My fiancé and I decided to tackle Mt. Bierstadt this morning. We both moved here from Florida about 2 years ago. She did Mt. Elbert last year and I have done Elbert and Mt. Yale. We started our climb at the Trailhead at 6:20am. The early bridges on the trail were a little frosty as it was around 40 degrees when we started our ascent. Some sections of flatter trail were muddy but there were dry alternate routes along the way that were easy to navigate. Stopping to take some snack breaks along the way we peaked at 9:15am. A total ascent time of 2 hours and 55 minutes. The biggest surprise to me was how cold it was at the summit. Still in the shadows in the morning at 6:30 I assumed it would get warmer as the hike went along. The altitude coupled with the strong winds made it colder at the peak than it was at the car at 6! Probably around 35-40 degrees! We spent 15 minutes at the peak with some nice older ladies who were retired teachers that finally made it up! One of which had back surgery in November. Everyone was really excited for her! We then started our descent at 9:30am. All along the trip was amazing things to see like local flowers and tons of Pica! The trip down was much easier than the trip up but don't get too cocky as there are still some steep sections and slippery gravel that require some patience. We arrived back at the trailhead at 11:20am making it a descent time of 1 hour and 50 minutes and a total hike time of 5 hours. The views were great and we picked a great day for it. This would be a great hike for someone looking to get into the 14ers game! The key is to start early as we saw some nasty storm clouds rolling in around 11:30 when we were leaving the parking lot. All in all it was a great trip and look forward to crossing another off of our list soon!
P.S. We are avid dog lovers and own two smaller breed dogs (25 Lbs.) that we didn't bring on the trip. We did see quite a few pups out on the trail including a Husky, Brittany Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, 2 Shiba Inus, a hand full of Labs, a couple of really nice Pit Bulls and an amazing Chihuahua who was climbing like a champ (picture below!). If you have a dog that is experienced at hikes this could be a fun trip but because of the boulders near the top and some rough terrain I wouldn't recommend this hike to a dog that isn't a seasoned vet.
View from Guanella Pass on the way to the trailhead
You do have to cross one stream early in the hike
Almost half way up
Starting the ridge and close to the top
Stick to the Cairns along the top, they show the easiest routes
Made it to the top!
Met this awesome Chihuahua rocking the hike!