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Idaho Springs, Colorado

Watch the sunrise on top of Mt. Bierstadt

7 Miles Total - 2850 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Kalli Hawkins

Watching the sunrise at 14,000ft is the best way to start your day

To Trailhead: Take the exit to Georgetown, drive through town and follow signs for Guanella Pass. Proceed up Guanella Pass until you see signs for Bierstadt Trailhead on the left. There is plenty of parking available and even bathrooms if need be.

The trail begins on the edge of the parking lot and is well maintained, the starting elevation is 11,669 ft. Because the trailhead begins at shy of 12,000ft it is an easy hike for beginners and with a steady pace the summit can be reached within a few hours. This is my favorite mountain to hike to watch the sunrise due to this fact.

We started at 3:30am, camelbaks full, headlamps on, and we took off on the trail. We were lucky enough that moon was shining bright and barely needed our headlamps, the light from the moon illuminated our route up the mountain. Depending on the time of year the beginning part of the trail can become muddy and there was a small stream we had to pass through.

Our goal was to reach the summit by 6 am and be set up and relaxed to watch the sun peak over the vast mountaintops at 6:30am. Between 13,000ft and 13,500ft the trail begins to taper off and bouldering becomes the norm for the remainder of the route. No technical gear needed, large enough boulders to easily move across.

We enjoyed the sunrise as a few other hikers emerged on the summit and joined us for breakfast and admiring the immense views. We began to descend around 7:30am and made it back to the car by 9:30am.  We thought about how much we had accomplished so early in the morning, and how the day was just beginning for some! 

I would greatly recommend this 14er for those who would like to get started hiking 14ers, it's a great introduction mountain. Be sure to watch the weather and to pack sufficient gear! Have fun!

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking


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