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Climbing Mount Guyot

Climbing Mount Guyot

Mount Guyot, located in Colorado’s Pike National Forest, is a true hidden gem for hikers and peak-baggers. Standing tall at 13,370 feet, this Colorado 13er promises an exhilarating climb and rewarding views at the summit. Despite being near Breckenridge, it sees few climbers and you are likely to enjoy the summit to yourself.

This guide provides you with all the necessary information for a successful and safe climb to Mount Guyot’s summit, including a route description, map, and photos. Let’s dig in!





Mt Guyot At a Glance

TAKE CARE & STAY SAFE!

You are responsible for your own safety in the backcountry.

These peaks can be unpredictable and dangerous. Help is often hours or days away: your safety is primarily your responsibility. Prepare for your trek, understand your limits, be aware of the risks, and equip yourself with the necessary skills and gear. 

Climbing Mount Guyot - East Ridge Route

Plan your climb by researching the route description, map, and photos, checking conditions and the weather forecast, and reviewing some safety, Leave No Trace, and gear information.

There are also recommendations for nearby camping and lodging options, National Forest regulations, and some information about the peak’s history, geology, and ecology. Safe travels on the trails! 

Route Description

The route starts from Georgia Pass, a rugged mountain pass near Breckenridge that’s only accessible by 4WD vehicles. If you can’t reach the pass, park along the road and walk the remaining distance.

From Georgia Pass, you can easily see the route ahead to the east along the prominent east ridge of Mount Guyot. The route is a relatively simple straight shot up the ridge. Starting from the Pass, follow a 4WD road through some woods until you ascend above the treeline and leave the road behind you.

There is no trail on the rest of the route. Pick a line along or just right of the ridge, and start scrambling upward. If you climb in June, there may be a cornice along the ridge. If so, give it plenty of space and stick to the rocks to the right.

Near 12,000 ft, the ridge steepens and remains so for the rest of the climb. Continue to a false summit at 13,000 feet where the ridge bends north for the final 300 or so feet. Walk along this last section, being mindful of any snow on your left, until you reach the peak.

From the summit, you can see Breckenridge and Lake Dillon to the north, South Park to the south, the Front Range to the east, and the Mosquito/Ten-Mile range to the west. Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to descend back to the tree line before afternoon thunderstorms become a hazard. Safe travels on the trails!

📍PRO TIP: Camp along Michigan Creek Road the night before your climb to acclimatize, sleep in a little longer, and get a little extra rest!





Route Maps

Route Map

This map shows the east ridge route up Mount Guyot. I recommend saving it on your phone and bringing a backup paper copy.





Elevation Profile

This elevation profile shows the amount of elevation gain and loss as you ascend to and descend from the summit of Mount Guyot.

Route Photos

These photos shows the route from a climb on June 2, 2024 when there was still significant snow along the route. Study them and save them on your phone to reference in the field.

Current Conditions

Check these links for condition information and trip reports for Mount Guyot to inform your climb.

You can also ask about conditions on these forums and facebook groups.





Weather Forecast

Check the National Weather Service for the latest weather forecast. Keep in mind that weather at high elevations can be unpredictable and can change quickly. Always be prepared for a variety of conditions, including rain, snow, wind, and rapid temperature changes.

Georgia Pass Trailhead

The route up Mount Guyot begins at the Georgia Pass Trailhead. Here is some information on access, amenities, and seasons.

ACCESS:

Georgia Pass is a backcountry mountain pass near Mount Guyot. The route is a dirt road with significant rocks that typically requires a high clearance, 4WD vehicle. You can get to within a few miles of the pass with a 2WD car, park along the road, and walk the rest of the way.

SEASONS:

The road to the pass closes every winter and does not completely melt out until mid to late June (or even later in heavy snowpack years). Call the local USFS office for updates in spring.

AMENITIES:

There are no amenities at Georgia Pass. Prepare to be self-reliant, bring enough water and food, and pack out all your garbage.

DIRECTIONS:

Take Colorado Hwy 285 to Jefferson, Colorado in South Park. Turn onto Michigan Creek Road and head north for several miles, where you’ll take a slight right and stay on the road, now County Road 54. Continue until you see a sign to turn left for the Michigan Creek Campground; Turn left and continue past the campground on your left. Drive several more miles, as the road gets more rugged, until you reach the top of the pass.

14er Gear List

Climbing Mount Guyot is a serious endeavor and requires the right gear and equipment. Here is what I bring with me when climbing Colorado 13ers like Mount Guyot.

