! The climb up Bierstadt was pretty quick and easy for a 14er but probably the most intimidating part of the whole thing is coming off Bierstadt, heading to the Sawtooth. Once there, it was a little hard to route find and we weren’t seeing any cairns for the first 1/3 or so. The last 1/2-2/3 were well cairned. The traverse got the blood pumping and it was my first class 3, but I imagine it was an easier class 3. Only a couple moments of real nerves. The perfect weather helped a lot, wind would have made it terrifying. The slog up Evans felt real long. Once to the top we saw a momma and two baby mountain goats! With the road being closed there were zero people up there, besides a couple cyclists. After all that, going down the gully kind of sucks. Lots of bouldering at the top, followed by scree. Be prepared for thick mud once you get mostly down and before you meet back up w the Bierstadt trail. Overall great day. Great hike and a great first class 3.

View Melissa's Recording
View user's profile page
Joseph Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 1, 2020
Rock climbingGreat!No shadeOff trailRockyScramble

Climbing Mt. Bierstadt is relatively easy for a 14r. Left the lot at 7:30a and made the summit at 9:15a. Weather was perfect. The sawtooth was a blast. Best part of the whole trip. Made it to Mt Evans at 12:30pm. Going down the ravine sucks. Hated every bit of it. The willows was a breeze. Relatively dry. All in all, enjoyed the day and Bierstadt is a 14r that I will take friends and family on when they come to Denver.

View user's profile page
James Jacobik
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 29, 2020
Hiking
View James's Recording
View user's profile page
Matthew Kerr
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 28, 2020
Hiking
View Matthew's Recording
View user's profile page
Sean Brundrett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 26, 2020
Hiking

Pretty easy comparing to some other 14ers (holy cross I’m looking at you).

View Sean's Recording
View user's profile page
Alex Cotie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 26, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

Our first time here, I agree with others that compared to other 14’ers, this was less strenuous & shorter. We did the out and back to Bierstadt, although we planned to take Sawtooth to Evans. It was a tip-you-over windy day, especially near the summit, and pretty cold so we made the choice to not do that path. Pretty busy out there today. Moving time 4:06, total time 5hrs and ended with 7.9 miles (including 2 pee breaks), and we weren’t trying to make time. Fall colors were so pretty (9/26/20) and the lakes were stunning too. Great hike overall, and great way to start a Saturday!

View Alex's Recording
Showing results 1 - 15 of 206