Mt. Bierstadt

Mt. Bierstadt, Georgetown: Address, Mt. Bierstadt Reviews: 5/5

Mt. Bierstadt
5
Other Outdoor Activities
Read more
Write a review
What people are saying
Bravo for Bierstadt!
Aug 2020
Hearing summer weekend crowds form a conga line up the mountain, we planned a Tuesday hike. Arriving at the parking lot just before 6am, several cars were there and a few arrived as we put on our gear. Toilets at the trailhead. People were well dispersed on the trail, maybe saw 100 people through the day. The summit was lightly populated with proud and happy hikers, enjoying their celebratory snacks and drinks. Trail is extremely well maintained, e.g., shrubs cut back and steps made from rocks in many places. At ages 65 and 66, we were definitely the elderly demographic, but it can be done! We’ve lifted weights for 2+ years and walk 3-5 miles a few times a week, so we were in shape. But our hometown is at 600 feet elevation, so hiking at 11-14000 feet was VERY difficult. That, and my wife wears a major knee brace for arthritis. Good hiking boots and poles a must. High stepping up and down through the middle and upper sections needs poles to lessen the stress on knees. Last section to the peak is sometimes hands and feet climbing boulders, but the boulders are stable and provide solid footing. Recommend closely following the several cairns in this last section, as making your own trail becomes extremely difficult, frustrating and treacherous. Weather was perfect and winds were light. We saw bighorn sheep, mule deer, marmots, pika and snow quail. Hikers were supportive and enthusiastic about this day God had delivered to us all. So grateful we safely completed this hike.

Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

5.0
53 reviews
Excellent
47
Very good
6
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0

ksmom2Kansas
Kansas90 contributions
Aug 2020
This hike is one of Colorado's 14ers, about 14,060 feet. We hiked it in early August, and it was my first 14er. Easy drive to the trailhead. There are two large parking lots, so if the first one you get to is full, just drive a little further down the road (1/4 mile), and you will see another large lot. Both parking lots have restrooms. People also park along the road between the two lots. Wear good hiking boots, bring plenty of snacks or sandwiches, and lots of water. I suggest trekking poles as well. Beautiful views. The trail was extremely easy to follow. Start early! We started at 5:00 am. Only the first mile of this is an easy trail. Then it gets continuously steeper and more rocky. Not easy, and not for children under 8 or 10. We saw very few kids on the trail. According to my Apple Watch, it was 8.5 miles round-trip. Recommended if you are looking for a challenge.
Written August 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

STEVEN P
Trafalgar, IN31 contributions
Dec 2014 • Solo
I looked at reviews on this mountain. They all said that this was for a novice and that you should start here. Well I'm scared to see the intermediate! This is a 3.5 mile hike to the summit. For me it was 5.0 miles total because I had to park 1.5 miles away and walk up because of snow. I can say, it is worth the effort. There were multiple times that I wanted to quit, but to come out here all this way and not get to the top is something I couldn't do. The summit was incredible. It took me 3:20 minutes from parking to the summit and then 2:20 from the summit back down to parking. It was incredible and I will be doing another one soon....just not for now since I can't feel my legs ;)
Written December 7, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ms9331
Winter Park, CO392 contributions
Aug 2017 • Couples
So you've decided to climb a 14er! Good for you BUT...you need to be prepared and plan carefully. Even Bierstadt- one of the 'easier' 14ers- is no joke and should be taken seriously. Lots of advice and tips follow...

Overview-- The trail covers 7-8 miles depending on who you ask. It starts level and smooth and gradually get more and more steep and more and more rocky. It will be hard on your knees, ankles, etc. You'll need to carry a pack with supplies for at least 7 hours of walking. Not to be taken lightly!

