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UPDATESWhat we've been doing
- All Quiet on the Holy Cross Summit
– August 25, 2014
The question of Wilderness has been plaguing my brain this past season. I’ve worked trails in multiple states throughout the last three years and I … Read More
- Moments of Education in Trail Work
– August 22, 2014
I meet tons of volunteers as part of the Adopt a Peak crew with CFI. I often must introduce them to the importance of practicing … Read More
- My Job as a Trail Builder
– August 18, 2014
I consider trail building an art. I have spent eight seasons constructing trails all over the country, and I have had the pleasure of working … Read More
- Fourteener Climbing 101: Intro to Wilderness
– August 15, 2014
A few years ago I spent the summer working on San Luis peak, Colorado’s least visited Fourteener. In total we spent two years working on … Read More
- Elevation:14,065 feet (38th highest)
- Maps:USGS Quad: Mount Evans
Trails Illustrated® – TOPO Map # 104
Click here to purchase Trails Illustrated® maps for this route.
- Contact:US Forest Service, South Platte Ranger District (303) 275-5610
Our Work CFI completed major trail construction and restoration on Mt. Bierstadt from 1999-2002. 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.
Recommended Route 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 Access from the north side (Georgetown side) will remain closed throughout the majority of the summer due to potential rockslide in certain areas. Therefore accessing the Guanella Pass Trailhead from the south side (Highway 285 and Grant side) will be required instead. For more information and up-to-date status of the closure visit the Clear Creek County Website at:
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.