Mount Bierstadt Trail

HARD 1,205 reviews
#1 of 28 trails in

Mount Bierstadt Trail is a 6.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,729 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

rock climbing

skiing

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

snow

no shade

no dogs

The trail is almost entirely in the Mount Evans Wilderness. No mountain bikes are allowed in the Wilderness. Stay on the trail to avoid trampling the vegetation. This is a great all day hike in which you will climb two 4ers, Mount Bierstadt and Mount Evans. In the process you will also traverse the saw tooth that separates these two mountains. The hike up Bierstadt itself is fairly easy however the crossing of the saw tooth will take you on a very intense class 3 scramble and is not dog or child friendly. In fact, its not friendly for anyone who is not in shape or not able to take on a class 3 scramble. Its a great hike and a fun way to bag two 14ers in one day! Start out early if you plan to do both peaks, especially if you aren't used to the altitude. Wear clothes that will keep you warn during the ascent up Mount Bierstadt and that will be easy to shed once you reach the peak and sunshine. Also, be prepared for strong winds and colder temps on the way up Bierstadt. Leather gloves can be used for the crossing of the saw tooth.

23 hours ago

Very pretty with all the yellow foliage. Most of the hikes I do are on the east coast so I definitely felt a bit dizzy and took my time up the trail. Took me 6 hours. It got a bit windy while walking up which was nice and then the summit was oddly still. This was my first 14er. I passed a few people on the trail and everyone was very friendly. I didn’t feel like it was super crowded as other posts say. Maybe it was my timing. I left at 12:30 returned at 6:30pm on a Tuesday. Highly recommend this hike.

hiking
2 days ago

Easiest Colorado 14er hike. Very crowded all the way to top. IF you want to avoid the crowd start early possibly 4 am. Donot underestimate though. it is still a 14er.

trail running
2 days ago

Great intro to Colorado 14ers. A fairly physical hike requiring some scrambling.

hiking
2 days ago

My wife and mine first 14er. Wow! What a hike and kicked our tail. Of course we are 60ish. Beautiful weather on 9-14. Around freezing when started out at 7am and sun was just started peeking out behind the mountain but warmed as day went on. Trail maintenance is excellent. Got a good spot in the parking lot but plenty of parking on the road.
Oxygen was our biggest obstacle.

hiking
2 days ago

This was my first fourteener and definitely a decent challenge. Arrived at the trailhead at 5:30am and the parking lot was already full and the roadside was filling up. Tons of people and so crowded which is to be expected of any lower class fourteener. The lack of basic hiking courtesy and manners by most people really shocked me. My dog was amazing at scrambling and loved seeing all the marmots. Glad I hiked it, but honestly not sure if I'm going to be jumping on the fourteener train as I enjoy hiking to get away from people.

4 days ago

Great beautiful bluebird day for a hike on sept 14, 2018. Weather was 36 degrees when I started around 545. The hike is slow and gentle for a fourteener maybe 2/3 the way up. Then there is a scramble to the summit. Well marked until the scramble, which cairns are located it seems on diff trails to the top. But, head up w the masses and get there no prob. The top was windy and chilly, but not Horrible.

Various folks from all ages climbing up. The children I saw were not having fun. It is very exposed and no shelter once you are above tree Line.

I saw all size dogs and most were not leashed. A dog was lost a few weeks back up here chasing a goat, so I would be cautious of that. Fortunately, it was recovered by other hikers at midnight near the top. Don’t do this to your dog. There was a moose off the trail, that would win if a dog had chased it..

I also brought down three bags of dog . If you are going to bring your dog, don’t be a slacker and leave your plastic  up there.. it takes so long for things to grow and decompose in low oxygen environments up high. So far, one of my easiest 14ers. (Not easy but relative to the others).
It was a nice 73 getting back to the lot. It was 90 getting back to Denver..happy hiking!

hiking
5 days ago

This was my first 14er so I don’t have other big hikes to compare it to. For being one of the easier 14ers I would say some parts are still pretty challenging. There was virtually no shade through the hike and we completed it in just under 6 hours.

hiking
10 days ago

This was the first 14er for my girlfriend, my dog, and I. we got a late start, and I questioned whether my girlfriend and dog would be able to continue all of the way to the top. The weather held out for us, but the hike was way more stair stepping than we thought it would be. Between that and the lack of oxygen for us Midwesterners, it was slow going for a while. once I saw the peak was just a pile of huge boulders, I definitely assumed my dog wouldn't make it. Turns out she is part mountain goat and scrambled around like a champion, making us look bad. It was late in the day already, chilly at the top, and we were both sunburnt, so we didn't get to enjoy the summit as long as we wanted, but the views are worth every single step. there was even a snow field for my dog to go nuts in on the way down. She is a husky. It made for a great day. I probably will never do it again, as there are so many other 14ers to see, but I'm glad we did it.

13 days ago

Mountain goats on the summit!