Packing--
1. You must dress in and carry layers. You need to plan for cold and wind. We hiked in August and there was snow at the top and water along the path was frozen. Bring warm layers and waterproof/windproof layers! Hats and gloves too!
2. Proper shoes-- the path near the top is rocky and at the top is just rocks. (Gloves help with scrambling over the rocks as well.)(AND-- remember to cut your toe nails before your hike! Downhill plus long toe nails equals PAIN!)(Also- Nice to have a more loose pair of shoes to change into at the car when you're done. Your feet will thank you.)
3. Water-- if you don't want to get sick and exhausted (which leads to more injuries) make sure you're hydrated. Minimum of 60-80 oz of water per person.
4. Snacks-- you'll want calorie dense snacks to eat along the way to replenish your body as you burn calories. Plan for more of a meal (sandwich) at the top.

Plan your day
1. Start early-- You need to be off the mountain before the storms roll in so you really don't want to start much after 6:00am if you plan to reach the summit. Plan on about 7 hours of hiking time.
2. Weather-- check the weather ahead of time but remember that weather on top of the mountain has a life of its own. If it starts getting bad, turn around.

Other notes:
Dogs-- I'm not going to tell you whether you should bring your dog or not...However, we were advised not to bring our dog and were glad we heeded that advice. The rocky trail is hard on pads and smaller dogs would struggle with the scrambling portion of the hike.
The Unanswerable Question-- Where to go to the bathroom? Tree line is well below your summit so there's no place to hide. Good luck. (And consider bringing tissue/TP and a plastic bag to pack it out.)
Written August 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ray D
Michigan98 contributions
Aug 2020
Hearing summer weekend crowds form a conga line up the mountain, we planned a Tuesday hike. Arriving at the parking lot just before 6am, several cars were there and a few arrived as we put on our gear. Toilets at the trailhead. People were well dispersed on the trail, maybe saw 100 people through the day. The summit was lightly populated with proud and happy hikers, enjoying their celebratory snacks and drinks.
Trail is extremely well maintained, e.g., shrubs cut back and steps made from rocks in many places.
At ages 65 and 66, we were definitely the elderly demographic, but it can be done! We’ve lifted weights for 2+ years and walk 3-5 miles a few times a week, so we were in shape. But our hometown is at 600 feet elevation, so hiking at 11-14000 feet was VERY difficult. That, and my wife wears a major knee brace for arthritis.
Good hiking boots and poles a must. High stepping up and down through the middle and upper sections needs poles to lessen the stress on knees. Last section to the peak is sometimes hands and feet climbing boulders, but the boulders are stable and provide solid footing. Recommend closely following the several cairns in this last section, as making your own trail becomes extremely difficult, frustrating and treacherous.
Weather was perfect and winds were light. We saw bighorn sheep, mule deer, marmots, pika and snow quail. Hikers were supportive and enthusiastic about this day God had delivered to us all. So grateful we safely completed this hike.
Written August 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ColoradoBen1
Denver, CO278 contributions
Nov 2019 • Solo
Mount Bierstadt! It’s one of the closest 14-ers to Denver and pavement to the trailhead. What’s not to love? The locals will tell you: crowds. The summer crowds on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays can look like a conga line. It’s a summit to be avoided — unless you really like people watching in the high country....

I’m writing this review because it’s still a great summit! You just need to think about timing!

Guanella Pass remains open until December 1 and that’s when the plowing stops. But there can be some great days in late September thru November! You can actually still summit in the winter but it’s a longer climb from the Naylor Reservoir Gate.

Bierstadt on an autumn day can and remains spectacular. It’s a common saying that there are easier 14-ers but no easy 14-ers and this is true! The last 500 feet elevation gain to Bierstadt’s summit is a talus scramble and sporting.

I’ve been climbing-hiking this peak since the 1960’s when Guanella Pass was unpaved and there were no boardwalks thru the willows. It’s still one of my favorite local destinations but I avoid summer weekends. On my visit in November on a weekday, I only saw 5 people the whole day and saw more goats than people!

One last reminder! There is a parking lot for Bierstadt on the east side of Guanella Pass. But there is also a nearby parking lot on the west side of Guanella Pass for Squaretop that adds only a few blocks to a Bierstadt climb if the east side parking lot is full. (And if you can’t stand the summer crowds on Bierstadt and you are in the area, give Squaretop a try!)

