Guanella Pass Trailhead
Added by BillMiddlebrook

Location:  Front Range
14ers Served:  Mt. Bierstadt, Mt. Evans
Road Type:  Paved Road 0   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
2WD paved 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    
2015-08-21 All of Guanella Pass is newly paved and parking lot is open vien342    3      
2015-08-18 The TH parking lot is closed, highway dept resurfaced the lot today, but there is plenty of parking along the shoulder. Hopefully it will be open for this weekend‘s mass hikerfest! boudreaux    2      
2015-05-30 Road is clear on both sides all the way across the pass. Road construction is closing the pass coming from 285 during the weekdays, but open Sat/Sun. sky_high         
2015-05-22 Per CDOT, road is completely open as of today. JeffR         
2015-05-17 Road is obviously still closed, but it is clear and 99% free of snow all the way up to the trailhead (there are a few drifts near the very end but they don‘t cover the road in any significant way). superdawg         
2015-03-21 Plowed to the Naylor Lake closure, as before. The road beyond the closure still has several feet of snow, and makes for nice skiing or snowshoeing. AlexeyD         
2015-03-08 We came up to the Guanella Pass winter closure at Naylor Lake from the Georgetown/I-70 side. Like the county website says they plow all the way up to Naylor Lake on a 3rd/4th day basis. It hadn‘t snowed in about a week, so we were able to make it all the way up to Naylor Lake in 2WD in a Toyota Tacoma. The road was in great condition, completely free of snow/ice; a 2WD vehicle could definitely make it all the way up to Naylor Lake without a problem. amcdonald         
2015-02-14 From Grant side of Guanella Pass. Many muddy spots through the construction. Frozen pre-dawn, muck in the pm. Road clear of snow until about 400 meters before Duck Lake turn-off and winter gate. Possible to drive about half of that, but then there is a large drift blocking the road. We turned around and returned to below the snow to have a better parking spot. Did not use snowshoes. Used MicroSpikes and a pole. Snow is wind blown. Many bare spots. Packed trail across the willows. Icy in places. Got soft in the afternoon. The road had some deeper snow but was mostly consolidated. MountainHiker         
2014-12-04 Guanella Pass Road is cleared of snow until December 1 and the gate is closed thereafter until sometime in May of the following year. Today, I was up to climb Mount Bierstadt (great day) -- and indeed, from the north side (Georgetown), Guanella Pass Road is closed by gate at the Naylor Lake (reservoir) parking area. By my GPS, it is 1.8 miles by road from the upper Naylor Lake parking area to the summer Bierstadt trailhead on Guanella Pass. Today, the paved car road to Naylor Lake was clear with a few patches of ice here and there. Beyond the gate, the road is still clear (recently plowed and bare) with ice in spots. I used microspikes through the willows and above 12,800 on the trail -- not enough snow yet for skis or snowshoes. lastcallben         
2014-11-30 The pass is currently wide open all the way up -from both Grant/US 285 and Georgetown/I-70. The Grant side has some sections of hard packed down snow & ice. Also (especially in the first few miles) lots of large construction equipment/cones/barriers/signs/etc. In one place it is only a one-lane-wide road with Stop signs & "Proceed when Clear" signs. The Georgetown side is almost completely clear & dry, smooth pavement with just a few small ice patches. Did not need or use 4WD. Eagle Eye    1      
2014-11-20 Road is open and clear for all vehicles (some patchy ice in shady spots) from the Georgetown side to the top of the pass. Do not know if the US285 side is open. Call Clear Creek county for updates: Title: Guanella Pass Information Phone: (303) 679-2422 #2 jeffth5    1      
2014-11-05 Road to Guanella Pass TH from Georgetown is all clear of snow and easy to drive for any vehicle. Not much snow up there! javy20040         
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. --- 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 won‘t 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       

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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