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

hiking

rock climbing

skiing

snowshoeing

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. Although dogs are allowed to use this trail, some users have reported that the rocks and scrambling can be very difficult for them to traverse.

hiking
10 hours ago

We left the trailhead at 9:30 am. There trail was covered in packed snow from other hikers. We passed others hikers leaving that couldn't summit because of the wind but by the time we got up there at 1:15pm there was no wind and an eerie silence. Beautiful views all around. Going down was slippery but felt that the packed snow around the rocks cushioned our steps. We made it down in 2 hours.

Hiked this one today, it my was my first 14er but I’ve been living In Colorado and hike rather frequently. Got to the parking lot at 9am and found open parking. The hike is long and mainly flat for the first hour, then starts climbing slowly and ends with a rock scramble up the last few hundred feet to the summit. Lots of packed down snow and icy/ slippery patches going up made it feel like walking in sand, very tiring. Coming down extremely slippery. If you do this one in the snow you absolutely need poles and yak tracks. Took lots of breaks along the way and had a picnic at the top. Took us 7hours round trip. Overall beautiful views and not too Terrible, snow made things slightly more challenging.

8 days ago

First 14 for us. It was a beautiful day but there was a lot of snow on the ground. It was slippery on the way down. We got an early start and beat the crowds. The trail was well marked and easy to follow. The trail starts out very easy and starting before sunrise was great. The elevation was a factor for us near the top, but it’s a great hike.

8 days ago

Great 14er with some amazing views. Best as a sunrise summit.

10 days ago

Great climb. Went up 10/10/18, 3-6” of snow on the trail for the first 1.25miles. 1’ - 3’ feet! snow drifts from there on to the saddle. We were unable to make the peak due to conditions. Feet were soaked on the way down. 2hrs 50 mins up, 2hrs 10 mins down. Be smart. Be careful. We were the only car in the parking lot. Only ones out there.

17 days ago

My first 14er today at Mt.Bierstadt. It starts out not too bad, but I agree with these other comments, the elevation totally got to me and I felt like I had to stop constantly towards the steep part of the trail. Still feels like a great accomplishment! No mountain goats or any wildlife that we saw. Super windy at the top, so we did not stay long up there! With windchill I believe it was close to 15 degrees.

22 days ago

we did this hike today and it wasn’t too bad. it was pretty easy as far as the trail goes, but then the elevation was kind of an issue when you got asthma. nothing a puff can’t fix tho jaja.

the wind was wicked at the summit so we didn’t spend a lot of time there. the views were worth the work and dealing with so many people.

22 days ago

My 1st 14er definitely tough the views were amazing throughout. the winds were super chilly at the top. definitely layer, coming down we saw a couple of people with minimal clothing. Don't underestimate this hike and be prepared.

hiking
22 days ago

So beautiful. We started at 10:30am and it took us about 6 hours. We had a little one on our backs so we took lots of snack/picnic breaks. Quite windy at the top so I recommend you dress accordingly.

hiking
26 days ago

Got there at 7am on a Tuesday (9/26) and there were still plenty of parking spots. Wasn’t crowded at all. Make sure you bring a wind breaker, gloves, a hat, and plenty of water. 2liters was just enough to get me through the last stretch on the way back. Trail is well mAintained. Saw big horn sheep and mountain goats while I was up there! Started at 7:30 and I reached the summit at 10:30. I’m coming from below sea level so I took a lot of breaks to catch my breath. The hike wasn’t too hard in my opinion, but I’m in shape and exercise regularly.

hiking
26 days ago

Got to parking lot about 6:20AM. Only about 6 other cars were there. Temperature was 26 degrees F. Got to trail head at 6:30AM. I started out strong. Made it to 12000 elevation by 7:30 and 13000 feet by about 9AM. Then things became very difficult because of the altitude and my 70 year old legs. Also trail was hard to follow at the 13250 feet point. Finally headed back about 10AM with the peak in sight about 1/2 mile away but with about 750 feet more elevation to go.

Legs were very rubbery on way back. The trip down took as long as the trip up because of tired legs trying to negotiate the snow.and ice covered steps and rocks. Managed to fall a couple of times including a dip in the creek crossing on the way back.

