Bill Hammons: Writing and Running in Boulder, Colorado


Mount Bierstadt, Colorado

Mount Bierstadt's Elevation: 14,060 Feet

Mount Bierstadt's Rank Among Colorado's Fourteeners in Terms of Elevation: #38

Mount Bierstadt is located along the Front Range of mountains

Mount Bierstadt is considered walkable

Best months for climbing Mount Bierstadt are December through February

Click here for a Mapquest map of Mount Bierstadt

Mount Bierstadt, with an elevation of 14,060 feet, is the 38th highest peak in Colorado and is considered one of the state's easiest fourteeners to climb. This pink granite mountain was named for Albert Bierstadt, a prominent 19th century painter of Colorado's Rockies who is said to have made the first ascent of the peak in 1863.

Mount Bierstadt is one of the most popular mountains for Colorado climbing, due to the ease of the climb and the peak's accessibility from Denver (this is one of the reasons for December through February being recommended as the best months to climb - there's less traffic during the winter for those who don't mind freezing temperatures and snow). Guanella Pass from west of the summit is the most popular starting point for a climb of Bierstadt, and can be reached via (what else?) Guanella Pass Road (a.k.a. Colorado state route 381), which in turn can be reached via Georgetown from I-70. Take 381 south until you reach the Guanella Pass Trailhead and its dirt parking lot.

The hike from the trailhead is three miles long, with a vertical ascent of 2,391 feet. The upper reaches are marked by cairns, and the last 460 feet of ascent is described as an easy "boulder-hop." After reaching the summit, many hikers opt to continue on to nearby Mount Evans along the Sawtooth, a ridge connecting the two peaks via an intermediate-level trail. Another popular option on top of this option (or below this option, rather) is a detour down to Lake Abyss, which lies at an elevation of 12,650 feet in the valley between Bierstadt and Evans.


This page last updated 8/15/06

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