Mount Bierstadt is one of the legendary fourteeners located near Clear Creek County in Colorado. Fourteeners are mountains that reach at least 14,000 feet and offer some of the best views in the world! These hikes are not for the faint of heart though; with sharp rocks, temperatures below freezing and less oxygen, you might be asking: "Why would anyone risk their life to climb these?!" And I kind of agree with you. The total hike took over 6 hours and 4 of those were spent climbing straight up. But I promise you that it was completely worth it!
The good news is that you don't have to even leave the couch to climb this mountain! My name is Jeremy and I'll be your tour guide for this virtual climb to the top of your first fourteener!
You should always check the weather around the mountain any time you are planning for a hike. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a thunderstorm while exposed on a mountain. And lucky for us, the weather for this day showed clear skies and nice crisp 19 degrees at the summit not including windchill. But you're not scared. You packed a pair of nice warm Manzella... just kidding. No gloves for this trip.
We started the hike right at the crack of dawn and officially set off to the peak at around 7:00am. (After an hour drive to the middle of nowhere.) At the bottom of the mountain sits a lake fed from melting snow. The water is just above freezing temperature but is an oasis for the wildlife that call the mountains home. Somehow someway there are even fish in here!
This is only the first stop on our trip! We take a quick break to breathe and fuel up for what is about to be 3 hours of climbing. But do not worry. It will all be worth it! About an hour in we stop and look back at where we parked the car. Its is nothing but a tiny speck in the distance and we start to take in the awesome views of the mountain range.
It is very important to take breaks while on this hike. Altitude Sickness can cause serious health problems and even death. Make sure you have water, are able to catch your breath and never hike alone! After a few minutes taking in the view we continue zig-zagging up the dirt path with the occasional slip on lose rocks. (If you look closely you can see the lake we stopped at over and hour ago!)
After another hour we take a quick break. Only another hour to go until the peak! The car is so far away that you don't even know where you parked! And look at the lake now!
We have a quick snack and decide we're ready. Just one more hour and we're there! Morale is high we push on!
And then in the blink of an eye we're there. The peak.
14,065 feet later! Its an amazing feeling to be here. Time seems to slow down as you take it all in. Four hours of work for views and memories of a lifetime! Standing atop this mountain gives you a sense of accomplishment and you begin to forget about everything going on for a few moments.
We'll skip the two hour hike back down to the car and then the hour drive back to the house. The hike back down was incredible since you are looking out over the mountain range that was to your back on the way up. If you ever get the chance to hike this mountain, you should say yes. It is completely worth the effort. And if your feet are a little sore after don't worry we have tons of slippers perfect for you!
I hope you enjoyed this virtual hike to the top of Mount Bierstadt! And you didn't even have to leave your house to see these views!