Mt. Bierstadt – West Slopes
ElevationAscent: 2,625' 800 m
Descent: -2,624' -800 m
High: 14,016' 4,272 m
Low: 11,509' 3,508 m
GradeAvg Grade: 14% (8°)
Max Grade: 38% (21°)
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“An easy intro to Colorado's 14ers on the standard West Slopes route.”— Tyler Prince
Note: Even though land management says dogs are to be leashed, you'll see many dogs and few leashes.
From the trailhead, follow a clearly designated trail over easy class 1 terrain with minimal vertical. After crossing over some small creeks on well-maintained footbridges, pass through some willows. After about one mile, the grade begins to increase, though the terrain remains at class 1. Approaching the two mile mark, the trail turns to the south and continues to steepen. From here the trail becomes increasingly rough all the way to the summit ridge, but will not surpass class 2. Some log steps and small to medium size rocks along the switchbacks demand at least some vigilance.
Continue upward, turning left onto a bearing E/NE up the summit ridge. This area is prone to typical Front Range weather, so be prepared for some intense winds. The summit comes into sight just a few hundred yards up the ridge. Once visible, it's just an easy 200 ft or so scramble on solid rock to the summit. This should be easy for any semi-fit human, but smaller dogs may require some assistance.
From here, you can return to the Mt. Bierstadt TH or continue to Mt. Evans via a low class 3 traverse known as "the Sawtooth."
Don't feed the marmots - they're feisty little creatures.
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