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Guanella Pass Trailhead

Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: This is the last full week before the gate(s) closes "on or about Nov 26th" which is next Sunday -according to the CDOT website.
Yesterday early morning starting from Georgetown the road had a few inches of powder on it, all the way to the summit but was easily drivable. I dodged a moose that came out of the ditch in one of the last switchbacks before the TH. Bathrooms open and TP there too.
Posted By: elarson8
Info: Trailhead for Bierstadt was accessible today. Some snow and ice on the road up, but for the most part excellent conditions.
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Open, dry and busy today.
Posted By: BoardingHiker
Info: Moose was on the road on the way out. It’s easy to speed on this road and I have almost hit a moose a few times in the AM. Stay safe out there.

Both lots full by 530am. Only road parking.
Posted By: Ed_Groves
Info: Today was a Thursday and we arrived at the trailhead at 5:04 AM. There were tons of parking spaces at that time and on this week day. Maybe one-third of the spots in the main lot were in use. I assume the lot west of the road was empty and I know the spots along the road were empty as well. This was quite a bit different from the reports of packed lots on weekends. Everything was pretty full when we returned from our hike, though some people had left and those few spots were open. To avoid parking issues, come during week days if possible.
Posted By: ajschoenster
Info: We did the gully/couloir route from Guanella Pass that runs between Spaulding and the Sawtooth. We started at 545. Parking had already spilled over into the road at 530am. We took the trail over the boardwalk. Along the way we had to find a way over to the left and saw a number of trails or "trails". We choose one that appeared to have a lot of traction and ended up soaked to our knees and bushwacking. We eventually found the main "trail" as we walked through the hedges toward the tree line, however, the main trail seemed to easily disappear and reappear. Visibility is poor over the hedges and we mainly tried to veer toward the tree line on the right. We also kept our eye on the gully that was our ticket up and over the ridge. Be prepared to get wet and muddy and bring extra socks. The directions here on 14ers say to traverse through the stream coming down the gully, however, we stayed to right of the stream and took the light trail up and over the rock formation and then eventually crossed the stream as we climbed the rocks and trail. It is very steep and demanding, but, no equipment required. Walking poles can help on the way down, though I did not have any, but, my companions did. Cairns do help guide the way. However, in the gully it is pretty self explanatory, unlike the bog and unlike further up. As you reach the source of the stream and the gully broadens out there is just shy of half a mile of hiking that is confusing and "trailless". There are some cairns, but, you want to veer toward the right slightly as you are looking for a "hump of rocks" so to say, but, it really is the beginnings of Mt Evans summit. As you get toward the top of the ridge you will find the main trail between Mt. Spaulding (on the left) and Mt. Evans. You may see a few people coming from the Sawtooth on the right. As you approach the "hump" it is a lot bigger than it looks from the top of the gully. The Evans peak trail wraps around to the right or the west-southwest of the hump. There is is an inclination to climb over the hump(s), however, this is harder. Follow the cairns around to the right and pick the easiest way through the rocks. Eventually, you will see the Mt. Evans road, bear toward the road slightly and you will see the final summit stretch which consists of a series of switchbacks, which is somewhat welcome after that climb up the gully. Be prepared for tourists, "hikers" with all the gear and no dirt on their shoes and day drivers. The summit was packed with the drivers, but, we found a rock to sit on, got some photos and turned around early. Even by 1030am clouds were starting to bunch. Same story on the way down: lost trail multiple times, followed cairns, steep gully and got soaked in the bog as we lost the trail multiple times. There were reports of a bull moose in the bog area, however, we did not see one, despite all the scat. However, we did see Momma moose cow and her two calves swimming in the pond at the entrance to the Evans wilderness by the Bierstadt parking lot. We definitely stayed clear when they climbed up on the near shore. Definitely not a beginner hike. I would say, hard class 2, mayybe easy 3 in some sections. Easy to lose the trail in multiple sections all along the trail and requires confidence, trail knowledge and a map definitely helps to navigate this route. Most people on 14ers.com would find this an adventurous and good close front range hike.
Posted By: jjjeffries32
Info: Just checking to see if anyone knows if the road to the trailhead has been completely cleared, thinking about driving from Eastern Kansas to hike Mt. Bierstadt.
Posted By: ellenmseb
Info: Road (from the north) is 2/3 plowed but still closed 2mi from guanella pass. So you can neither ski nor drive to guanella pass, worst of both worlds