14 days ago

We made it about 2/3 of the way up which is a lot further than I assumed we would get. We started at around 1 or so and made it back to the car at 540. great hike. challenging and rewarding all the same.

hiking
15 days ago

This was my first 14er and it was awesome but difficult. I’m in pretty decent shape, a Denver local, and 39 years old. I did fine until about 12,500 ft, and then felt the effects of the elevation. We had to walk about 20-30 steps and then rest. Plan for plenty of time to summit. We began our hike at 7am and the parking lot was full. We summited in 3 hours 15 minutes. It was snowing lightly at the top. Pack lunch for the top (we packed two PB&J sandwiches, a stick of cheese, and a bag of chips each). Pack plenty of water, and some snacks like trail mix and Clif bars. Looking back, I recommend walking poles to alleviate knee pain upon descent and to check heart rates regularly upon ascent. We also saw several dogs off-leash who ran off. There are mountain goats and small animals dogs may chase. It was hard, but worth it.

hiking
16 days ago

trail is good - pretty well maintained and clear. only questionable part is toward the top. it turns into a big rock outcropping that you have to scramble up and there's no clear trail. but just head upward and you'll be fine, or follow the masses of people. I started at 7 am and there were already about 100 cars parked in the lots and along the road. the crowds were pretty manageable on the trail. it's pretty much a single track the whole way, but slower people are nice about letting others pass. I don't think most people know that hikers going up have right-of-way, though. some people had dogs, but I wouldn't recommend it; the part at the top where you're scrambling up rocks is too dangerous for them.

16 days ago

This is my first 14er, I am from Charleston SC. I flew in Saturday and did the hike on Labor Day. I am glad I came a day early to acclimate to the elevation.

It was a beautiful day, cool at the top so coat, hat, and gloves were important. There is no snow on the trail, but we did have some snow flurries. There were some mountain goats by the trail, plus some marmots, and chipmunks.

We got there about 6:30 am. The parking lot was full but parked on the road close to the trail. I made it in 6.5 hours with about 30 minutes on top. I am 57 and from sea level. I took my time and drank a lot water, and did well. I did get little wobbly around 14000’ but I got over it quickly. The view was awesome. My biggest mistakes was not bringing enough snacks.

hiking
17 days ago

Awesome hike! Pretty much as described by the others. Last 400 feet or so is scrambling over very large rocks/boulders. You definitely need some good hiking gloves, and a way to strap your poles to your backpack, as you need your hands to navigate the rocks. Great views at the top, saw mountain goats. A man proposed at the top which made my day. More crowded that some other 14ers due to the ease of access - paved road - but all nice folks and easy to pass (or be passed).

hiking
17 days ago

My first 14er so wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. Definitely worth it. No snow on the trail but did start snowing when I got to the summit.

19 days ago

Great hike! Got to the parking lot at 6am and there were plenty of spots. No snow on trail. Trailhead is next to the bathrooms if you arrive in the dark like we did. Beautiful views from the top!

hiking
20 days ago

08-29-18

got a parking spot at 8:15 am on weds morning. no snow. trail clear. it was cold out though. spent day in our winter gear. beautiful hike and great views at top. ♡

hiking
21 days ago

Bierstadt is a relatively easy hike but you’re covering a lot of territory and gaining a lot of altitude, so it’s challenging. The wind we had to deal with ALL day, made it even more so. I’m guessing the gusts were in the 40-50mph range. And it was cold. We started off with an extra layer and a rain/wind jacket, then as we warmed up the base layer came off, but it came back on as we got to the top. We wore our hat and gloves the entire time, too. And, we weren’t alone.

There was a frost on the foot bridges which made it a little challenging crossing but by the time we summited, all the frost was gone. We did see a few people who weren’t bundled up, but they said they didn’t come prepared.

We got to the trailhead at 7:00am and there were only a few cars there. (It was a Monday.) We didn’t see a lot of people - only a dozen groups or so. It took us three hours to summit and 2.5 to descend. Both of those numbers are good.

hiking
22 days ago

First 14er hike in the summer after spending a month in Colorado. Great views and fun trail.

23 days ago

Was a great hike! Cold and windy on 8/27. The Sun did not come out over the mountain until late morning.

hiking
25 days ago

My 2nd 14er! Absolutely breathtaking at the top! It was super windy when we reached the summit on 8/24/18. Relatively easy trail until you get to the base of peak where you’ll have to maneuver yourself up a bunch of rocks

hiking
26 days ago

Such a great hike! We got to the parking lot at 6:15 am on a Thursday in August and it was about 75% full, and it filled up the rest of the way very quickly. It is key to get there and start the hike before the sun rises, because you can log the first mile or two in the shade of the mountain and it relieves you from a lot of extra sun. We also saw 3 moose! They made their way across the foot of the mountain and actually ended up on the trail in front of us. Had to wait for them to move off the trail before we could pass. The hike is very busy, with lots of people, so you end up leapfrogging with other groups as you all climb and take breaks at different times. But its great to summit and see all of the other people who have been working hard alongside you! We made several friends along the way. The scramble at the top is the most difficult/technical part, especially because your so tired from the climb up and the air is the thinnest. Gorgeous views all along the way, make sure to take time to soak it all in!

hiking
27 days ago

My first 14er and I enjoyed the hike. Pretty straightforward path up and the rock/boulder scramble at the top was different. The top was crowded with everyone finding a boulder to sit or stand on. Took my seal level children (14, 12, 10) on the hike and they all made it but struggled with only a couple days of adjustment to Colorado altitude. I am sure it would have been a different hike without my kids struggles, but we made it up and down in just under 8 hours.

hiking
27 days ago

Got there on a Tuesday at 0615. Parking lot half full. Spectacular views and not alot of people. Burned 2,000 calories. It's about 7.4 miles, not 6.9. Did it in about 4 hrs, 15 min.

hiking
27 days ago

Simple, Beautiful, Blissful

1 month ago

Nice hike with great views but heavily trafficked.

hiking
1 month 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.

1 month ago

Great 14er for first timers and out of staters.

1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

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.

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