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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    
2012-04-08 Road dry and still gated at campground. Saw parts of the road near Bierstadt from Mt Wilcox and it looked dry. Also walked up the road ~0.6 mi. The snow on the previous poster‘s 2nd picture is gone. Further up the road there was section with ~4 inches of snow that was melting fast. Beyond that, we saw an area that probably still had 12-18" of snow on the road. But again, melting fast. However, I‘m sure there are a few good spring storms in the works before June. IHikeLikeAGirl         
2012-03-30 Did some spring camping in the area with the kids and went to go look at the trail head for Mt. Bierstadt. The road from the Georgetown side is clear and dry all the way to the winter trailhead/parking lot/gate. But Guanella Pass is still close to cars at the gate. And still some snow on the road to Guanella Pass. We didn‘t walk all that far. But here are the pics of what we saw. Photoguy32  4       
2012-03-24 The road from the Georgetown side is clear and dry all the way to the winter trailhead/parking lot/gate (with the exception of three small ice patches). It is quite nice to drive it now. The gate is about 2 miles below the pass and the road is mostly snow covered, though there are some dry stretches, notably above treeline at the pass itself (see photo). Just before the final turn or two below the pass, there is a tantalizing shortcut on the left that appears it will intersect the real trail without having to go all the way up to the pass itself. Resist this shortcut will all your will. It is nothing less than a portal to the Bermuda Triangle and you will never be seen or heard from again. Ask me how I know. The restrooms at the pass are unlocked, though the men‘s room has a horribly slick sheet of ice in it that could send you headlong into the walls or worse. Ask me how I know. Slow Moving Fun Seeker  3  5      
2012-03-10 From the grant side - I wouldn‘t take a car much past the Geneva creek intersection. I didn‘t take my 4x4 Ranger past about 10200ft where the road turns sharply given the multiple ruts in the road and the fact that no one had been past that point in a while. Turns out an explorer and 4runner made it past later in the day. If you make it past you save about 2 miles and 1000ft, one way. Left me with a new single day mileage record ~16 to summit Bierstadt. good luck. jeremy27         
2012-02-11 Grant side has 3" of snow at the 6-7 mile point. 4wd will get you to the usual drifted corner about 1/2 mile below the gated closure at Duck Lake. Dancesatmoonrise         
2012-01-29 2WD accessible from the Georgetown side to the winter closure. A couple slick spots of snow/ice but nothing much to worry about. SurfNTurf         
2012-01-14 Road to Guanella Pass from Georgetown clear and dry up to winter closure about 1.5 miles before Bierstadt/Evans TH. AWright         
2012-01-02 From Georgetown, the road to the winter closure is still plowed and 2WD, normal clearance is fine. The road is almost completely dry, the parking areas are snowpacked, but not an issue. BobbyFinn         
2012-01-01 Mainly clear or packed snow (2WD accessible with care) from 285 to just south of Duck Lake closure. AWD/4WD was needed for two drifts within the last mile or so to the closure, including one right before the closure that my 4WD Explorer got stuck in. You can park before that drift and walk. From Duck Lake closure to trailhead is fairly clear, with post-holing 7-10 inches deep in 2 or 3 sections of 20-30 yards. Took less than an hour to get from closure to trailhead. Word of caution - saw some mountain lion tracks on the way from closure to trailhead, and actually had one cross the road in front of me prior to reaching the trailhead. This was in the (very) early hours of the morning. ascarpella         
2011-12-17 Road plowed to gate at Naylor Lake TH. Cars with good tires can make it. I did not put it into 4WD. Snowshoes not needed, but microspikes and a pole were good. Road from gate to pass has a few inches of snow. Well packed trail. Easy to loose trail above 13,000‘. A lot of tracks take a straighter route. MountainHiker         
2011-12-12 Road was easily 2WD accessible from Georgetown to Lake Naylor closure. No issues getting there at all. The road form Lake Naylor gate to Bierstadt trailhead has a few inches of snow. Would recommend snow shoes, micro spikes, or yaktrax. WDavis         
2011-12-10 Yesterday (12/10) I drove from Grant to snow closure on the Guanella Pass Road. Roughly half the road is snow-packed but navigable in a two-wheel drive car. I used four-wheel-drive in places on the way up but it probably wasn‘t essential. The road is gated at the turnoff to Duck Lake. If the road hadn‘t been gated, it would probably have been drivable all the way to Guanella Pass. gprandall         
2011-12-10 On Georgetown side, the road was plowed to, and gated at Naylor Lake TH parking lots - approx 10850‘. The were some regular cars, but good tires are recommended. I did not need to put it 4WD. The road from there to Guanella Pass has a few inches of snow, but no drifts. MountainHiker         
2011-12-10 The road is closed at Duck Lake but easily passable in any 4x4/AWD vehicle to that point. I didn‘t see any passenger cars up there. jeremy27         
2011-11-30 Guanella Pass Road from the Georgetown side is clear and 2wd accesible up to the winter closure at the Naylor Lake Intersection. CloudCityKid         
2011-11-17 Guanella Pass is in good condition. It appears they have been sanding the road and keeping it plowed. Any passenger car can make it to the TH with no problem. Andymcp1         
2011-11-06 Coming from Grant, road is mostly clear with patches of packed snow and ice. Passable in a passenger car. TH is open and parking lots are clear of most snow. MtnClimber82         
2011-09-18 Grant Side I hadn‘t been up Guanella Pass in a number of years and was amazed at the improvement of the road. The Grant side is easily passable by any car, though there are some potholes and washboard. There is very little road that isn‘t paved any more and its all near Grant. The higher you get the nicer the road becomes. No snow yet on the road and leaves are starting to change so the drive is enjoyable. CO Native         
2011-09-10 I encountered some light snow on the evening of the 9/10. It lasted for a short time and didn‘t have a significant effect on the road to the trailhead. carlhancock  1       
2011-08-27 Road is paved all the way to the Bierstadt trailhead. The parking is also paved. The roadwork is ongoing but there is no longer any section of gravel between Georgetown and Bierstadt TH left. ursidae         
2011-08-15 As previously posted the sign read that the pass would be closed from Georgetown 8-11 but this was not the case today. And on the way down while there were delays (it was one lane) I did not have to wait for a pace truck they just told me that there were workers on the road, please watch for them and be careful. Worker said it would be closed 1-3. Tomorrow may be different. pepsi         
2011-08-10 Guanella Pass Road is closed 8 am to 11 am and 1 pm to 3 pm Monday thru Friday (at least this week). A pace car runs cars to the Bierstadt trailhead from 7 - 8 am. peak576         
2011-07-04 The road up to Guanella Pass from Georgetown still definitely under construction. Only dirt in some areas, but any car can make it. Only a few cars in both lots when we arrived, but overflowing by the time we returned in the afternoon. tmccormack         
2011-06-23 As is made clear here, Guanella Pass is under construction (forever it seems; I find it funny that a construction sign reads that the project will be done October 2010). Anyhow, just wanted to mention that they may close the road before 8:00am. Went up the other day, arrived at 07:45 and work was well under way. Just an FYI. Zenn         
2011-06-10 Road closures are still in effect from 8-11 AND 1-3 if you‘re coming from Georgetown. We planned our trip to get back by noon so we would miss this but we still had to wait for about 30 minutes at 12:30. WebFoot         

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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