| Mt Evans via Guanella Pass
See igoreka's trip report on the same route, as much of it wasn't very different. We simply took the route 5 weeks later and most of the snow is gone.
We took the same route. The trail was nice, but once you get to the boulder mentioned by Bill (http://www.14ers.com/routemain.php?route=evan1&peak=Mt.+Evans) we found a few probable trails but there was still a ton of marsh you had to trek through until you reach the gully. We'd recommend if you lose the trial, just get to higher ground if you're worried about getting your feet wet. Gators are highly recommended! Otherwise, you can pick up a good trail closer the creek. It was FAR easier finding the good trails on the return hike instead.
Once you reach the gully, we ballparked the ascent to be about a 1500' elevation gain in around 1 mile distance. It's a workout! The gully looks even more intimidating from a distance, but doable once you get to the base of it. It's still a brutal climb though. If you've lost the trail, and you're in the gully, get to the right a ways until you pick up the dirt trail again. Higher up, it seems a bit safer to get on the rocks rather than the trail, with all the scree.
The trail markers were great once you reach the top of the gully. Bills directions are very good. It's a bit of a hike around the mountain just below the summit of Evans, but the top is great.
The descent is typical, just be careful in the gully and take it easy coming down. Be careful walking over the snow patches! I thought it would be pretty solid snow, and maybe a couple inches deep, but walking over it, one leg went clear through to my waste! It took a minute to get out, but was a laughable situation that time.
When you ascend, the marsh is half frozen over, but on the descent, it's far more muddy. Again, gators are highly recommended if you have them.
On the descents, again, it was far easier to find good trails as well. We'd recommend staying on the hill to your left as much as possible. There's are descent trails around there, which will eventually connect you up with the main trial you took in. You will have to do plenty of bush-wacking both directions, however.
Your distance also might be a little longer than the 8.5 miles if you're not sporting your gators and blazing straight through the marsh to get to the base of the gully.