Guanella Pass Trailhead


Road Difficulty

Paved Road 0   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
2WD paved to the trailhead in summer.

Driving 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. 1.5 miles below Guanella Pass. From the south: Usually plowed to Duck Lake, approx. 1.75 miles below the pass.
Status Updates 
Posted By: angry
Info: Plowed to the campground.
Posted By: daway8
Info: Road was almost totally dry up to the winter closure then hard packed snow to just before Guanella pass where the road and both lots were totally dry. Note there has been some avy activity at the first switchback up from the winter closure. Good time to start using that bypass option to cut past that known slide zone.
Posted By: Midwestlungs
Info: Road up Guanella Pass to closure is plowed and about 1.8 miles from actual Bierstadt Trail. Lots of wet areas from snow melt. Careful going up or down late night/early morning when there has to be some freezing on the road
Posted By: kalestew
Info: No snow on the road whatsoever, but it is closed at the Duck Creek CG (*not* Duck Lake) 4 miles from the TH, coming from 285/Grant.

As a hiker attempting Bierstadt, your best bet is to take the pass south from Georgetown instead. From the closure on that end it’s only a 3 mile addition to the round trip, instead of 8.
Posted By: HikesInGeologicTime
Info: Closed for winter.
Posted By: RossJ
Info: Bierstadt trailhead is closed at the road 9 miles from Georgetown. FS personnel are stationed at the gate to prevent access

See Forest Service notice for reason
Posted By: Kirk Mallory

"Guanella Pass Information- Fire Ban
Effective October 23, 2020, all public lands along the Guanella Pass Road corridor are closed due to extreme fire danger. The summit of Guanella Pass has been closed early and is gated at Naylor Lake Road intersection. The road is also gated on the Park County (via Hwy 285) side of the pass six miles down from the summit.

For information on the current fire ban, please see the "Emergency Alert" on the county’s homepage at
Until weather conditions change, the public lands will remain closed for the protection of the areas and nearby residents.
Questions? "
Posted By: NativeTransplant
Info: 100% dry and free of snow/ice.
Posted By: Gweilo climber
Info: Arrived at 6.45 and lower lot was already full and several cars on the road. Upper Lot only had 5 vehicles/
32 degrees and sunny, although hazy from the California wildfires. Conditions dry and low wind. Perfect day
Posted By: BROWNIE1037
Info: Got to the trailhead around 6.45 AM. Lower parking lot was half full. Definitely a different site from about 2 months ago. Guessing the colder weather and school starting again, has lowered the crowds heading out to this very popular 14er.
Posted By: bn_shyam
Info: Arrived just before 7AM, the lower lot was full and 30-40 cars parked on either side of the road. Upper lot had few cars but wasn’t full, no lines to the restromms. Departed at around 10AM, by then the upper lot was full as well as the road to the TH. There were cars parked on road till about .5 miles to the TH.
Posted By: geneseejen
Info: Parked at the upper lot at Bierstadt today. Noticed a Clear Creek County deputy sheriff writing parking tickets for cars parked along the road this afternoon. Appeared to me might be wrong so you might want to check it out for sure that only the cars with wheels on the pavement were cited; those completely on the dirt shoulder did not appear to be ticketed.
Posted By: cdgibbons
Info: Arrived at 5:10 on Saturday; lot full and 50+ cars on the road. Parked in the upper lot with three other cars and no line for the restroom.
Posted By: eudyke
Info: Parking lot was full at 5:00am with cars already parking on the road. Bathrooms still closed and port-o-potties pretty dirty. I think some folks are camping out of their cars overnight at the lot. I saw a couple of Coleman stoves tucked under rear bumpers. That would explain why the lot is so full so early.
Trailhead and road to lot were excellent!
Posted By: vmunson
Info: got to the trailhead at 5:30am on a Sunday morning and there was already about 20 cars overflowing parking onto the street. the bathrooms are closed but there is 4 portopottys, they are disgusting and out of toilet paper.
Posted By: pbabeu
Info: Road from Georgetown to Guanella Pass and Mount Bierdstadt Trailhead is in excellent paved condition with no obstructions. Parking at trailhead may fill-up if not arriving early.
Posted By: david_david2222
Info: Guanella Pass open and clear as of 6/7/20. Bierstadt was very crowded, square top mtn trailhead parking lot was not badly packed. Arrived around 9 am.
Posted By: TwamCAT9
Info: Trailhead is in excellent condition. A little bit of a snow berm is all that’s left, and that seemed fairly soft!
Posted By: angry
Info: Road is open. Campgrounds still closed.
Posted By: usfgal
Info: As of this morning at 4:30, you could drive all the way up.
Posted By: SmoothTurns
Info: Coming from I-70, the road is still closed at the gate 1.8mi/800 vertical ft. below the summer trailhead.
Posted By: Kjolkowski
Info: Guanella Pass is closed 1.8 miles before the TH for Mt. Bierstadt. It is a 1.8 mile walk along a paved, windy road, constant incline. Was not and East way to start/finish the hike.
Posted By: hogantheepic
Info: Plowed to 1.8 miles from the summer trailhead. Side note: there was a cop sitting up there today giving out warnings and presumably recording license plates for everyone up there because apparently all the county roads in Clear Creek County are closed to all non-residents, so if you go up there more than once you might get in trouble, but the first time is just a warning
Posted By: tcrobbins4
Info: Road closed from the south at mile 7-8. Just wanted to drive over but not today.
Posted By: CaptCO
Info: Got bored and ended up in Georgetown today. Hiked to summer TH with my dog in adidas tennis shoes. After the summer TH it looked like micros are all that would be needed, with real boots of course. Gorgeous day just to get out

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