Summary: From the trailhead follow the managed trail through the Willows. Failing to stick with the main path can cost hours of fighting willows. After you reach the bottom of the basin and cross the stream there will be a junction with another trail where you will turn left. The trail will follow the stream you just crossed into the basin below Mt Bierstadt. As you near the basin you will see a prominent gully in the ridge to the north (left) of the basin. This is your way up to the ridge. The trail can become a little hard to find at times, but just work your way into the gully to find it again. At the top of the gully the trail will exit to the right into a relatively flat and open area, and head for the long ridge to Mt Evans summit. When you get to the ridge remember that it is easiest to stay just off the south side of the ridge. Several cairns will mark the way.
Trailhead: Take the Georgetown Exit (228) off of I-70. Turn east onto 15th Street. Turn south (right) onto Taos Street. Taos Street will become Guanella Pass Road at the South end of town. Follow this road all the way to Guanella Pass (approx 10 miles). There will be a large parking area on the left (east) side of the road. Park here. (Lat:39.59507 Lon:-105.71091)
Trail Guides for Mount Evans from Guanella Pass:
by Gerry Roach (Fulcrum Publishing)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Clear Creek Ranger Station 303-567-3000
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Joshua Friesema, who has posted 97 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by SM on 8/30/2014
Just hiked this yesterday with a friend. It was no walk in the park. We got caught in the willows for a while making our way around and lost some time. It is a marsh through that area and it is hard to avoid getting water in the shoes. On through to the gulley and it was a steep grind to get up top. The slope here is good then lots more rocks to manage getting to the top. Back down be careful with your footing. We were both bleeding from slips down the gulley. Took 4 hours to summit/prob 2.5 back down. It was a tough one but only my 2nd 14er so factor that in.
Reviewed by Peter on 9/22/2012
The willow bashing swamp is no joke. I suggest staying high on the hill rather than close to the creek. Line of site navigation is the name of the game for this hike. Just head towards that gully in whatever way you can. There are many critter trails that can help you navigate the willows. I can't imagine this hike taking 5 hours. more like 8. The group i was with was able to make it to the top of the gulley but couldn't go on to the summit (bummer) and one person got altitude sickness. This route is no joke, especially if you have moved from sea level recently like I have. Tons of fun though and lots of areas to gather water on the way. I will start earlier next time (8am)
Reviewed by Kim on 8/4/2010
Evans hike - what hike? You can also reach Evans by road from I-70 east of Georgetown, reducing the hike to a couple hundred steps to the summit. I drove to the summit area of Evans immediately after eye surgery, since I was not up to hiking far and needed a great view of the Front Range. Guanella Pass was closed when I hiked Bierstadt, forcing me to drive 100 miles through Frisco-Breckenridge-Kenosha Pass-Granite. The road from Granite is long, dusty gravel after a few miles of pavement, but is being improved. Low-clearance vehicles are fine. Road construction continues through 2010. Trail improvements eliminated difficulties crossing the willow wetlands by 2010. Easy hike to summit Bierstadt-7.2 miles, 4 hours.
Reviewed by C.S. on 7/23/2009
Scenery is amazing! The river can be tricky 9almost fell twice). Hiking at this high altitude was difficult for me at times (middle aged man that works out regularly). Might want to pack some headache medicine (all three of us got high altitude sickness on the way down). Overall, a great experience. I can't wait to do another "fourteener!"
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