I’ve had this hike on my to-do list for years! The main worry was about it being too hot with very little shade. Finally I convinced some friends that this would be a great hike!
Length: My GPS said 7, book says 6.3
Difficulty: Heck it’s hard! All up, you start at 10k feet and are climbing steadily till 13,900 feet.
Time: we did it in under 3 hours!! There were storms threatening on the way up, and then lightening on the way down, so we were cruising in both directions!
Rating: Tough, but a really pretty hike. Lots to see, cooler than Denver, so even a 90 degree day in Denver is only 60-70 up there! Bring layers, you will get hot, then cold, then hot, then cold!
To start the hike, park in the Berthed Pass Parking lot – use the rest room at the far end, start the hike on the other end by the service gate. There will be no marker. But you will see signs for the continental divide trail. You will cruise up some windy switchbacks, on a wide service road. Eventually you will come to a sign!
Keep on climbing and climbing and climbing. There will be some amazing views to left/west, and down to route 40, to right/east and the mountain ranges around you! Just keep on trucking up…
When we finally go to the top, it was kinda hard to tell you were there. First because we ended up “in” the clouds
Second was because it’s a pretty flat summit. There will be a circular rock thingy on your left, but you will probably only notice the pile of rocks ahead to your right, but just turn around and it will be more obvious Inside that round area is the bottle with the signature paper for the summit list! Woot!
Definitely not a hike for the feint of heart, but enjoyable, doable and beautiful!