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 Fast Facts

Squaretop Mountain Standard Route Guide

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.

Squaretop Mountain Route Guide

Hiking & climbing 13ers or 14ers is an inherently high-risk activity – do so at your own risk, and use the following best practices to help keep yourself safe.

  1. Research your route and bring a compass & topographic map.
  2. Check the weather forecast and stay home during inclement weather.
  3. Bring the Ten Essentials and the knowledge/skill to use them.
  4. Leave your plans with someone back home along with a detailed itinerary.
  5. Start early, and end early: Be back at tree line by noon to avoid lightning.
  6. Bring a buddy on your first ascent, preferably someone experienced.

NEW TO 13ERS? CHECK OUT MY BEGINNERS GUIDE FOR A SAFE FIRST SUMMIT!

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