Watch the Sunrise at Guanella Pass

Details

Distance

1 miles

Elevation Gain

100 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Matthew Eaton

Guanella Pass is an easily accessible pass that crests at 11,670’ in Colorado’s Front Range and the views are not to be missed. There is ample parking at the high point and many trails lead from this point which make for countless opportunities to photograph the sunrise or sunset (astro is great here too!).

From Denver, take i70 to Georgetown and simply follow the signs through town to the top. This pass can also be accessed from the south via US Highway 285 at the town of Grant. Guanella Pass is closed in the winter, typically from about the last week in November through the last week of May. Watching the sunrise in winter is still possible from Guanella pass, but will require a ¾ mile hike from the north side.

With a bit of hiking, the compositions from Guanella Pass are endless, but my personal favorite is of the scenic Sawtooth Ridge along the north side of Mt. Bierstadt. Its jagged outline makes for beautiful photos with the sun rising behind it. You cannot miss the Sawtooth from anywhere in this great alpine tundra. Explore and enjoy!

Note that the alpine tundra is a very delicate environment so travel within these areas is not to be taken lightly. Please be sure to research ways to care for this special terrain, and its extremely variable weather.

There are several campgrounds along Guanella Pass Road and countless spots along the road for car camping. Also be aware that in the summer, crowds will be heavy as Mt. Bierstadt is an extremely popular 14er, and the trailhead leaves from here as well.

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Know for

Camping
Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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Reviews

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Explorer

Explorer

11 months ago

Epic Sunrise

Guanella Pass truly offers a spectacular sunrise. I would recommend camping in the dispersed camping along the road and set your alarm early to drive to the top of the pass before sunrise. Another excellent way to watch the sunrise is to start hiking Bierstadt with a headlamp before the sun comes up.

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5.0/5

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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