| Bierstadt - West Slope
Mt. Bierstadt is a great choice to start out your 14er season! I hiked it yesterday, which was Friday, and despite some unplanned delays, we had a great trip!
First off, be prepared and CHECK THE CDOT ROAD REPORTS for CLOSURES, because we were expecting that Guanella Pass would be open and unobstructed, but it wasn't and we had to wait 1.5hrs to go up the pass from Georgetown (we should have taken the south route up 285). I was told by the construction crew that on weekends the pass is open all day, but during the week it is not open all day and won't be ALL SUMMER. You can still access the pass from here, but only during certain hours of the day, which I BELIEVE were between 11am-3pm, but don't trust me on that.
Once we got to the trailhead though it was smooth sailing! The trail, except for some minor muddy spots and maybe 1 or 2 SMALL snow patches, is completely clear and ready to go! This is a popular trail and as a result there was quite a crowd on it when we arrived (lots of younger kids/teens, some dogs, even a lady with a cane!). Our delay in Georgetown kind of paid off though because by the time we made the summit around 2:30p the trail had all but emptied out, and we had the summit to ourselves for nearly an hour. Smooth sailing back down and an EXHAUSTED car ride home ended a fantastic day on Mt. Bierstadt!
Start Time: 11:45a
Spent ~45-60min at summit
Back to car @: 5:30pm
I was a slow hiker; apparently I need to get in better shape for HA hikes...but I just enjoyed my time and soaked in the views! We were lucky this day because the weather was clear all day long, so no threat of storms or anything, but you need to make sure to check the weather multiple times leading up to your hike, because storms at these altitudes can blow in literally in 2 minutes without warning, and can be very uncomfortable and/or dangerous for the unprepared.
Report filed: chrismjx - 11:23a - 6/25/2011
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