Mount Bierstadt Trail

HARD 735 reviews
#1 of 23 trails in

Mount Bierstadt Trail is a 7.3 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
7.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2614 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

skiing

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

snow

no shade

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, Mt. Bierstadt and Mt. 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 Mt. 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.

hiking
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing trail with excellent views 100% of the time.

2 months ago

fun not hard except its a 14er

hiking
2 months ago

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!

2 months ago

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

2 months ago

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?

hiking
3 months ago

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!

3 months ago

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.

trail running
3 months ago

Ascended Friday 10/20/17 around 12:30 pm. Considerable snow and ice (maxing out at calf depth) over the top half of the climb. Didn't wear microspikes on the way up (moving well and didn't want to stop), but put them on for the descent. Wind was fierce (maybe ~40 mph?) the higher you descended. Pretty cold - mid 20's - at the top. Up and down in 2 hours and 1 minute.

3 months ago

Climbed this last weekend. It was my first 14er! 3/4 yo it was covered in snow, you’ll definitely need some tracks. There were up to 40mph winds and a windchill around 20. Overall it was a great first 14er and I was prepared with warm clothes.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike with great views from the summit. It took my wife and I about five hours round trip, with some stops for pictures and to chat with other people on the way up. The trail itself is very well maintained with a decent amount of parking and restroom facilities at the trailhead. I would say about the upper third of the trail was under +/- 1-2’ of snow. I would recommend micro-spikes or crampons (which we didn’t have!) and trekking poles since the more trafficked areas of the trail in the snow got pretty slick with the snow getting packed. Other than that it was one of the more relaxed 14ers we’ve done. We did this hike on October 17th, and would highly recommend it!

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike for a first 14er, though having snow made way harder than it should be! None the less, it was a great experience.

hiking
4 months ago

Holy bananas! We got unbelievable weather but the snow was mid thigh deep the entire last mile and a half. Totally worth it, lots of slush and mud on the way down because of the melted ice. Good shoes and lots of layers, what a great first 14er

4 months ago

Started at Guanella Pass at 10:15am. Decent travel for a while, but encountered heavy snow about 1 mile from the summit. Cold feet (bring 2 pairs of extra socks and some foot warmer packs if you don't have water proof shoes. My mistake. Snow shoes recommended. Some deep snow for the last mile or so, but you can do it. There were pre-existing tracks for me to follow, but had to post hole and crawl for some of it. Keep pushing. Slushy walk down, but over all a great experience. You can do it. Just be prepared. Snow brings a whole different aspects to the experience.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike! Absolutely beautiful. I went yesterday and it was perfect weather-no clouds when we started at 6:30 AM. Clouds began rolling in at noon, so be off the mountain. The difference in climate from the trailhead to the peak is insane-probably 50 degrees (no snow) at the trailhead to probably 30 at the peak with crazy winds (wind chill maybe 20) and at least two feet of snow. This would be much more fun if the last mile of the hike wasn't trudging through deep snow, constantly losing footing, and worrying about falling. On the plus side, falling down doesn't hurt because of the snow! I should have been more careful coming down than I was, but I just wanted to get off the mountain and warm up. I sat down on my bottom and slid down some of the steep parts. Absolutely wear waterproof pants and bring a rain jacket or windbreaker. Also, the water in my Camelbak froze-I didn't drink as much water as I should have because of that! Also, make sure your phone is on airplane mode, as mine died before I was able to take a picture of me on the peak. Overall, this is a great hike, but be prepared for deep snow and unpleasant conditions starting about a mile from the peak.

4 months ago

Last mile is brutal, but so worth it!

4 months ago

Great weather, and a beautiful trail

hiking
4 months ago

Had an absolutely fantastic day, the weather held despite my late start and we made the summit just fine. The colors are changing right now and it's glorious--plus Rufus (dog) just completed his first 14'er, hooray!

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