Mount Bierstadt Trail

HARD 970 reviews
#1 of 24 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

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 day ago

Amazing! Hiked it on 7-14! Got there a little after 6 and boardwalks were very icy and slippery in the morning! Parking was easy and the views amazing!

1 day ago

I hiked this with three others about a week ago after having done a handful of other fourteeners. At 7:00 there were already parked cars lined on both sides of the pass for a quarter mile; get there early! There was plenty of parking in the westerly lot, however.

All things considered, this was the easiest fourteener I have completed to date. The trail was well travelled with essentially no exposure nearby, so finding our way to the summit was easy. Bierstadt is essentially a walk-up, with a very minor amount of scrambling or boulder-stepping near the peak. In fact, the only thing that exhausted me was the overwhelming number of people, but it was a weekend day after all.

As with all fourteeners take plenty of water, sunscreen, and maybe some layers at this time of year. The ride up the pass is beautiful so take note of it. You will still be above tree line on the mountain so if the weather turns, head back the way you came. We were lucky to have summited in two hours and escaped some rain rolling in from the east on the descent. As this hike is very popular be sure to pack out what you pack in.

hiking
1 day ago

This was my first 14er. It was easier than I thought but I have been lifting, running, power walking in hot temps and stairclimbing for months (getting back in shape). That being said I ran into a few people that were REALLY struggling. We started at 7 am after waiting in line at the bathroom for about 15-20 min. The first part is easy. it was chilly. Watch your step on the wooden bridge it was really slippery/icy. The next part will have you out of breath with your heart racing so drink water, eat good snacks and take breaks. I recommend bringing layers as you’ll be warm but then cold later and back to warm. Also bring plenty of water and snacks. Watch your step at the top you will be scrambling over rocks. This hike is not for anyone who is out of shape. Be prepared for the descent to be almost as hard (especially on the knees) I had a great time!!

hiking
2 days ago

It was harder than we expected! It was my wife’s first 14er and my third or fourth. The first couple miles really aren’t bad but the path up to the false summit and then the full summit are pretty difficult. We had to stop a lot and even ran out of water even though we each had a full camelbak. I’d bring plenty of water and if it’s your first, possibly even bringing canned oxygen. Very busy summit and some guy had a drone that was incredibly annoying. Last thing I wanted to listen to after summiting a mountain was his drone.

hiking
2 days ago

This was my first 14er and it’s supposedly one of the “easy” ones, but this is no walk in the park. I went with a group of mostly newbies and we started at 5:50am knowing we would be slower and wanted to be down early in case of storms. The bridge over the marsh was frosted at the time and SLIPPERY. We opted to jump down and walk through the marsh at areas so avoid a slip and injury. Watch for that. The first 1.5-2 miles is fairly easy. A moderate hike at best. The last 1.5-2 miles is hard and nearly everyone you see will agree....so don’t feel compelled to go fast. Take lots of breaks, even if they are short ones. The trail was crazy busy and lots of people boasting it was their first but everyone was polite and allowed you to pass or was patient until you let them pass. Shortly after the “shoulder” area (tip: definitely stop and have a quick snack here it’s about to get real) the trail gets steep and then you head into rocks. If you have read all the reviews and blogs you’ll be ready for a rock scramble but let me tell you that doesn’t really start until the last quarter mile. Don’t be fooled! By then you are so close you almost forget how tired you are and you power through. Others say you can do this in tennis shoes but unless you are experienced or the most stable person ever I recommend hiking shoes for the traction. Drink lots of water. I drank 3 liters and had an extra for the walk down. Summit is busy (pick your head up to avoid being stuck in an awkward position on a rock when someone unexpectedly stops) and chilly but very worth it. What no one really tells you about your first though is that the hike down is almost as hard. Your legs are tired and you’ve just experienced the high of the summit and now you have to reengage all the tired muscles and your knees and stay upright. You goal now: getting to the bottom and taking off your shoes! Overall I did it in 6 hours with about 30-40 minutes at the summit and I was slow...or felt it...but was consistent and realistic. Thoroughly enjoyed being able to check this off the bucket list! I recommend starting early if you are new just so have the comfort of taking your time and still beating the storms.

