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Hiking Mount Bierstadt

Mount Bierstadt is considered one of Colorado's most accessible 14ers, near Denver and well maintained, but that doesn't mean it's a park walk. The trail descends gently from the parking spaces to Scott Gomer Creek. This first part of the trail runs through a prime example of a willow truck (a wetland willow thicket) that provides prime white-tailed ptarmigan habitat. Damage to the willow carr by large numbers of peakbaggers winding their way through the willows, trying to keep their feet dry, and the problems of erosion on the mountain higher, was what spurred the decision to create a single, sustainable trail to the summit.

Take the Georgetown exit off Interstate 70 from the north. Drive through Georgetown and follow the signs to the Scenic Byway Guanella Pass. Drive 12 miles up Guanella Pass (11,700') and park on either side of the road in one of the two large, paved parking spaces. The Bierstadt trail begins on the east side of the road near the parking area. There are restrooms in the upper parking area (on the west side of the pass). From the south: take US 285 west from Denver or Fairplay east. Drive to Grant, approximately 12 kilometers west of Bailey. Turn north at Grant on the Scenic Byway Guanella Pass and drive approx. Thirteen miles to Passo Guanella. 


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