14,065 feet (38th highest)
USGS Quad: Mount Evans
Trails Illustrated® – TOPO Map # 104
Click here to purchase Trails Illustrated® maps for this route.
US Forest Service, South Platte Ranger District 303.275.5610
CFI completed major trail construction and restoration on Mt. Bierstadt from 1999-2002. A second round of major trail delineation and construction occurred in 2014 and 2015. Due to heavy traffic on this peak, the standard route is maintained regularly by CFI and partner organizations.
Click here to view a Google Earth projection of the current condition of the Guanella Pass trail! This trail inventory will help to inform future trail construction on Mt. Bierstadt.
Guanella Pass Trailhead—use of this route will help to reduce impacts to this Fourteener’s fragile alpine ecosystem. CFI completed work on this route in 2002 and regular maintenance is now accomplished through our Adopt-a-Peak program. For detailed route information including pictures, maps, and elevation profiles, click here.
Important Access Issues
Construction of the Guanella Pass Road continues on the south side of the pass from Hwy 285 at Grant through October 2015. Check the Colorado Department of Transportation’s website for information.
Route Information and Additional Resources
This trail is located almost entirely within the Mt. Evans Wilderness Area, and you’ll need to fill out a free Required Registration permit at the trailhead. From the Guanella Pass Trailhead at 11,650 feet, descend southeast and follow the boardwalk through the willows. At 11,470 feet, the trail crosses Scott Gomer Creek and begins its ascent toward the summit. The trail then climbs up onto the broad northwest shoulder. Nearing the summit, the trail grows steeper and less well defined on the rocky ridge. Stay on the rocks and avoid the vegetation growing in the pockets in between.
For more information about Mt. Bierstadt or regulations within the Mt. Evans Wilderness, please visit the U.S. Forest Service website.
The above information does not replace the need to consult additional maps and Colorado Fourteener guidebooks for more detailed route descriptions. We suggest checking multiple resources before departing on any hike. Keep in mind that not all guidebooks list this recommended route and that each guidebook’s description or route name may vary slightly.
Peak Specific Environmental and Safety Concerns
Because this trail is entirely above treeline, you should be alert to the likely development of summer afternoon storms and lightning. The area around the around Guanella Pass is prime White-tailed Ptarmigan habitat and loose dogs cause disturbance in this and other communities. Stay on the trail to avoid trampling alpine tundra, and do not cut switchbacks.