West Slope

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 39.60000°N / 105.66°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hike/Scramble
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Class II
Sign the Climber's Log


 West Slope Route: This is...Route map from the pass.

Access to the route starts from the Guenella Pass trailhead. Most people at this TH are attempting Mt. Bierstadt, a few are attempting the less crowded 13ers in the area.

Route Description

The first mile of the climb follows the trail everyone is taking up Mt. Bierstadt. After you cross the Scott Gomer Creek, which is the only stream you cross in the willow filled valley, there will be a fork in the trail. The left fork is the one you want. If you miss the trail you can turn left anywhere after the creek and before heading up Bierstadt and still have be on trail as there are numerous paths through the willows and peat bogs that all head upstream.

Higher end of  West Slope  as...Looking back on route.
As the willows are only 3-4 feet tall you can't get lost as you continue to head N/NE. Try to keep to slight shoulder between the bogs and the lower flank of Bierstadt. As you enter the valley at the base of Sawtooth the creek forks. Go past the fork and then cross the stream before a series of beaver ponds. The trail continues due north up the valley between Spalding on the right and Gray Wolf Mountian on the left. Stay to the east (right) of the stream and scramble up some minor rock outcrops and through willows into an upper valley. Once in the upper valley you can pick your way east up the slope to the summit of Mt. Spalding.

This route is class II as there is little established trail. Most often you will see several paths to choose from until you get to above treeline. At times small cairns exist but do not count on them and pay attention to your surroundings as they didn't seem to mark a consistant trail.

The return trip follows the same general directions in reverse. Most likely you will wander a different path unless you are following GPS waypoints.

Essential Gear

Normal hiking gear is needed. Make sure to take your basic essentials and to keep an eye on the weather. Summer storms can build very quickly and as this route is mostly above treeline you are the tallest point.

 West Slope Route Page: This...Local wildlife...



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.