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Square Top Mountain

Difficult

Trail

1.8 mile 2.9 kilometer point to point
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,748' 533 m
Descent: -1' 0 m
High: 13,787' 4,202 m
Low: 12,040' 3,670 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 18% (10°)
Max Grade: 75% (37°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Trail shared by Seth Dayvan

Another nice way to enjoy the Bierstadt / Guanella Pass area, not far from Denver

Seth Dayvan

Features Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Need to Know

Vault toilet at the trailhead.

Description

NOTE: this description covers the entire hike, from the Guanella Pass Trailhead. However, the GPS route and distance stats reflect just the portion from the South Park Trail turnoff to the Square Top summit. The entire route, trailhead to summit and back, is about 7.2 miles and 2500' of elevation. The site doesn't allow hikes that use multiple trails, unless they're tagged as Featured Hikes, and this hike, though nice, shouldn't be considered featured.

This trail starts from the top of Guanella Pass, but not at the main Bierstadt trailhead. The correct trailhead is on the other (west) side of the road - I believe the parking lot is labeled as "Summit Overlook."

To access this trail, set out from the vault toilet to the southwest along the trail. The first couple miles on South Park Trail are undulating, easy to follow, and not too steep. You'll cross a few creeks and potentially muddy spots along the way as you meander through willows and wildflowers.

The first fork in the trail has an option for an interpretive hike. Don't take this fork. Turn right for Square Top Mountain / Lakes. The next intersection continues straight for Square Top Lakes and has an unlabeled path to the left. Take the left path; this leads to the summit. Shortly after this, you'll see a sign pointing to the Square Top summit or South Park Trail. Turn right here.

At this point, the trail gets fainter but steeper. Welcome to the world of 13ers. Hike up, following the trail as well as you can until you get to the top. :) There are a couple of false summits, and the summit itself is quite long. The high point is at the far (west) end. It offers great views of Mt. Silverheels, the Decalibron, Quandary Peak, and even Mount of the Holy Cross. Plus of course, Grays & Torreys and our good friend Bierstadt.

This is a nice trail with all the hits - wildflowers, lovable rodents, and beautiful views.

Flora & Fauna

Standard alpine fare - willows, wildflowers, and pika, with marmots, ptarmigans, and mountain goats possible.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible

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Check-Ins

Aug 23, 2019
Cody Werner
NOTE: From the parking lot it's ~7miles there & back. Tough & rewarding, I would recommend it for those looking for a challenge near Denver. — 3h 30m
Aug 3, 2019
Michele Stamm
1.8mi — 2h 10m
Jul 24, 2019
Seth Dayvan
beautiful summer day. trail muddy and wet in spots, but nothing difficult. 7.2mi — 4h 20m

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#8364

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#770

in Colorado

#8,364

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32 Views Last Month
603 Since Jul 24, 2019
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Photos

Snow lingers on the summit above Lower Square Top Lake in early summer 2017.
Jun 13, 2017 near Georgetown, CO
Square Top Lake.
Apr 25, 2016 near Georgetown, CO
This is where you leave South Park Trail and take a right to climb the ridge to Square Top's summit.
Jul 25, 2019 near Georgetown, CO

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