“While everybody goes to climb Bierstadt, go across the road and climb Squaretop Mountain
— aaron moore
In winter, the trucks only plow to a certain low point on Guanella Pass.
The great thing about this mountain is that while the masses are climbing Bierstadt, you get to enjoy some solitude and views on Squaretop. Even if you don't go to the top, just running in the mountains is just so nice.
I am assuming you can start this trail from the lower portion of the South Park Trail
, however, I have never done that section, and would greatly appreciate anyone who has, to contribute for that lower portion.
This route is fairly runnable to the base and then more of a speed hike to the top.
From the west side of Guanella Pass, start your journey towards Squaretop Lakes on the South Park Trail
. It is ~2 miles to the lakes at the base of Squaretop Mountain and the lakes themselves. When I went, the trail was clearly defined through the willows, however, I have read different trip reports of people having some trouble finding their way depending on the time of year.
Once at the lakes, make your way up the east facing grassy slopes of Squaretop, here labeled as the Squaretop Mountain Scramble
. I didn't see a real trail; I just followed the path of least resistance to the large, broad summit of Squaretop. This is not to say there is not a trail, I just didn't see one as I was ascending or descending.