Essentials:
Optional Gear:
Winter Gear:
Clothing:
Footwear:
Communication:

Where To Stay Nearby

If you want to acclimatize before your climb or just spend some extra time in the mountains, there are lots of great options near the peak. Choose from a variety of nearby camping options, or drive a bit further to hotels and lodges in Fairplay or Breckenridge.

Camping Near Mt Guyot

There are several campgrounds near Mount Guyot, as well as dispersed camping along the road leading to the trailhead. Here’s an overview of the closest options:


There are also more than a dozen dispersed campsites located along Michigan Creek Road on the way to the trailhead that are available free of charge, first-come, first-serve.

Lodging Near Mt Guyot

If you prefer sleeping in a bed over a sleeping bag, check out these hotels, hostels, and other options in Fairplay and Breckenridge, the closest towns with lodging.

There are also a variety of short term rentals on Airbnb and VRBO in the areas for those who prefer their own cabin or apartment.

Leave No Trace

Mount Guyot is pristine, but the presence of Georgia Pass and Michigan Creek Road means it gets more visitors each year. ATVs and other off-road vehicles can cause significant impacts if you are not careful. Here are some tips to ensure you leave no trace and practice good outdoor ethics while climbing Mount Guyot.

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare: Check the weather forecast, pack the right gear, and research the route to ensure you know before you.
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces: Stay on established trails and campsites. Avoid stepping on vegetation and respect wildlife habitats.
  3. Leave What You Find: Don’t pick wildflowers or take home antlers or historical artifacts. Bring a camera to take photographs instead.
  4. Dispose of Waste Properly: Pack out all trash, leftover food, and litter. Treat or filter any waste water before disposing of it.
  5. Minimize Campfire Impact: If you plan on having a campfire, make sure to use designated fire pits or mounds. Keep your fires small, burn only sticks from the ground, and put out the fire completely before leaving.
  6. Respect Wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not feed or approach them. Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors: Respect other guests and protect the quality of their experience. Let nature’s sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.

Learn more about Leave No Trace practices with our LNT Tips here.

Leave No Trace

Safety Tips

Climbing Mount Guyot can be dangerous if you are not properly prepared. Here are some safety tips to help ensure a successful climb. Prioritize your safety with these essential tips:

  • Acclimate to Altitude: Spend a day or two at a lower elevation near Mt Guyot to get your body used to the altitude. Altitude sickness can be a serious concern and can strike regardless of fitness level.

  • Check the Weather: Mountain weather is notoriously unpredictable. Before you set out, check the local weather forecast and be prepared for sudden changes. Start early to avoid afternoon thunderstorms common in the Rockies.

  • Stay Hydrated: At high altitudes, your body dehydrates faster. Carry plenty of water — a minimum of 2 to 3 liters per person — and drink regularly throughout your hike.

  • Research Your Route: Take time to review trip reports, route descriptions, maps, and photos to help you navigate in the field and know if you are on the right track.

  • Dress Appropriately: Layer your clothing to adapt to the variable conditions. Include a moisture-wicking base layer, an insulating layer, and a waterproof and windproof outer layer. Don’t forget a hat and gloves, even in summer.

  • Stay on the Trail: For your safety and the environment’s protection, stick to designated trails. Shortcuts can lead to erosion and habitat destruction and can also put you at risk of getting lost or injured.

  • Know Your Limits: Mt Guyot’s terrain can be challenging, with loose rocks and steep sections. If you’re not an experienced hiker or if you’re feeling unsure, consider hiring a guide or joining a group.

  • Emergency Plan: Have a plan in case of an emergency. Inform someone of your route and expected return time. Carry a whistle, a mirror, and a small first aid kit. A satellite messenger or personal locator beacon (PLB) is advised for remote areas where cell service is not reliable.

  • Bring a Buddy: Never hike alone. Use the buddy system to ensure safety. If one person gets injured or sick, the other can go for help.

  • Share Your Itinerary: Tell someone dependable back home that you are climbing Mt Guyot and share as much of your plans and itinerary as possible. Tell them you when you will check-in with them, and who to call if you fail to do so.

Respecting these safety guidelines will help ensure that your climb up Mt Guyot is memorable for all the right reasons. Stay alert, stay safe, and enjoy the grandeur of the Rockies. 

Learn more by reviewing our complete mountain safety guide.

Permits, Regulations & Guidelines

There are no permits, passes, or reservations required to climb Mt Guyot at this time.

Please follow Leave No Trace practices and recreate responsibly to preserve free and open access to this Colorado thirteener.

