Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
Mt. Evans  -  14,264 feet
Date Posted:  09/20/2010
Date Climbed:   09/19/2010
Author:  divaMel



From Grant, it does take about 13 miles heading up the Guanella Pass to reach the trailhead for Mt. Bierstadt.

FYI - There isn't a clear indicator that there is a trailhead for Bierstadt. On your left hand side about 13 miles up the road, a sign reads Summit Overlooks. On the right hand side, there is parking and a bathroom. Just behind the bathroom is the trailhead for Mt. Bierstadt.

Bierstadt is an easy peasy hike. Summited fairly quickly. Next was the decent down into the Sawtooth traverse.

Dude - I was expecting some Class 3 hiking over Sawtooth - this was a lot more than I bargained for. I kept losing the trail and ended up doing some rather risky bouldering. In retrospect, I made some extremely poor decisions about my path over Sawtooth in an effort to save on time. Be warned - take this portion of the hike with caution. I ended up near the top of Sawtooth and saw a much easier path down below.

After Sawtooth, I got to pretty much make up my own path through the mountain tundra to Evans. The trail becomes more clear when you get back into the rock. The summit of Evans is further along than what you anticipate. You will first see the observatory then you know you are getting close.

Instead of going over Sawtooth, I decided it would be easier to go through the gully. Again, this was much more tricky than I anticipated. The terrain is loose rock and very steep. Take it slowly.

Once you are thankfully down and out of the gully - you are welcomed into marshland. I strongly suggest wearing something more intense than light hikers on your feet or the marsh mush will suck off your shoes.

Next you are walking through a maze of shrubbery. Try to picture a mountain version of Alice in Wonderland - it was a maze of shrubbery and marsh suckage.

Eventually, you will wind your way back to the trail you started on hours upon hours ago.

I have done quite a few 14ers and this was by far the most intense one I have done. If you're just planning Bierstadt, you will be fine. If you're only doing Evans - ain't no thing. If you're doing the combo and heading down the gully - be prepared and be alert. A hike I thought would take 4-6 hours took 9 hours. Well worth it if you're ready!!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Nice work!
09/21/2010 13:24
It sounds like you turned the sawtooth into a class 4 or 5? Way to persist!


I can relate!
09/22/2010 18:41
We did this route on Sat. Same thing. I found myself too high on the ridge, then I found the cairn, but had to class 4 it down. My 2 friends went around to the right of Sawtooth rather than to the left and up the ledge, and ended up with some 15' class 5 stuff, but made it ok. Maze of marsh suckage pretty much sums that part up! I thought 5-7 also, and was just under 9.

Have you done the Longs/Meeker combo? How do you think this compares?


09/22/2010 18:56
I have not done the combo. I did Longs. Have you done Longs yet?


09/23/2010 00:28
Twice. First time last year on Keyhole, then this year late July via the Loft with Keyhole return. great hike, except for the 500 people on a Saturday (on the Keyhole). A bit different than the 10 people I saw anywhere on the Loft!


07/07/2011 16:31
good job on making it... last july on our attempt thru the Sawtooth traverse... even with a GPS we got lost and had to scramble down to safety when hail made it unsafe...

   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2017®, 14ers Inc.