Since plowing is in progress, I’d expect it to open soon.
Posted By: mtn14
Info: Northside closed at the winter trailhead (WTH), apx 9 miles up from Georgetown, or 2 miles from trail start. With the hydro plant and residences along the road, its reasonable to assume that its open to the WTH the vast majority of the time, and closure prior to the WTH only occurs just long enough to dig it out from storms and avi. As a side note, the Georgetown Visitors Center appears to keep its heated restrooms available 24/7 for those who wish to minimize the potty breaks on trail in comfort.
Posted By: HikerGuy
Info: GUANELLA PASS CLOSES FOR SEASON. Guanella Pass Road has closed for the 2022-2023 seasonal winter closure. The gates were closed today (Nov. 28th) at approximately 5:00 a.m. after a sweep of the summit parking lots and surrounding area. Reopening of the pass will likely take place Friday, May 26th, 2023 leading into Memorial Day weekend.
Posted By: Dan_Suitor
Info: Guanella pass is open the entire way (from Grant to Georgetown). A few snow-packed spots, but easily manageable with good tires. A couple inches of snow in the parking lot.
Posted By: Tornadoman
Info: Still open to the pass. From Georgetown to Guanella Pass Campground (just shy of winter closure) it is almost completely bare. From there on a good portion of the road is snowpacked. Had no problems in a Corolla with new tires, any car with decent tires should be fine until the next storm.
Posted By: Chicago Transplant
Info: Opened for the season on 5/27/22.
Posted By: Aaronl580811
Info: Coming up before sunrise, it was Ice-free starting in Georgetown but gets fairly icy up until Clear Lake campground. Then completely packed down snow until the closure of the road at Naylor Lake Road junction. Back down - the sun had melted a lot out, but still took some caution. Drove up in a 02’ Accord with summer tires.
Posted By: Carl_Healy
Info: Some icy spots and snow pack on the road up to the winter closure.
Hard packed from lots of people beyond the closure.
Posted By: JasonCrane
Info: Road is snow covered from Guanella Pass gate closure to the summer TH. There’s a boot packed trail up to the Mt. Bierstadt Trail parking area. Note - Restrooms are locked.
Posted By: brech
Info: The gate is closed at the silver dollar lake parking lot.
Road is completely clear of snow up to the pass.
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: This morning the pass closed for the winter.
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Road is open and dry to the trailhead from both Georgetown and Grant sides. Parking lots are dry.
Posted By: globreal
Info: As of Saturday, October 30th the paved road was completely dry except for one short section that stays in the shade. There was some snow and ice in the shadows there.

For those who don’t know, here is the info on codot.gov:
Guanella Pass Road is seasonally closed on or about Nov. 26, and reopens on Memorial Day weekend at Naylor Lake on the Clear Creek County side and Burning Bear Campground on the Park County side.

For those climbing Mt. Bierstadt or Mt. Evans from Guanella Pass during this road closure, it adds 1.5 miles each way to your hike.
Posted By: ssowalskie
Info: As of 06/05/21, the road to Guanella Pass is completely open and free of snow. There are two parking areas, the actual trailhead parking area and an upper parking lot at the summit overlook about .25 miles from the trailhead. Both parking lots have restrooms that were stocked with toilet paper. We arrived just before 6:30am and the lower parking area was completely full, with many people parking on the road, so we just parked in the upper lot and walked the extra distance to the trailhead.
Posted By: krishcane
Info: I was at the TH today. I can confirm that it is open and snow-free (at the trailhead, anyway... posthole hell starts within 100 feet...)
Posted By: Chicago Transplant
Info: Open as of 5/28/21 according to CDOT.
Posted By: KimberlyJS
Info: Road clear up to the winter trailhead at Guanella Pass campground. It had snowed over a foot, so snowshoes highly recommended (I know there was more snow coming this week, too). Snow packed, but not icy.
Posted By: gregpeak
Info: The road is clear up to the normal winter closure 1.5 miles below the summer trailhead. The road up to the summer trailhead is hard packed and icy.

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