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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    
2008-05-04 From I-70/Georgetown, the closure point remains the same. Wisco         
2008-04-21 I think a previous post about Guanella Pass from the north needs clarification. The road is closed just past the campground, which is ~1.5 miles down from the pass, so 3 miles roundtrip. And there are obvious tracks through the woods before the last switchback that avoid going to the parking lot itself. It‘s not that bad. moon stalker         
2008-03-30 From the south, the road is accessible to Geneva Park. The county has plowed a large pile of snow into the middle of the road just past the cattle guard. It looks like a jeep or other short wheelbase 4x4 may be able to squeeze past on the right hand side. covfrrider         
2008-03-30 From the south, the road is accessible to Geneva Park. The county has plowed a large pile of snow into the middle of the road just past the cattle guard. It looks like a jeep or other short wheelbase 4x4 may be able to squeeze past on the right hand side. covfrrider         
2008-02-18 when coming up from Georgetown the road is closed just a little ways past the campground. at least 3‘ of snow on the road, more in some places. hiked almost 3 miles to get to the actual TH. in some places the snow was a foot over the guard rail. keg2008         
2007-12-18 Snow closure at guanella pass campground. Plowed til there. Jcwhite         
2007-11-26 From notice in the Canyon Courier, the road will be closed Friday Nov 30th 2007 thru May 23rd 2008 Also says call Guanella Pass Road Information line at 303-569-3251, ext 2, for updates gsellers         
2007-11-25 Road has an inch or two of hard packed snow from Georgetown to the trail heads. There are signs of plowing to the power plant only. Very icy in spots (morning) and extreme caution should be taken around the sharp curves. I would imagine it will get much tougher to attain after the next snow. krz2fer         
2007-09-19 Grant side is the best way to miss the construction, until "phase 3" starts in 2011. Got an update from the manager, the phase from Georgetown to the Xcel power plant ends in 2010 so that side will be busy for a while yet. Reference - http://www.cflhd.gov/projects/archive/co/guanella/index.cfm gsellers         
2007-08-02 Road construction is still taking place on both sides of Guanella Pass. Delays are running between 10 and 30 minutes. If you are climbing on a weekday try to get to the trailhead before 6am because that's when the road crew begins work. They take the weekends off so you shouldn't have much to worry about then. The Grant side may offer fewer delays during the week because most of the work is taking place on the Georgetown side right now. cruiser         
2007-07-11 Road is clear to trailhead. There is road construction on the way up. Be prepared to stop and wait for a pilot car to take you through the construction area. We waited 10-15 going each direction. You may want to get out and stretch and maybe even talk to the flagger guy (he must be bored out of his mind!). spacelepor         
2007-07-09 Climbed Bierstadt July 7, 2007. Got a 730am start due to a rollover accident on the road to the pass, but still finished in 6 hours flat as I was hiking with a first timer that smokes a pack a day...smile. The only snow is the well-known packed trail about 600 ft from the summit. holliewd         
2007-06-21 The road is completely clear of snow and easily passable with any vehicle. Just pay attention to fallen rocks and potholes along the way. CRSpeedy         
2007-06-08 Guanella Pass is open to the top from the Georgetown side. CDOT obviously had some large drifts to cut, but they got it done. A 2WD car would have no trouble driving to the top of the Pass now. I believe that things are also completely open from the Grant side as well. I saw a couple of cars drive past the top towards Grant and they didn't come back so I'm guessing that you can go through. cruiser         
2007-05-28 Road is passable with high clearance 4X4 from the Grant side. I would guess that it will be completely accessible to passenger cars next weekend, as the snow is melting fast. keithk         
2007-05-21 May 21,07. same as last post but with a GPS coordinate. 39.61876 N, 105.71472 W climbhard511         
2007-05-20 Similar to last post. Drove up today 5/20 to approx. 10,700 ft. Looks like the next 300 vertical to the campgrounds will be passable soon but much of the road after that is still under 3 feet of snow. Carl         
2007-05-14 5/12- Road is barracaded 3-3.5 miles from the top of the pass (just below the campground and Naylor Lake road). Approximately 1000 vertical feet from road closure to top of pass- snow at lower elevations is melting quickly. rsincavage         
2007-04-23 Road seems to be in the same condition as previous posters, made it to about 2 miles from the summit, to give a better indication, we had a 1 hour trip on foot to the pass. Wouldn't recomend going much further anytime soon, atleast till mid-may, we saw 2 cars stuck after the part where everyone else parked. Keeping the tires in the middle of the road would be fine, but straying a foot to the left or right will bury your car in the soft snow. lordhelmut         
2007-04-16 Road goes to about 1/2 mile short of Naylor Lake road. There were signs of fresh plowing today killingcokes         
2007-04-04 Road goes 8.2 miles in still leaves you about 4 miles from trail Jamin1377         
2006-12-17 Add a light snow pack to the last report and it's a little treacherous. A passenger car could probably make it, but go slow no matter what you're driving. There were numerous signs of skidding accross or off the road today. dbroudy         
2006-12-14 OK. From Georgetown to the Excel Power Plant, the road is plowed and mainly clear. The road is open for only 3.2 miles AFTER the power plant up to the TH for Silver Dollar Lake. It is plowed but the surface is predominantly packed ice. If you want to get further than the turnoff for Silver Dollar (towards Guanella) you're gonna have to have a snowmobile. It doesn't look like it'll be open for awhile either. ( Kiefer         
2006-12-08 I drove up the Grant side today - road was clear with snow and ice patches all the way up to about a mile before the pass, where a huge snow pile blocks the road. blakeduncan         
2006-12-07 I called the Ranger District office in Idaho Springs, and they said the Guanella Pass Road from Georgetown was plowed up to Clear Lake, 3 miles up, and then the road became 'impassable'. blakeduncan         

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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