Guanella Pass Trailhead
Added by BillMiddlebrook

Location:  Front Range
14ers Served:  Mt. Bierstadt, Mt. Evans
Road Type:  Paved Road 0   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
2WD paved to the trailhead in summer.
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.
Winter Access:  From the north: Usually only plowed to the campground approx. 3 miles below Guanella Pass. From the south: Usually plowed to Duck Lake, approx. 1.75 miles below the pass.
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Date Status Information Posted By  Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2007-06-21 The road is completely clear of snow and easily passable with any vehicle. Just pay attention to fallen rocks and potholes along the way. CRSpeedy         
2007-06-08 Guanella Pass is open to the top from the Georgetown side. CDOT obviously had some large drifts to cut, but they got it done. A 2WD car would have no trouble driving to the top of the Pass now. I believe that things are also completely open from the Grant side as well. I saw a couple of cars drive past the top towards Grant and they didn't come back so I'm guessing that you can go through. Cruiser         
2007-05-28 Road is passable with high clearance 4X4 from the Grant side. I would guess that it will be completely accessible to passenger cars next weekend, as the snow is melting fast. KeithK         
2007-05-21 May 21,07. same as last post but with a GPS coordinate. 39.61876 N, 105.71472 W climbhard511         
2007-05-20 Similar to last post. Drove up today 5/20 to approx. 10,700 ft. Looks like the next 300 vertical to the campgrounds will be passable soon but much of the road after that is still under 3 feet of snow. Carl         
2007-05-14 5/12- Road is barracaded 3-3.5 miles from the top of the pass (just below the campground and Naylor Lake road). Approximately 1000 vertical feet from road closure to top of pass- snow at lower elevations is melting quickly. rsincavage         
2007-04-23 Road seems to be in the same condition as previous posters, made it to about 2 miles from the summit, to give a better indication, we had a 1 hour trip on foot to the pass. Wouldn't recomend going much further anytime soon, atleast till mid-may, we saw 2 cars stuck after the part where everyone else parked. Keeping the tires in the middle of the road would be fine, but straying a foot to the left or right will bury your car in the soft snow. lordhelmut         
2007-04-16 Road goes to about 1/2 mile short of Naylor Lake road. There were signs of fresh plowing today killingcokes         
2007-04-04 Road goes 8.2 miles in still leaves you about 4 miles from trail jamin1377         
2006-12-17 Add a light snow pack to the last report and it's a little treacherous. A passenger car could probably make it, but go slow no matter what you're driving. There were numerous signs of skidding accross or off the road today. dbroudy         
2006-12-14 OK. From Georgetown to the Excel Power Plant, the road is plowed and mainly clear. The road is open for only 3.2 miles AFTER the power plant up to the TH for Silver Dollar Lake. It is plowed but the surface is predominantly packed ice. If you want to get further than the turnoff for Silver Dollar (towards Guanella) you're gonna have to have a snowmobile. It doesn't look like it'll be open for awhile either. ( Kiefer         
2006-12-08 I drove up the Grant side today - road was clear with snow and ice patches all the way up to about a mile before the pass, where a huge snow pile blocks the road. blakeduncan         
2006-12-07 I called the Ranger District office in Idaho Springs, and they said the Guanella Pass Road from Georgetown was plowed up to Clear Lake, 3 miles up, and then the road became 'impassable'. blakeduncan         
2006-11-18 As of 11/18/06 the road on the Georgetown side of Guanella Pass is closed about two miles below the Guanella Pass Trailhead. It is closed with a large pile of snow. I'm not sure why it is plowed because beyond the pile is a road in good condition that had obviously been driven on since the last storm. I saw a couple cars at the top of the pass so I assume that the Grant side is open. CODave         
2006-09-11 As of 9\10, the road from Georgetown is washboard rough for about 4 miles. Then about 2 miles of 1 lane where you have to wait for pilot car. The last section is EXTREMELY nice now though. Derek         
2006-06-11 What a difference from Georgetown over last year. The road is better and wider with concrete curbs installed. The parking lot is expanded to accomandate all of us, and what a day on 6/10/06 Bresch         
2006-05-20 The road from Georgetown to the pass is open and in good shape. BillMiddlebrook         
2006-05-10 I witnessed a car breakin at this trailhead last summer on a rainy day just after quitting time for the road construction crews. kreibach         
2006-03-23 As of yesterday afternoon (3-22-06) the road past the power plant was not plowed. There was at least 6" of powder from the previous nights storm. I would not reccommend taking a car up to Guanella Pass if they haven't plowed this. Even my lifted Tacoma was getting bogged down in spots. Kiefer         
2006-02-08 I thought the road was pretty snowy on the Georgetown side. I had a much easier time on the Grant side of the pass. There is heavy snowpack the last mile or so of the road. wilhite38         
2005-09-12 On Sat., Sept. 3 the road from Georgetown was rough but definitely passable. There is a section controled by traffic lights for construction. We had a delay of about 20 minutes. Otherwise the trailhead is accessible from the Georgetown side and parking is plentiful. himalayanhillbilly         
2005-08-14 The road to the trailhead from Georgetown was a little rough, but passable in my little Toyota. The road was wider and better maintained to Grant. mfinch76         
2005-07-26 Coming up from Grant (285) side was no problem. After leaving the pavement there is some moderate washboard for a few miles. Of some 13 miles, over 9 miles are actually paved (some rough spots). The road repairs seem to be going smoothly. Treffic is ocassionally held for heavy equipment, but it was very light on Friday (7/22). Any vehicle capable of handling the altitude can make the trip. GoHigher         
2005-07-16 Guanella Pass is open from the Georgetown side (and I believe from the other side as well.) In the early am, there is a traffic light at one point to regulate a section that is one lane for ~0.5 mile. During the day, the same section is controlled by a flagman at each end, so you can expect a 20-30 minute delay at that point during the day. seannunn         
2005-06-14 Road was in fairly good condition on 6/11. Some rough washboard areas but overall good condition. Much rougher from the Grant side bud         

The view after passing through the fence at the TH (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2006-05-10)The closest parking area to the Bierstadt Trail (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2006-05-20)The turn–off on the west side of the pass for additional parking and restrooms (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2006-05-20)Recent photo of parking lot closest to TH (bathrooms) (Added by: Jessie_s Dad on 2009-07-21)Mt. Bierstadt viewed from closest parking lot at TH (Added by: Jessie_s Dad on 2009-07-21)

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