3 days ago

STAY SAFE ALL!
Beautiful, but busy. We saw many people coming up, planning on summiting after 1 p.m. as a storm was obviously forming. We also saw a guy with very bad altitude sickness at the summit who came from sea level and brought no food and little water. Please if you’re planning on hiking this or any high altitude hike, consider the weather always, bring plenty of food and water, and make sure you know your limits. This may be an easy 14er, but that doesn’t mean it’s actually easy at all. 14ers are serious business. Take it seriously and be safe!!
Also, please be courteous!! There were an amazing amount of people who played music off of speakers from their backpacks. If you’re someone who enjoys music while hiking, please put in headphones or don’t bring music at all. The majority of hikers want to enjoy the hike itself and the sounds of nature, especially at the summit, peace is preferred!!
Lastly, this goes for any hike or outdoor excursion, be respectful of the animals and surrounding environment, don’t feed or try to pet the animals and if you pack it in please pack it out!

hiking
3 days ago

A wonderful and challenging experience. Beautiful views and plenty of people on the trail. My first fourteener!

4 days ago

Loved it, but some dogs off leashes

6 days ago

Short and sweet! One of the easier ones and eases into the trail.

hiking
6 days ago

We started this hike at 6:00 am on 7/6. It was our first 14er and despite hearing that this was on of the easier 14ers it took us 7 hours to summit and get back to our car. We took our 4 yr old and 8 yr old on this trip, both were troopers on the trail but only the 8 yr old summited. Overall this is a really well marked and busy trail.

hiking
7 days ago

Did this yesterday (Sunday) and it wasn't as crowded as I expected based on the other comments! We started at 9:50 and didn't have any trouble parking. We saw a lot more people coming down than up, so I was glad we'd started a little later and weren't doing it at the same time as everyone else! Quite a few people at the summit, but not too crowded. Saw lots of marmots. It took us a little less than 3 hours to summit, we spent 30-40 minutes at the top and finished at 2:00. Gorgeous hike!

hiking
8 days ago

My first 14er. Great hike on a well-maintained trail. Go during the week though. There were 100s of folks on the trail and on the summit.

hiking
9 days ago

Beautiful hike and a great 14er to boot. There's a reason why so many people head to this location. As you'll read from other reviewers, this is no walk in the park. The elevation is consistent and the altitude, especially if it's your first time, will leave you a bit wasted after every 100 feet of hiking. I personally saw three people puking on the side of the trail due to assuming they're ready for a 14er--their mistake. If you are willing to sweat a bit and tough it through the altitude, however, you'll be rewarded with easily one of the better views in Colorado at the summit. It's kind of a two-for-one deal--you get to see Mt. Evans, as well. Sure, there are TONS of people, but we never had a single issue as everyone was very cool and trying their best to get to the top. Crowded at times, but very well worth it. Just go with the flow and appreciate being around so many others that love what you do: hiking. The myth that you 'must arrive incredibly early' is a bit bogus, as well. We parked on the road and were on the trail within two minutes. Who cares about a parking lot anyway? You're there for the mountain, not your own cutesy little spot to park your car for a few hours. I would only recommend starting early to try and avoid any sort of storm that may roll in at any given monent. Within ten minutes, we all went from sunshine to a light drizzle today, but everyone had a great time and took their own pace. You don't need to beat the clock here; tons of people take breaks FREQUENTLY on this trail, and, chances are, you'll end up talking to some rad fellow hiker buddies. Go do it! Remember your 14er sign :-)

hiking
9 days ago

I heard Mount Bierstadt was relatively easy.
For a "flat lander" from Michigan there are no easy 14ers. Did this hike on 7/7 with my 15 year old daughter....it was our first 14er. We are both in pretty good shape and trained for our trip to CO, but you can't train for altitude.
This hike was very hard, but rewarding.
Yes, LOTS of people but that was expected and everyone was friendly. Saw lots of people starting after 11am when we were finishing?
Also saw a large bull moose who appeared agitated near the boardwalks.

hiking
9 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous! Highly recommend this trail/14er. We started the trail at 9:35am, had lunch on top of the summit at noon. And then made it back to the truck at 2:35pm. Perfect weather! (Even enjoyed climbing the boulders to make it to the top of the summit)