National Forest Regulations

Follow these US Forest Service rules and regulations while hiking Mt Guyot and/or camping in the area:

  • Be aware & follow posted regulations on national forest lands.
  • Keep noise levels down to avoid stressing wildlife and livestock, as well as other visitors.
  • Respect private property.
  • Do not carve, chop, cut or damage any live trees.
  • Camping is limited to 14 days within any continuous 30-day period.
  • Developed campgrounds may not be used when posted closed.
  • No camping is allowed within 100 feet of all lakes, streams and developed trails except for designated campsites
  • Be sure your fire is completely extinguished before leaving. You are responsible for keeping fires under control.
  • Keep dogs and pets under voice control at all times.
  • Using or possessing fireworks on national forest land is prohibited.
  • Travel only on designated off-highway vehicle routes. Travel slowly through water or mud. Do not make new tracks outside of the roadbed. Obey road closures and locked gates.
  • Vehicles must obey posted parking regulations. Unless otherwise posted, one may pull off a road to park.
  • Wilderness areas have specific rules and regulations that must be followed in order to protect these areas from our collective impacts

Check the US Forest Service safety page for other general guidelines.

About Mount Guyot

Mount Guyot, a captivating peak nestled within the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America, is an iconic landmark in the U.S state of Colorado. It boasts an elevation of approximately 13,370 feet, making it a dominating feature of the surrounding landscape. The mountain derives its name from Arnold Henry Guyot, a prominent Swiss-American geologist and geographer, who is remembered for his significant contributions to these scientific fields in the 19th century.

This spectacular peak is highly regarded for its distinct geology. The mountain’s rugged terrain, characterized by rocky outcrops and steep inclines, is the result of millions of years of tectonic activity and glacial erosion. It provides a fascinating insight into the geologic history of the Rocky Mountains, making it a point of interest for geologists and earth science enthusiasts.

Mount Guyot is also of ecological importance. Its altitude and geographical location create a unique habitat that supports a diverse array of flora and fauna. Alpine and subalpine ecosystems flourish on its slopes, where one can find a variety of plant species, including hardy grasses, wildflowers, and coniferous forests. Furthermore, the mountain serves as a habitat for several wildlife species, including mule deer, elk, mountain goats, and a variety of bird species. This rich biodiversity makes Mount Guyot an essential ecological stronghold within the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.

The peak’s challenging climb is a testament to its rugged beauty. The journey to the summit is a demanding one, offering a thrilling adventure for hikers and mountaineers. Despite the challenges, the view from the top – a panoramic vista of Colorado’s breathtaking landscape – provides a rewarding end to the ascent.





Photos

Here are some photos and images of Mount Guyot.

Additional Resources

There are many resources available to help you prepare for your climb of Mount Guyot. These include guidebooks, online forums, and local climbing groups. Utilize these resources to learn more about the climb and gather useful tips and advice.





Mt Bierstadt Frequently Asked Questions

For any additional questions about climbing Mount Guyot, feel free to reach out. We’re here to help and want to make sure your climb is as safe and enjoyable as possible. Safe travels on the trails!

A: Climbing Mount Guyot is moderately difficult, requiring a good level of fitness and some experience in hiking and scrambling. There’s no established trail and the route includes steep sections.

A: Yes, there are camping options near Mount Guyot including Michigan Creek Campground, Michigan Creek Road Dispersed Camping, and Jefferson Lake Campground.

A: ‘Mount Guyot’ is pronounced as ‘Mount Gee-oh’.

A: Mount Guyot is named after Arnold Henry Guyot, a Swiss-American geologist and geographer.

A: Mount Guyot, an impressive peak in the Rocky Mountains, reaches a height of approximately 13,370 feet, which is roughly 4,075 meters.

A: Mount Guyot is located in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America, in the U.S state of Colorado.

A: The best time to climb Mount Guyot is during the summer months when the weather is more predictable, typically from June to September. However, always check the local weather and conditions before planning your climb.





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Notice: The material presented in this route guide may not be comprehensive or precise and should not be solely relied upon when planning your climb. Inadequate experience, physical fitness, supplies, or equipment may result in injury or fatality.

The Next Summit and the author(s) of this hiking guide offer no guarantees, neither explicit nor implied, regarding the accuracy or dependability of the information provided.

By utilizing the information herein, you agree to indemnify and absolve The Next Summit and the hiking guide author(s) from any claims and demands against them, including any legal fees and expenses. 

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Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr 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.

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In 2018, I watched in disbelief as dozens of people hiked into a storm on Longs Peak, unaware of the extreme danger. Soon after, I started The Next Summit to educate and empower the public to safely and responsibly explore America's mountains.

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