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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.
14er Trailheads on Google Maps
Date Status Information Posted By  Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2011-02-19 Made it 0.9 miles past where the plow stops comfortably in my 4runner (this is 7.7 miles from 285/Grant) SarahT         
2011-01-09 1/8 Grant side-We in a 4 runner and 2 other vehicles were able to make it about .4 miles from the winter closure. That is where all the tracks were stopping. About a mile (maybe more) below that is where the road got bad and other vehicles were parked. After snowing for over 24 hours and still going strong when we left on 1/9, there was a great deal more snow and no new vehicles made it within 1.5 miles of us. mountainmicah83         
2011-01-07 Grant side - stopped by snow at 9.5 miles (Ford Explorer 4WD). 4 miles from Trailhead. Tire tracks go further, but need high clearance. spaceman         
2010-12-26 Grant side approach - stopped by snow (Toyota Tacoma 4 WD) 0.8 mile from winter closure. Braver soul‘s tire tracks go another 0.4 mile, then snow machine track only to gate and onward to pass. Wyoming Bob         
2010-12-05 Road only becomes snowy the last four miles. Multiple 4wd vehicles made it to the winter closure at Duck Lake. I suppose an AWD or passenger car with good tires and the right person driving could also make it to the winter closure. As in the previous report, snow is drifting across the road in a few places. sdkeil         
2010-11-22 Guanella pass road from Grant is winter maintained up to Burning bear Campground. That is 5.5 miles in. The rest of the way to the Bierstadt TH is fairly passable. I drive a Subaru Wrx and had no issues till aprox 1 mile away from the TH. At this point I hit a patch of snow on the road that prevented me from going any further. A vehicle with any kind of clearance should be able to make it the whole way. thefirststraw         
2010-10-10 Clear Creek County hopes to construct a rockfall fence around November/December. weather, etc., permitting. go to their site for the most current info. cheers IdaRed         
2010-08-08 Road to TH is CLOSED at Clear Lake. We could not get through to the pass from the Georgetown (I-70) side. tnelson         
2010-06-18 NOTICE! The road to Guanella Pass from the Georgetown side has been closed near Clear Lake due to rockslide activity and will NOT reopen until at least October, 2010. Use the Grant side (from U.S. 285) to reach Guanella Pass. Will change the driving directions for the trailhead soon... BillMiddlebrook         
2010-06-05 The North bound Guanella Pass road from Grant, CO (CO 285) is open all the way to the Guanella Pass Trailhead and and is passable for any passenger car. However, the same road from Georgetown (Southbound usually accessible from I70) is closed for the whole season due to a tenuous and risky rockslide that is increasing its rate of fall (don‘t try to go that way). vintner19         
2010-05-29 The northern approach to Guanella Pass from Georgetown will be closed all summer 2010 due to the threat of rockfall near Clear Lake. But the southern approach to Guanella Pass from Grant (off US 285) is now open to the top of the pass. 14erFred         
2010-05-29 The road is open past Duck Lake now. Saw maybe a dozen cars between both parking lots. Taking 285 to get there sucks. harrise         
2010-05-24 Ditto the last post. I actually saw a car driving up the road as I desended Saturday. I thought they had opened the gate after I‘d started that morning, but the guy had just driven around the gate. The road is in great shape, the lower parking is clear, the upper parking lot is still under a couple feet of snow. bj         
2010-05-22 From Grant, Still closed at the Duck Lake TH... really not sure why, because the road is clear to the pass. There are a couple of drifts on the right side, but you could easily get around them. bmratc         
2010-05-17 The north (Georgetown) side will be closed at Clear Lake until September 17 at least. Jim Davies         
2010-05-04 From the Grant side: road is clear and dry to the gate at Duck Lake, which is still closed. (There are a couple of snowdrifts in the last 100 yards but you can skirt around them.) pioletski         
2010-04-18 From Grant (285), 2WDs can make it to the road closure at the Duck Lake gate, ~1.5 miles to the top. Road is almost entirely snow free below the gate, barring any major new snow. Above the gate the snow is melting fast, though there still are extended snow sections. Georgetown side still closed. JosephG         
2010-04-03 From Grant, 2WD vehicle can take you to 1.9 mi from the trailhead. There, a snowdrift makes any further progress impossible (by any auto... 4WD or otherwise). Jyak         
2010-02-27 Still navigable for vehicles with good traction to just below the gate at mile marker 12. 4WD recommended, as it is unmaintained and snowpacked for about 4 miles at the top. KeithK         
2010-02-07 As of today, access from the Grant side is still accessible by pretty much any vehicle to the gate closure 1.5 miles from the top of the pass (Georgetown side still closed outright). mtnmike         
2010-01-16 In case you don‘t read down further you can‘t access the pass from Georgetown. You need to hit it from the Grant side. We were able to make it all the way to the winter closure (about 1.5 miles from the top of the pass) in a 2wd vehicle with no problems. comin2getcha         
2010-01-09 Mostly clear to the gate. A few snow drifts about 0.5 mi from the closure may give 2WD vehicles some trouble Monster5         
2009-12-20 Road is clear all the way to the gate 1.5 miles away from the TH drummerjohn         
2009-12-05 Clear from Grant, CO (285) to 1.5 miles below TH, where gate is closed. Four miles of washboard dirt lower down; upper section is paved. 2wd should be able to make it to the gate without problems as of today. Hike from gate to TH about 30 minutes. Dancesatmoonrise         
2009-11-20 Road is snow-free, except for a few packed snow/ice sections lower down, until ~1-1.5 miles from the TH. Then a couple inches, but good solid vehicle tracks all the way to the TH. Anything w/clearance will be fine. JosephG         

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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