With home base in Denver, Colorado, we have an abundance of outdoor venues that are easily accessible within 1-2 hours of driving. As you most likely are, we are the types that can't sit still for too long. After working on design for some of the best new climbing shoes, the team decided to take a trip to the mountains outside of Georgetown, CO. After reading that you can drive to 11,000' on fully paved roads and be surrounded by Mt. Bierstadt, Mt. Evans, and "the Sawtooth", Guanella Pass seemed to be a perfect day trip.
After the long traffic on I-70 and tight mountain road switchbacks, we reached the summit to be greeted by intense storm coverage. It was a bit of a bummer but in these situations you have to play it safe, as there was recent news of many injuries due to lightning in this very area. We quickly made a descent back down to around 9,000' with clear skies.
This area is especially great because you are open to explore any area you like - just park by the road and you are likely to find your own path in to the wilderness to explore mountain streams or intense uphill scramble hikes. There are a few open areas that are available for camping, but make sure you are prepared for the mosquitoes near the streams.
It's a very inspiring place with low traffic and for being only about an hour away from Denver, a great place to unwind at a higher altitude. For those looking for a bit more adventure and altitude, try out the Mt. Bierstadt & Mt. Evans hike via the Sawtooth.
Have you been outside recently? Next time you have a morning or day to take a quick hike, go for it! If you've been to Guanella Pass before, we'd love to hear your stories and tips for areas to visit.