Mt Bierstadt as seen from Guanella Pass.
I had other hikers ask me recently to lead a 14er hike for those that have never hiked a 14er or have not hiked one recently. Perhaps they can not hike someone else's 14er hike because they have never hiked a 14er before, etc.
This hike is for those who have never or not lately hiked a 14er but would like to get one under their belt.
Please do not RSVP for this hike if you have already hiked 14ers this year.
You should already have experience hiking at lower elevations and know what hiking essentials you should bring with you.
Bierstadt at 14,065 ft is probably one of the easiest 14ers to hike since the TH is just above timberline at the top of Guanella Pass. Relatively speaking you don't have to hike very far to get to the top of Bierstadt. The elevation gain from Guanella Pass to the summit is 2,391 ft and approximately 3 miles one-way.
Those who do not know how well they hike at high elevation should be able to figure that out on this hike, and determine whether or not they want to hike more 14ers or avoid them.
Here's the plan:
6:00-6:15 : meet at Wolly Mammoth PNR in section HH.
6:20 Leave for Guanella Pass
7:30-7:50 : meet at Guanella Pass and get ready to hike
7:55 Roll Call for those who RSVPd & Review Safety : Stay Together
8:00 Start Hike
Probably 2.5 - 3.5 Hrs to top depending on the individual's strength
Probably 2 - 3 Hrs down again depending on the individual's strength
Hope that all are back in the parking lot somewhere between 2:00 - 3:00.
Directions: From the north: Take the Georgetown exit off of Interstate 70. Drive through Georgetown and follow the signs for the Guanella Pass Scenic Byway. Drive 12 miles to the top of Guanella Pass (11,700’) and park in one of the two large, paved parking areas on either side of the road. The Bierstadt trail starts near the parking area on the east side of the road. The upper parking area (on the west side of the pass) has restrooms.
From the south: Take US 285 west from Denver or east from Fairplay. Drive to the town of Grant which is about 12 miles west of Bailey. In Grant, turn north on the Guanella Pass Scenic Byway and drive approx. 13 miles to Guanella Pass.
Important that all focus on sticking together in groups and do not stray from the trail. Do not wander off the trail nor hike solo. If you are involuntarily far slower than others in the group or if you are feeling like you can go no further then consider taking a break where you are and then wait for others in the group to come back down and go back to the parking lot with them.
I will likely leave the parking lot for Georgetown by no later than 3:30 with or without everyone accounted for. I have waited for post-hike 'no shows' (those that don't return to the parking lot after the hike with the rest of us) before at the Guanella pass parking lot and that messed up my post-hike food & beer plans afterwards. I decided that I won't wait around and around and around any more and go search for lost hikers.
DO NOT HIKE SOLO. DO NOT STRAY OFF THE TRAIL.
In the most civil way I can say....please do not mess up my day. Those that do not heed my words and do mess up my day will then subsequently need to join other hiking groups in place of this one.
NOTES (PLEASE READ!!):
1) PLEASE READ, UNDERSTAND AND AGREE TO OUR GENERAL RULES, PHILOSIPHY AND LIABILITY WAIVER ON THE MAIN PAGE
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY AND BEHAVIOR ON ANY OUTING WITH THE GROUP. PLEASE USE COMMON SENSE
2) Bring extra water, as high elevations dehydrate the body at a faster rate.
3) Arrive early to secure parking, avoid crowds and afternoon thunderstorms. Be mindful of changing weather patterns and leave the summit well before storms develop. Expect cooler temperatures, strong sun and wind in the open tundra. Carry versatile layers with sun, wind and rain protection.
4) Hiking poles are recommended to assist with steep grades and uneven terrain.
5) Please remember that mountain hiking, especially high altitude hiking is going to mean that we will end up spreading out according to our pace and fitness levels. If you do split off ahead from the group, please wait at the summit for most of the members to arrive.
6) IF you run a carpool, or participate in a carpool, please coordinate with each other as to your individual pace! Don't loose your carpool.
7). Bring a change of shoes for the restaurant. I suggest some sort of flip-flops. Your feet will thank you!
8) Have fun!!