The hike was much more difficult than I thought it would be. Finally 7 hours later at 1:30PM, made it back to car. I'm still glad I did this for as you may have heard, if something doesn't kill you it makes you stronger.

FYI, I'm a 70 year old male using wife's account.

hiking
28 days ago

Hiked on September 7th. Got there at 6:15 and the parking lot was half full. Started at 6:30 with temperatures of 40 degrees. We didn't realize the parking lot was so far from the base. It took us 4 hours to hike up as we aren't used to the elevation (we're from Texas), and it was the hardest thing we've ever done. Finally getting up there we spent 45minutes up at the top eating sandwiches we made and drinking a celebratory beer. Only saw Marmots roaming around the top, but they were fun to watch. Definitely one for the books. Go early for good parking, be courteous of other hikers (a lot are friendly, just say hi) and pack a lunch!

hiking
29 days ago

1st 14er so no comparison available. I had fun and the trail was well marked until the scramble at the end; fortunately there were enough people on the trail to get an idea of where the best path was.

hiking
29 days ago

Mt. Bierstadt was the perfect fall hike! The scenery was beautiful, but it did get quite cold at the top so bring layers, gloves, and a hat. We arrived Sunday 9/23 at 7 am and had to park on the side of the road just outside of the parking lot. It took us 2 hours to summit and about 1.5 hours to descend. Would recommend this hike to anyone interested in climbing their first 14er.

hiking
29 days ago

It was my first 14’er so I have to give it 5 ⭐️’s! My bff and I started out on the hike at 8am and finished around 4pm on 9/14. We took our time, rested a lot, and stayed at the top for 30-45 mins. The day was perfect. Blue skies, good sun. You could see Pikes Peak and Long’s Peak along with many other 14’ers. The hike across the meadow was easy. The hike up and over scree and boulders was a challenge. Cairns were everywhere so it was hard to pick out a good path. Nevertheless, the views were gorgeous and we both were elated over our accomplishment.

hiking
29 days ago

This was my “3rd” 14er (did Quandary twice) and I loved it! I am 38, in decent shape but from Kansas City, so not used to the altitude. I flew into to Denver 3 days prior and did a 5 mile hike to 12,000 ft the day before to help acclimate. We arrived at 6:45 am on Saturday, had to park on the road just a few steps from the parking lot. Two tour buses parked just before us and let 40+ people out, among all the other cars arriving at the same time. But the trail was quite wide so it didn’t feel crowded. We were able to keep our own pace most of the time and didn’t have to stop to let people pass or take turns with people coming down. My friend and I reached the summit in 3 hours, while enjoying lots of breaks and chats with people we met along the trail. We spent a good 45 minutes at the top with all the other people there - it was a very friendly crowd! I found most of the trail to be significantly easier and much more scenic than Quandary, and though there were a lot more cars than I saw at Quandary, it didn’t feel as crowded. There is a boulder scramble at the top that was fun and a definite change of pace. Good to use the whole body and mind after smoking my legs and lungs up to that point. I didn’t use my trekking poles very much up or down - it just wasn’t as steep to need them, but they took the edge off in a few areas. We thoroughly enjoyed this trail and would definitely do it again!

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked it on Wed, Sept 19. Arrived trailhead at 8:30am, two spots left in the parking lot. We saw only about 60-70 other hikers all day. Really glad we went on a weekday! No one on the summit when we got there, one other hiker showed up after 20 min. Amazing views! The boulder scramble at the top is the toughest part technically (but very doable), the rest of the way up is a well traveled standard trail. Took my dog, 5 month old boxer/Shepard mix (about 35-40 lbs) and she did great, led most of the way. Had to take her off leash for the boulder climb at the top, would not have been safe for either of us otherwise. Had to lift her up onto the next boulder 6-8 times, otherwise she handled it really well. Storm arrived on our way down, temperature drop, rain and sleet, but not bad. Glad we were not on the summit at that point, heard thunder on the other side of the mountain.

1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month 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
1 month 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.

1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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.

1 month ago

Mountain goats on the summit!

1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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.

1 month 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.

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