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Guanella Pass Trailhead
Added by BillMiddlebrook

Location:  Front Range
14ers Served:  Mt. Bierstadt, Mt. Evans
Road Type:  2WD, easy dirt road 1   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
2WD easy dirt road to the trailhead in summer.
Directions:  From the north: Take the Georgetown exit off of Interstate 70. Drive through Georgetown and follow the signs for the Guanella Pass Scenic Byway. Drive 12 miles to the top of Guanella Pass (11,700) and park in one of the two large, paved parking areas on either side of the road. The Bierstadt trail starts near the parking area on the east side of the road. The upper parking area (on the west side of the pass) has restrooms.
From the south: Take US 285 west from Denver or east from Fairplay. Drive to the town of Grant which is about 12 miles west of Bailey. In Grant, turn north on the Guanella Pass Scenic Byway and drive approx. 13 miles to Guanella Pass.
Winter Access:  From the north: Usually only plowed to the campground approx. 3 miles below Guanella Pass. From the south: Usually plowed to Duck Lake, approx. 1.75 miles below the pass.
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Date Status Information Posted By  Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2014-08-21 So I thought this was a dirt road until I drove it. It‘s paved from the Georgetown side. Just beware of the 7 or so tight switchbacks (two U-turns in a row), especially in the dark. emgordon         
2014-05-11 Planned maintenance on southern approach from Grant beginning in May 2014: --- The final construction phase of Guanella Pass road, from Colorado Highway 285 at Grant Colorado north 9.5 miles to Duck Lake will commence mid-May 2014. EXPECT DELAYS!!! Guanella Pass road (Park County 62) will be CLOSED to the public from 8-11 am and from 1-3 pm, M-F and 30 min delays outside the closure time. --- www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/psicc/alerts-notices Doug Shaw         
2014-04-19 The road from Georgetown remains unplowed just past the campground, about 1.8 miles (one way) below the trailhead. A few shortcuts through the snow bypass some of the switchbacks, making the hike to the trailhead shorter than that. Did not use showshoes up the road in the morning, but did back down in the afternoon as it was more slushy pbergmaier         
2014-03-23 Road clear from Georgetown to Campground. There was a bit of snow on the road around some shaded turns but nothing you couldnt handle in a 2WD. Saw top 4 ft of bathrooms at Guanella pass so the pass seems covered in 5-6 ft of snow. Used snowshoes from the campground and it was a good hike. danielanson  2       
2014-03-09 Road from Grant became impassable 6+ miles below the pass which made for a looooong slog. Lots of evidence of people getting stuck just past that. SarahT         
2014-03-08 Came up from Georgetown side. When we drove up there was a bunch of fresh snow on the ground, but when we left in the afternoon the snow was all gone and pretty dry all the way to the campground parking. vusteph         
2014-03-01 Road was clear on the Grant side all the way up to Duck Creek Campground junction. Benchmark 9731 ft. After that it‘s rutted out snow. It‘s all ski, snowshoe or snowmobile from that point. Leave your wheels behind. Don‘t mess up the skin track. Taillon75         
2013-12-21 Road plowed and in good shape until just past the Guanella Campground. Gate closed there, and you will need to hoof it the final 1.5 miles or so to the summer TH. Road has 4-6 inches of power, with a pretty decently packed down trail that takes you all the way up to the summer TH. Don‘t need snowshoes or microspikes/crampons for the road walk, but they do help for some parts. Road is wind scoured near the parking lot for the summer TH. RyGuy         
2013-12-14 From the south, Rte 285/Grant. Same findings as Eagle Eye reported 12/9. Had hoped the county had plowed to the Duck Lake closure in the interim. The Guanella Pass Rd is only plowed to the 119 turn off. The road to the usual Duck Lake winter closure gate has at least a foot of snow with tire tracks through it, required high clearance 4 WD with good tires or chains, sketchy! When we get more snow, it wont be passable. sunny1         
2013-12-09 From Grant/US 285 I could not reach the winter gate closure. The road was only well-plowed up to the 119 junction (the sign there says 4 miles to Guanella Pass summit) Past that point is an obvious difference, with 2 tracks in very deep snow and sketchy. (In a 4WD Xterra Off Road) Eagle Eye         
2013-12-03 As the previous user noted, the road to the pass is now closed just above Guanella Pass Campground. I was able to get to the campground in a 2WD Xterra with about 1/2in fresh snow on the ground. When I came back down they had plowed the road. See picture Tyler Phillips  1       
2013-12-02 The official "winter closure" on Guanella Pass starts today Monday, December 2nd. From the "winter closure" you‘ll have to add an extra 3 miles round trip. javy20040         
2013-11-27 Trailhead open and clear of major snow. Bathrooms still open dag2323  1       
2013-11-25 Gate is still open and got to the TH this morning on snow packed road in 4WD Highlander. By afternoon, some snow was melting off (see pic). bmcqueen  1  1    
2013-11-09 Clear and dry to the top, gate open, take your Lamborghini, its just fine. Philip         
2013-11-02 I hiked Mt. Bierstadt today, Guanella Pass Road is all clear of snow and dry all the way to the trailhead. javy20040         
2013-10-26 Georgetown side. Road mostly clear to summit. Some icy patches, but regular cars were okay. MountainHiker         
2013-10-09 Georgetown side. Road clear to the pass. Some wet from melting snow on the side of the road. MountainHiker         
2013-07-26 If coming from the north (Georgetown) and without a compass, the east side of the road is on the left. However, there is a trail leading up to the parking lot on the west side of the road, so you could park on either side. The trail takes off from south end of the east side parking lot near the bathrooms, but there is no sign until you get over the little hill and see the Mt. Bierstadt Trail sign. jefwerner    2      
2013-06-05 Paved road open from I-70 from the North - VERY FOGGY this morning, so take it slow and watch out for animals, walkers, and cars! brianlpowers         
2013-05-24 Paved road is open to the TH. Climbed it today. Tron    4      
2013-05-21 Much like what MountainHiker wrote - clear to the top but road still closed. They had a pretty good sized crew working on all the erosion and they told me it WOULD be open on Friday Jay521    1    
2013-05-19 Georgetown Side: Road is clear of snow from winter gate to Guanella Pass parking lot. There is a lot of erosion dirt on the road close to the pass. The pavement is being undercut and the dirt is a few inches deep in places. Im no road engineer, but Im thinking theyll want to deal with this before opening the road. MountainHiker    1      
2013-05-13 Georgetown side was being plowed today and was down to the pavement to 1/4 mile from the top of the pass as of noon with the crew still working. They told me the road itself would not be open to auto traffic until Memorial weekend, but it appeared to me that the road itself will be clear of snow to the top of the pass within the next few days for easy walking from the winter closure. thetoddman         
2013-05-10 From the George Town side the road is still closed 3 miles below the pass. Snowshoes were very helpful. The parking lot just above the campground is clear of snow and melting. Stephen Butler         

The view after passing through the fence at the TH (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2006-05-10)The closest parking area to the Bierstadt Trail (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2006-05-20)The turn–off on the west side of the pass for additional parking and restrooms (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2006-05-20)Recent photo of parking lot closest to TH (bathrooms) (Added by: Jessie_s Dad on 2009-07-21)Mt. Bierstadt viewed from closest parking lot at TH (Added by: Jessie_s Dad on 2009-07-21)

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