At 14,065 Ft Mt. Bierstadt is located in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado, close to Georgetown's Guanella Pass.
Considered to be easier of the 54 14ers in Colorado, Mt Bierstadt is a local favorite, not only with day hikers but also with trail runners.
Flora and Fauna that exists on the Rocky Mountains is natures best
Driving in from Denver early took about an hour or so to the trail head, ample parking along the road. This being a popular hike, many had started off early with their headlamps. The sunrise was just about visible as we reached the trail head. The trail seemed to be well defined, and started off as an easy class 1 terrain with almost no elevation. There was a beautiful footbridge and a small creek under it, these willows would make for a good break point on our way down, for tired feet. Wildflowers in all their glory surrounded us. This is a 14er so expect the terrain to change. And so it did! In about a mile we approached the steeper sections, this is what it would be for the rest of the ascent. Given the trail was busy, some hikers were running off trail, which the tribe thought would hurt the flora of the region.
About 2 miles in the trail turns south. We had to slow down and take deep breaths to ensure exhaustion and altitude does not start to hit us. Apart from fellow hikers who would continue to encourage each other, the mountain goats gave us company. You would be mesmerized to see the easy with which the mountain goats were navigating the terrain. But beware, one of the fellow hikers on the trail happen to get close to the goats and was almost knocked off the mountain, they can get aggressive, after all its their homes we are invading into. At this point we realized that the trail will continue to turn rough all the way to the summit ridge. The tribe was determined to keep moving forward, the weather was still chilly, but the sun started to show up and the skies looked absolutely clear. As we approached the ridge through the switchbacks it seemed like the trail had vanished to large heaps of rocks, some of these demanded extra vigilance apart from getting onto all fours for some parts.
Following the cairns along the way was helpful, specially through the heaps of rocks. After a long 4 hrs we made our way to the summit. It was our lucky day, the weather was perfect and that allowed for a little longer stop to enjoy the panoramic views from the summit. Picture time! We met a couple who was celebrating their first anniversary by doing this climb, with a bottle of wine and some cheese! So after all the cheering the tribe headed back down. The way down seemed longer than the way up. The tribe made it back down and celebrated with a nice dinner in downtown Golden.
Learning's from the tribe - Always stay on trails, protect the flora and fauna for the next person after you to enjoy!