Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
Sawtooth, The  -  13,780 feet
Mt. Evans  -  14,264 feet
Date Posted:  08/21/2011
Date Climbed:   08/20/2011
Author:  traub30
 Bierstadt, Sawtooth, Evans  

We started from the Bierstadt trailhead at about 7:40am. The weather was good and the trail was in good condition. It was a good hike to the summit, but lots of people on the trial and at the top. At one point there was a line of people, which made the hike a little less enjoyable.

After topping Bierstadt, we decided to take on Sawtooth. The trail is defined by cairns up and down the slope. It starts on the shallow side on the west. It involves a lot scrambling, and requires a slow and steady pace. Near the end of the saddleback, it crosses over to the steeper east slope. This ended up being one of the best parts of the entire day, even though it was a little scary at the time. In total it took about 2 and a half to 3 hours to cross.

After rounding Sawtooth we headed straight for Mt. Evans. Again, the trail is mostly defined by cairns along the side of the mountain towards, leading towards the top of Evans road and the path to the summit. After summiting, we returned the same way.

We opted to take the returned path, but were unable to really find it at first. Cairns are hard to find and tend to run in random directions, and we easily got lost with a few other groups looking for the trail. This added lots of time and distance to our trip. To avoid this, I'll describe what should be done:

After getting off Mt. Evans, look immediately to the right (North) for any cairns, and head that direction. You'll be heading towards another ridge far off. Continue that direction, depending on how high up you are you'll probably cross a stream. Once you approach the other ridge, turn left (West) and head that way towards open range of hills. Continue this general direction until you cross over and head downhill towards another stream. Continue to the stream, and you'll end up on a ridge right before it. From here, follow the stream down along the ridge. It won't take long to find more cairns down here, which eventually leads to a more defined trail leading through brush and gullies back to the Bierstadt trail.

It took some figuring out to get our bearings here, and a thunderstorm came close while we were exposed. At one point it started to rain as well. Once we got to the gullies it was muddy but the sky cleared up, making this last stretch enjoyable. We ended up back at our car at about 7:40pm, making it a 12 hour trip. All in all, this turned out to be one of the best hiking trips I've been on.

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