This summer we’re attempting to summit as many 14,000+ ft mountains in CO as possible, and we’re reaching the trailheads by bike! Join us on our Summer of Summits.
We left Idaho Springs on our bikes heading towards our third 14er, Mount Bierstadt. In the first 11 miles, we had a steady incline and climbed about 1000 ft to the town of Georgetown right next to I-70. We got some lunch and started our second half of the day – 13 more miles and 3300 ft of climbing to Guenella Pass. We kept a steady 3-5 mph all the way up for about 3.5 hours until finally we were above treeline and had reached the pass. We made camp for the night just as a small storm was rolling through. We set an early alarm for summiting Mt Bierstadt in the morning.
We got up at 4:00, packed up our bikes, and prepared to ride to the trailhead about 2 miles away. The lot was full of cars, and we could see hikers already making their ascent.
Mt Bierstadt is considered one of the “easier” 14ers which was fine by us. With such a close proximity to Denver, the trail is a popular one, very defined, and well maintained. We began our climb up 2720 ft over 4 miles at 5:30 am.
Even on a Tuesday, the trail was very busy with people of all skill levels looking to bag a 14er. First, the trail wound through thick bushes, and soon we saw a big, black moose! He didn’t seem to like me trying to take his picture, so I scurried along.
Next, the trail climbed wooden and stone steps up and up. I think the altitude above 13,000 ft will always be a challenge for me. Every few steps and I needed a little moment to catch my breath.
The last section of trail to the summit was through a big boulder field well marked with cairns. From the trailhead, it took us about 2 hours to the summit. Mount Evans, which we had just summited by bicycle, was to the east, Gray’s and Torreys to the west, and what we’re guessing was Long’s way in the distance to the north. The temperature at the summit was probably around 45° and the wind made it feel that much cooler. After taking a couple pictures, we soon started our descent. The round trip was just shy of 8 miles, and it took us right at 4 hours.
To get to our next trailhead, we had to descend the 3300 ft on our bikes down Guenella Pass and back into Georgetown.
Onward to the next one!
If you’re keeping track…
258 Miles by Bike / +24,300 ft of elevation gain
22.5 Miles Hiking / +7700 ft elevation gain
3 – 14,000+ ft Summits
We are Bekah and Sean, out on an adventure to summit as many CO 14ers as possible this summer and reaching them via bicycle! Follow along here or on Instagram as we complete our Summer of Summits.