10 days ago

Really pretty but tons of people

hiking
11 days ago

My first 14er! Completed on 7/4. First two miles are easy as pie. It is really cool being able to see pretty much the whole hike and the summit while you’re hiking- however it can be really deceiving in my opinion because it makes it look closer than you actually are! It says 3.7 miles each way but my step counter put us closer to 5 miles up- it definitely felt like it. The hardest part for me was the hike from just above tree line up to the rocky part right below the summit. The trail was packed, yes, but everyone we met was awesome and we had a great time chatting at the summit. I was amazed by the amount of little kids on the trail! They made it look so easy! We got there at 5:30 and yes the lot was full but there is so much room to park on the road- I wouldn’t let anyone’s reviews of how packed it was deter you from this hike! It was great.

11 days ago

Climbed July 4th and was super crowded- almost no parking when we arrived at 5am. Our first 14er and we loved it! It took us just over 2 hours to summit.

hiking
12 days ago

More people than rocks...

12 days ago

Freaking beautiful hike the entire way! Have to work to get to the top but well worth it, it is steep and hard but it is one of the shorter hikes. Very busy on weekends even as early as 5 when I went . Love this hike!

hiking
12 days ago

My wife and I hiked July 3rd, 2018. Arrived at 5:50AM, trail head parking was still available. It was dry all the way up. Not to crowded. I recommend doing the hike on a weekday to avoid large crowds. We had many stretches where we walked alone. The weather was perfect the whole way. Did not have to deal with any bad weather or sudden storm. Don't let the pictures fool you the vertical grade is difficult. You will get a good workout and the views from the peak are gorgeous!!

13 days ago

Great hike for your first 14er! Views in all directions! Get their early if it’s a weekend or even a week day!

hiking
13 days ago

14 days ago

Loved it. 3 hours to the top! Dogs had a blast!

14 days ago

Hiked this trail with a 4 and 6 year old. Except for creek crossing in the morning and afternoon they hiked the whole way. Started at 5:30 A.M. Took 4 hours to summit.

hiking
15 days ago

Hiked July 1st, 2018. Arrived at 06:30, trailhead parking lot was full and road side parking was filling up. Quite a crowded trail, almost uncomfortably crowded, although understandable as it was a beautiful day and a weekend! Cold and very windy at the summit, would recommend a pair of gloves. We could actually see both Pike's and Long's peak from the summit, would highly recommend this trail as a 1st 14er. As far as difficulty, the scramble to the summit wasn't the hardest part. The grade increases quite rapidly right before the final push to the summit.

hiking
15 days ago

Hiked this today (07/01/18). Up and back in 3 hours. Get an early start if you want to push the pace and not be slowed by heavy traffic. Poles aren’t necessary, despite some of the reviews. Cold and windy up top!

15 days ago

Hiked today, beautiful. My biggest complaint is the amount of unleashed dogs, there must have been 30 or more! 1 ran right between my legs and another ran between my pole and my body; both times throwing me off balance and I rolled an ankle. Other than that, start early (got the last parking lot spot at 4:30 am) and bring poles (they save your knees as long as a dog doesn’t get in the way!!

hiking
15 days ago

We climbed Mount Bierstadt as our first 14er yesterday. As other reviewers have said, an easier 14er doesn’t equate to easy. We arrived at 5:30am and ended up parking on the side of the road because the lot was already filled. (It was a Saturday though and likely one of the busiest days.) It took us just under five hours to make it up and down with a few short breaks along the way and ~10-15 minutes at the top. The views were awesome! I’d recommend poles for the descent. I didn’t bring them with but wish I had. My knees are a little sore today.

We also brought our dog (medium size) with us and she did really well. There were a few points towards the top where you had to scramble/climb over large boulders and she needed a little assistance. Otherwise, I’d say the trail is definitely dog friendly and we saw lots of other pups along the way.

hiking
15 days ago

Hiked 6/30. This was my first 14er and it was amazing! It took me a little under 6 hours but I stopped frequently because of the altitude. Don’t be fooled, this is one of the easiest 14ers but that does not mean it is easy! Definitely worth it! The only regret I have is not bringing poles and gloves, the way down was pretty rough and my kneels are killing me now! All in all, worth the view. Start early, I got to the parking lot at 6am and got one of the last spots! It was cold and windy so dress for the weather!

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