Mt Bierstadt

My First 14er.

I’m not a peak bagger. I love getting a view but I’d much rather walk a ridgeline than summit something. However, it is rather embarrassing that I’ve lived in Colorado for over a year now and I haven’t hiked a 14er (aka a 14,000 ft mountain).

Mt Bierstadt seemed like a good place to start as it’s considered one of the easier 14ers. We got to the trailhead around 6am and it was already full. It was right around freezing and the boardwalks were slick with frost but once we got moving it was a beautiful clear day for hiking. Little patches of ice crunched under foot where the puddles were the day before.

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The trail itself is well trodden and easy going, especially the first mile or so and we made good time. We hit the switchbacks as the sun started peeking over the ridge and then a short section of rock hopping and we were at the top. Snacks and views were consumed. The way down was a breeze. Lots of crowds were heading uphill, glad we got an early start.

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The overall elevation gain is ~2,600, which isn’t that different from a lot of day hikes I do but getting up to 14,000ft certainly makes it more challenging. I recorded a trip time of just over 4 hours including a 20 min break at the top, 7.25 miles total.

If you go:

Guanella Pass TH

Trail Map: Caltopo / Gaia