Squaretop Mountain Route Guide
Mt. Bierstadt, Grays & Torreys Peak, Mt. Evans… all of these front range 14ers are crowded in the summer. This year I saw hundreds on Bierstadt on July 4th. Few people realize that Squaretop Mountain, located right between these popular peaks, see few groups climb its summit, despite being a high 13er at 13,794 feet. The last section is a hike without a clear trail, a somewhat rare experience in the area near Denver. Plan your climb up this fun peak with this Squaretop Mountain Route Guide.
New to 13ers? Check Out my Beginners Guide Here to Get Started!
Squaretop Mountain Route Guide Fast Facts
Squaretop Mountain Route Guide - Southeast Ridge
From the Guanella Pass trailhead, leave the upper trailhead on the west side of the road. Don’t follow the crowds headed towards Mt. Bierstadt to the east. Cross a series of bridges and continue on a clear path along and up the slope above you.
As you climb you will come to a sign pointing towards Squaretop Lake Top. It’s not obvious, but you should take a left fork here – don’t go straight, although the lakes are gorgeous and worth a side stop if you have the time.
Continue along the trail, which may get hard to see at times, with signs and cairns guiding your forward. Eventually you’ll come across a trail directing you to the right to climb Squaretop Mountain.
From this point on there isn’t an obvious trail. Move across the tundra, and try to walk on rocks wherever possible. If you’re in a group, spread out so you don’t trample the same spots. Follow the ridge up to the summit. There may be some simple scrambling at the very top.
You’ve made it to the summit – enjoy your accomplishment! Enjoy the views of Grays & Torreys Peak to the west, and Mt. Bierstadt and Evans to the east. Head back with time to ensure you’re back at tree line by 1pm to avoid afternoon thunderstorms. I hope you found my Squaretop Mountain Route Guide.
Alex Derr, Creator of The Next Summit
Alex is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.