Guanella Pass Trailhead


Range: Front Range
Coordinates: 39.59688, -105.71003
14ers: Mt. Bierstadt, Mt. Evans
Elevation: 11,650'
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Road Difficulty

Paved Road 0   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
2WD paved to the trailhead in summer.

Driving 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. 1.5 miles below Guanella Pass. From the south: Usually plowed to Duck Lake, approx. 1.75 miles below the pass.

More Info

Parking: Two large parking lots but on the weekend they fill up by 6am and you'll have to park along the road. Currently that is allowed.
Camping: Two campgrounds on the road up from Georgetown and two campgrounds on the road up from Grant, on the south side.
Restrooms? Yes
Fees? No
Trailhead added by BillMiddlebrook
Status Updates 
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
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.
Posted By: soundchaser2112
Info: Road plowed and snow melted up to the winter lot with minor slick patches, easily accessible in my 2WD Kia Rio
Posted By: cougar
Info: Lots of snow melting along the road below the closure, drove through some puddles in the afternoon. Expect icy conditions early morning after overnight freezes.
Posted By: kalestew
Info: Southbound pass is closed only 1.2 miles from the Bierstadt TH, road is bootpacked past the closure
Posted By: shapovalovm
Info: The road is in good condition, made to the TH in Accord with summer tires with no issues.
Arrived at around 7:30, saw 3 other cars in the lot. Coming back at around 1:15pm, the lot was full and cars were parking along the road.
Posted By: angry
Info: Plowed to the campground.
Posted By: daway8
Info: Road was almost totally dry up to the winter closure then hard packed snow to just before Guanella pass where the road and both lots were totally dry. Note there has been some avy activity at the first switchback up from the winter closure. Good time to start using that bypass option to cut past that known slide zone.
Posted By: kalestew
Info: No snow on the road whatsoever, but it is closed at the Duck Creek CG (*not* Duck Lake) 4 miles from the TH, coming from 285/Grant.

As a hiker attempting Bierstadt, your best bet is to take the pass south from Georgetown instead. From the closure on that end it’s only a 3 mile addition to the round trip, instead of 8.
Posted By: HikesInGeologicTime
Info: Closed for winter.
Posted By: RossJ
Info: Bierstadt trailhead is closed at the road 9 miles from Georgetown. FS personnel are stationed at the gate to prevent access

See Forest Service notice for reason
Posted By: Kirk Mallory

"Guanella Pass Information- Fire Ban
Effective October 23, 2020, all public lands along the Guanella Pass Road corridor are closed due to extreme fire danger. The summit of Guanella Pass has been closed early and is gated at Naylor Lake Road intersection. The road is also gated on the Park County (via Hwy 285) side of the pass six miles down from the summit.

For information on the current fire ban, please see the "Emergency Alert" on the county’s homepage at
Until weather conditions change, the public lands will remain closed for the protection of the areas and nearby residents.
Questions? "
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