Mt. Bierstadt Trail on Guanella Pass

Mt. Bierstadt Trail on Guanella Pass

July 1, 2013 |  by

Summit a Fourteener, Mount Bierstadt, or go for an easy hike with your family high in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. In short, you’ve got options on this trail near the top of Guanella Pass. Explore the trail profile below for hiking, camping, and trail map info.

  • Hike Distance: 1 to 7 Miles (RT)
  • Difficulty: Easy to Difficult
  • Duration: 1 to 6 hours
  • Trail Type: Out & Back
  • Elevation Gain: up to 2400′
  • Seasons: Best Late Spring to Fall
  • Dogs: Allowed on Leash
    • Denver Drive Time: 90 minutes
    • Directions: Click for Google Map
    • Town Nearest Hike: Georgetown, Colorado
    • Beauty: 14ers, High Country Tundra, Peak Top Views, lakes
    • Activities: Hiking, Camping, Summit Mt. Bierstadt, Picnic
    • Hike Trail Map: Click for Map


You’ve got options with the Mount Bierstadt trail. First, we’ll profile the hike to the summit. Below that, you’ll find some information on how to just explore the area with your family or friends, making this an easy hike high in the Colorado mountains.

Climb Your First Colorado Fourteener
Mt. Bierstadt is popular, not just because it’s so close to Denver, but it’s also one of the easier and more accessible of Colorado’s 58 fourteen thousand foot peaks. The Mount Bierstadt trail can be accessed on the south side of Guanella Pass from the Mt Bierstadt trailhead (click here for map and directions from Denver).

The Bierstadt trail is well marked; you’ll follow signs down to a boardwalk, then to Scott Gomer Creek. After crossing the creek, the trail will become more steep, and the steepness will increase as you make your way to the summit. The trail winds gently through the tundra until you are about three miles in when the green and brown gives way to rock. Follow the west ridge up to the summit of Mount Bierstadt. For a detailed trace and profile of the Mt.Bierstadt route, see this Route #1 Bierstadt profile on


Make it an Easy Family Hike
Hiking Colorado’s Bierstadt trail doesn’t mean that you have to summit. In fact, the first mile of trail is really tame. It takes you over a creek, through willows, and by two small high mountain lakes. If you want to gain additional views, you can add another half mile of moderate hiking that will take you above the valley floor.

We took our 4 1/2 year old, 2 year old and our dog up with us last Fall and they loved it. Dog’s on the Mount Bierstadt trail must be kept on a leash and need to be kept 100′ from water sources (in short, they aren’t allowed to play in the lakes and streams). In August of 2012, Missy, a German Shepherd, was rescued after being stranded on the peak for eight days. You can read more about her ordeal and the rescue in this Denver Post article.
Camping Near the Mt. Bierstadt Trail
There are a lot of campground sites along both sides of Guanella pass that are managed by the forest service (fee required) and dispersed camping is allowed on US Forest and wilderness areas. Below you’ll find a few important links to camping information for the Mt. Bierstadt and Guanella Pass Area.

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