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Guanella Pass from Mount Bierstadt
|Elevation||3,557 m (11,670 ft)|
|Traversed by||Guanella Pass Scenic Byway|
|Location||Clear Creek County, Colorado, U.S.|
|Topo map||USGS Mount Evans|
The pass is located in southwestern Clear Creek County, in the Front Range west of Denver and south of Georgetown. The pass was named for Byron Guanella in 1953. Guanella was a road supervisor and commissioner in Clear Creek County for nearly 50 years.
The pass provides a route between Georgetown in the valley of Clear Creek to the north and Grant in the valley of Geneva Creek, a tributary of the North Fork South Platte River, to the south. The pass is traversed by the Guanella Pass Scenic Byway. The road normally provided a link between Interstate 70 to the north and U.S. Highway 285 to the south, but after Aug. 21, 2009 an unstable hillside closed the road to through access just below the Cabin Creek Campground This closure has since been cleared and the pass is fully available to traffic. As of 09/03/2011 the Georgetown access to the pass is open through the pass and the road, drainage, slide security and accident prevention measures are completed.
The entire route is suitable for passenger cars. You can expect heavy washboard sections along the route that is currently not paved (e.g. the southern end of the road as it exits to 285). The road is no longer maintained in the winter and expect closure after the first heavy snow in the winter. There is a parking area at the closure gate on the Georgetown side of the pass to allow access to the pass by foot or snowmobile during the winter.
At the summit of the pass, hiking trails lead east to Mount Bierstadt (el. 14,060 ft./4285 m.) among other places.
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