Mt. Bierstadt is generally considered one of the easiest 14ers to tackle. I think I’d agree with that assessment — the trailhead is very easy to drive to (paved road all the way!), it’s one of the closest 14ers to Boulder (about 1.5 hours away), and it was surprisingly calm and unexposed the entire way up. Every other 14er I’ve done (Elbert, Grays, Torreys, and Democrat) involved getting blasted with a lot more wind.
That being said, it was still no walk in the park. You could definitely feel right away that the air was thinner, and I started to get a headache pretty early on into the hike. The headache eventually got better, though I was still pretty winded going up, and a wee lightheaded at the top.
It was shockingly mild at the top of Bierstadt and the wind was quite still — we spent about 20 minutes up there, eating, relaxing, and taking pictures. By comparison, we got snowed on at the top of Elbert, and the wind was so bone-chillingly cold on top of Grays and Torreys that I barely stayed for more than 10 minutes before charging onward.
8:35am: Left trailhead
11:00am: Summited Mt. Bierstadt
11:20am: Descended Mt. Bierstadt
1:10pm: Returned to trailhead
Start elevation: 11,669 feet
Maximum elevation: 14,060 feet
Net elevation gain: 2,850 feet