Written February 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

CelloChick
Denver, Colorado, United States25 contributions
Aug 2019
This was our second fourteener and we loved it! But I disagree with alot of the reviews/websites I read. This hike is TWELVE miles long, not six! (Same thing happened on Quandary Peak - reviews & websites gave mileage that was wildly inaccurate.)

Also, its trailhead starts at over 11,000 feet, so little kids might already be winded from the start and it's probably okay to take them up to 12,500-13,000 (***depending on how they feel***) but it is NOT appropriate to try to take them to the top. Our hearts broke over the number of terrified, exhausted, MISERABLE children we saw on this hike, with parents dragging them along against their will, not understanding that altitude is much harder on their little bodies, and they don't have the verbal skills to tell us that they have a horrible headache, or that they're nauseous or lightheaded! Also, the rock scramble at the top is no joke, and requires you to use feet AND hands. It is TREACHEROUS for children or for anyone not paying extremely close attention. I cannot emphasize enough how strongly I oppose the idea of trying to bring small children on this hike. We left our child at home because, like any sane hiker, we respect the mountains, especially the 14,000 foot ones!

My other gripe is the unleashed dogs. KEEP. YOUR. DOGS. LEASHED. Our hike was rampant with mountain goats, marmots, pikas, and snow quail, all of which could easily be killed/spooked by the many unleashed dogs we saw running around. And if your dog gets gored by a mountain goat (not unheard of), they'll put the goat down for "being aggressive", which is completely unfair to the goat. We are up there to respect nature, not to harm it, so leash your dogs!

Okay, enough ranting. About the hike. Bierstadt has an easy downhill flat beginning but a stream to cross at mile 1 that can range in height depending on the rainy season, And stones to cross on if it’s shallow but they’re slick and dangerous so I brought waders for that part. And the ascent is more gradual after 13k although I stopped to gasp about every 30 feet. Then an insane rock scramble for the last 500 feet or so that has to be done on all fours and could be treacherous for kids or those not paying very close attention. I've also read that because of the little waterways running throughout the mountain, the rocks can be very slippery depending on how wet it is. I believe it's because of this rocky terrain that Bierstadt is bumped up to a Class 2, despite being regarded as "one of the easiest" 14ers. Despite Bierstadt's rock scramble, I still thought Quandary was harder (read: steeper).

I don't think it's a given that you'll see mountain goats but we were VERY lucky to see some up close. Saw lots of marmots and one pika, as well as some snow quail and a golden eagle!

That last mile of the descent is tough because it’s back uphill on exhausted legs.

But it was a beautiful and very rewarding hike that I highly recommend! It seems a lot of people don't take this 14er seriously. We saw crazy people starting their ascent at noon with a storm rolling in. (That's insane. You should be off any 14er by then due to storms.) So do start early (before 7am), bring lots of water (2-3 liters), and shoes with lots of traction to traverse the loose stones (preferably boots), and use poles if you're out of shape like I am.

Enjoy!
Written August 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kristen D
2 contributions
Aug 2017 • Friends
Absolutely gorgeous! This was our first 14er and while there were times where it got exhausting, it was definitely doable. Just make sure you're taking breaks whenever you need to and not pushing yourself too hard if you're not used to the altitude. The trail starts out pretty easy and without much elevation change. It gets a lot harder in the middle, then the last part involves climbing over lots of rocks to get to the very top (the most fun part, in my opinion). We started at 6am, gave ourselves half an hour to eat lunch and take in the views at the top, then headed back down and were back to our car by noon. It's a pretty populated trail but we still managed to see two moose drinking from the lake near the start of the trail. A few quick tips: dress in layers, start early, bring snacks and water, and don't' get frustrated if you feel like you're stopping to catch your breath every minute. Just take it slow and steady and enjoy the beautiful scenery!
Written August 21, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

