DISTANCE
6.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2729 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

11 days ago

Today, 4/08/18, I needed something to do. After doing some homework. Bierstadt it was. Being from Minnesota, hiking ...lets just say the mountains are a different beast. After reading numerous reviews here: my 4 year old had his first summit to the dogs and 100's...and 100's of people to contend with..well, didnt sound too challenging. But, I did read a few well written reviews to go prepared.
Not nearly for what I was about to face.
left late...really late from F.Collins (2:30pm) arrived at what was apparently the Silver Dollar parking lot as the road to the Guanella pass summit was still closed for the season...my homework skills need honing. talked to a guy there that was going to do some skiing and he thought the trailhead to Bierstadt would be a couple of miles. lucky I brought my winter gear including Sorrels, ski mask and micro spikes. headed up the hill at about 4pm. didnt need the spikes but postholed more than a few times but not bad. An hour later I was at the trailhead. Id say the wind was 40+ and the temp around 0. I knew a front was coming in but looking off to the west it seemed to be coming a good couple of hours early. I was alone and the only soul I had seen was a couple skiing down right as I set off...I really wished I had that idea..I need to think this over, if only I could get in the outhouse - frozen halfway shut and buried in snow. I get it open and have a seat. I decide to at least go a bit before turning back. I see what appears to be the start of the trail by the marker and another marker some 30 yards out. Off I go...postholing it every step. Wow..where are the snowshoes... (even those didnt seem to help one reviewer and his friends) Anyways, I realize Im out of my league here and want to see another day so after 20 or so yards of this I turn back down the mountain thinking of those skiers. Once back to my car the Blizzard hits with full force and Im out of there. I have to say..the whole experience - including the solitude and the views walking back down were soooo worth it!!!