Starting our hike to Mt Bierstadt at 6AM. Our destination is the peak on the RIGHT. On the left is Mount Evans. It's 37 degrees with a light breeze as we start.
A little over 14 cars in the parking lot at 6AM. By the time were done this lot will be full as well as a larger lot across the street, plus cars up and down the road.
The parking lot fades away as we head through the brush.
There's a wid marshy area to start that has several boardwalks that cross Gomer Creek.
As you leave the marsh, you start the long trek uphill. Overall, the elevation gain is roughly 2800ft.
The sun starts to rise and reflects off of a patch of snow on an adjacent ridge. Remember this photo as we'll look at this again.
We've reached the top of the first ridge and now you can see the parking lot just behind the lake.
Off to the left is a deep gorge. The peak is straight ahead.
You can still barely see the parking lot in the distance behind the lake. We're probably over half way.
Remeber that patch of snow from earlier, we're now even with it as we ascend.
The further up you go, the more rocky the trail becomes.
Here's a small snowfield right below the peak. The trail gets even rockier from here.
Here's the office Geological Survey Marker at the top of Mt Bierstadt.
There's a registry book inside a tube at the summit that you can sign, verifying your climb.
When we arrive around 9AM, there are about 20-30 people at the top. We passed about 8 coming down on the hike up. By the time we leave around 10AM, there are probably around 75 or more.
The total time to the summit was approximately 2 hrs. 55 minutes.
"Denver" the golden retriever is happy he made the climb to the summit.
From the summit of Bierstadt, you can hike across the "sawtooth" to the top of Mt Evans, another 14er, that you can actually drive to almost the top of.
In fact, Bierstadt and Evans are so close you can easily see the road leading to the top of Mt Evans.
However, the sawtooth connector is not for the faint of heart.
In the middle of this picture, you can see Mt Grays and Mt Torreys. You can hike to one and the go across the saddle to the other. They're in the top 10 of 14ers in CO in terms of height. Bierstadt is #38.
It's time to start our decent. Here you can see pieces of the trail leading back to the car, behind the lake. This photo is "zoomed in".
A look back and you can see more people on the summit.
And these people are still on the climb up.
The crossing at Gomer Creek.
About another 1/2 mile and we'll be back to the parking lot!!