singingbee27
Brooklyn, NY188 contributions
Aug 2016 • Friends
Many people choose Bierstadt as their first 14er because the beginning is flat and the incline isn't as steep as other 14ers. Make no mistake, you are still hiking to 14,000 feet and it is not easy for most, so be realistic.
I am a sea leveler who is determined to conquer a 14er (a mountain in the front range that has a peak in the 14,000' range). There are a few things to consider, mainly the altitude. Denver is at 5280'. Driving to Georgetown where you start the climb to Guanella Pass Trailhead is about 8,500'. The steep 8 mile car ride up the mountain side, brings you to the trailhead that rests at 11,670'. There is way less oxygen up here and although you may not feel it at first, you will in about an hour. There are camp sites along that 8 mile ascent to the start of the trailhead. It may not be a bad idea to camp/tent out here for a night while your body acclimates (In retrospect, I should have done that). Bring LOTS of water and drink lots of water the day before.

The trail actually goes down before it goes back up. The first mile is pretty flat and straight forward. The second goes up a bit. At this point, if you're not used to the altitude, you may feel your heart beating faster, harder then ever before (It is trying to get more oxygen to your lungs. Aren't our bodies wonderful?! We don't have to do a thing).
Anyway, if you start to feel a headache coming on, nausea, or dizziness please GO BACK IMMEDIATELY. Don't try to "hang in there." You have the beginning stages of altitude sickness and it is nothing to play with.
After the 2 mile mark, the incline is rapid. I made it to about 13,000' within a mile of the peak when I had to stop to catch my breath every 25 steps. I didn't want to turn back but it took me an hour to go a half a mile and my body was fatigued.
With heavy heart I turned back. When I was about a half mile from the parking lot, I got sick. Apparently, the altitude was affecting me but it took a little longer.
Of course, I will try again and I will conquer this mountain, as should you.

**Things to keep in mind**
-You can actually conquer TWO 14ers. There is a sawtooth that connects Mt Evans to Bierstadt. The sawtooth is not easy and coming down on the Evans side is steeper and there are places where the ground is wet and mushy.
-Start EARLY. 6-7am is a great time to start as daily afternoon thunderstorms frequent the peaks. Aim to be off the mountains by 11am or noon. Always check the weather and remember, you can't beat lightning.
-It is COLD at 6 am. In August it was 45 degrees or so. Frost on the ground. It warmed up to about 70-75 throughout the morning but then gets windy as you hike up that last mile. LAYERS PEOPLE
-Camping out at a higher altitude until you acclimate is a great idea and there are plenty of places from Georgetown to the Trailhead
-Drink lots of WATER the day before and bring lots with you. (just know the tree line and bushes clears at around 12,000' so going to the bathroom can be very tricky)
-Bring SNACKS for energy
-Hike with others. Although there seems to always be plenty of people around, you just never know. It's always smarter to hike with people. You can always make a new friends at the trailhead and hike up with them!
-I heard that the last 1000 feet is the hardest and a bit of a scramble
-Coming down from the high altitude quickly can also have an affect on your body so listen to your body. Rest in your car in the parking lot before you drive back to town if need be.
-Georgetown is a small but very cute town where you can shop and eat after your morning hike
Written August 23, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

williamsld83
Austin, TX90 contributions
Jul 2015 • Friends
I climbed with a group and we saw many families. The trail starts off very easy in some bushes and flowers on a decked walk. As it goes up, it becomes more steep, but it is always passable. The most difficult part was the vey top, because there is no trail. It is just rocks. The only thing to keep in mind, if you bring a family, is that there are no tall bushes for bathroom stops for about 2/3rds of the way up. Going at a very slow pace, we made the round trip with a group of 9 in 6 hours and we had some older people in our group.
Written July 28, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Weaton13
Fulshear, TX287 contributions
Jul 2018 • Family
This was my favorite hike in CO. It’s beautiful and pretty easy. My hubby hiked up it with a 25 lb kiddo on his back and my 5 year old hiked almost to the summit. We stopped when the scree started but still got over 13,500. And we saw mountain goats!!!!
Written July 15, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 52
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Mt. Bierstadt