Mount Bierstadt

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Mount Bierstadt
Reflections of Mt Bierstadt (right) and The Sawtooth (left)
Elevation 14,065 ft (4,287 m)[1][2]
Prominence 720 ft (220 m)[3]
Isolation 1.12 mi (1.80 km)[3]
Listing Colorado Fourteener
Mount Bierstadt is located in Colorado
Mount Bierstadt
Mount Bierstadt
Location Clear Creek County, Colorado, U.S.
Range Front Range
Coordinates 39°34′57″N 105°40′08″W / 39.58250°N 105.66889°W / 39.58250; -105.66889Coordinates: 39°34′57″N 105°40′08″W / 39.58250°N 105.66889°W / 39.58250; -105.66889[1]
Topo map USGS Mount Evans
First ascent 1863 by Albert Bierstadt[citation needed]
Easiest route 3 mile hike

Mount Bierstadt is a mountain in the Front Range region of the Rocky Mountains, in Clear Creek County, Colorado. It is one of 53 fourteeners (mountains with peaks over 14,000 feet (4,300 m) in elevation) in Colorado. It is located approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west-southwest of Mount Evans. The nearest major city is Denver. It was named for Albert Bierstadt, a popular painter of Colorado's Rockies of the 19th century.

Because it is generally considered an easy climb, along with its accessibility from nearby Denver, Mount Bierstadt is one of the most popular mountains to climb in Colorado. As with most peaks in Colorado, July and August make the best months for climbing Mount Bierstadt.

The most popular base from which to begin ascent of Mount Bierstadt is Guanella Pass, located to the west. From Guanella Pass it is approximately a 3 miles (4.8 km) hike, with a climb of 2,391 feet (729 m). The trail passes descends slightly into the fairly level marshlands surrounding Scott Gomer Creek before reaching Bierstadt's western slopes. On the rocky upper regions of the mountain the route of the trail is marked by a series of cairns. The trail levels about 200 feet (61 m) below the summit at saddle point before beginning the final ascent. Alternative trails cover the eastern slopes for longer hikes.

Once at the summit, a popular option is to continue the hike to nearby Mount Evans along a ridge known as The Sawtooth, an intermediate-level hike. Often such a trip will involve a detour down to Abyss Lake 12,650 feet (3,860 m) elevation), which occupies the bottom of the valley separating Bierstadt and Evans.

Albert Bierstadt's painting, A Storm in the Rocky Mountains, Mt. Rosalie, is based on sketches he made during his 1863 visit to the area. That painting shows either Mount Spalding or Mount Evans (it is ambiguous) from the Chicago Lakes, 3 miles (4.8 km) north-northwest, but Bierstadt and his guide William Byers climbed onward to the summit of either Evans or Spalding (the account is ambiguous).[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Mount Bierstadt, Colorado". NGS Station Datasheet. United States National Geodetic Survey. Retrieved September 25, 2014. 
  2. ^ The elevation of Mount Bierstadt includes an adjustment of +1.79 m (+5.82 ft) from NGVD 29 to NAVD 88.
  3. ^ a b "Mount Bierstadt, Colorado". Summits of the World. Retrieved September 25, 2014. 
  4. ^ William Newton Byers, Bierstadt's Visit to Colorado -- Sketching for the famous painting "Storm in the Rocky Mountains", Magazine of Western History, Vol. XI, No. 3, Jan. 1890; page 237.

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