DIRECTIONS: The hike to Geneva Knob starts from the summit and parking area for Guanella Pass. From I-70 take the Georgetown exit, drive through Georgetown following signs to Guanella Pass. After you drive through town take the winding but paved Guanella Pass Rd to the summit and parking area. The Rosalie Trailhead is not well signed but is south of the Bierstadt Trail, look for the large Mt. Evans Wilderness Kiosk just across from the Summit View Turnoff (see 1st picture in the gallery).
Geneva Knob is an unknown gem of a hike. The parking lot will be full yet you won't see another hiker on this trail, or at least far fewer compared to the number of hikers climbing Mt. Bierstadt. The trail rolls up and down (with an option for a stiff but short hill climb) over rock garden terrain with constant views of Mt. Bierstadt and Square Top Mountain to a small knob (rock outcrop) with beautiful 360 degree views.
From the Rosalie Trailhead follow the Rosalie trail to the south. Before long you'll reach the Mt. Evans Wilderness Boundary sign and free permit register. Here you have an option, the Rosalie Trail continues to the southeast while another trail heads south up a slope to hill. Both trails intersect on the other side of the hill. If you want to hike both, I suggest starting with the hill so that you don't have the elevation gain on the return.
The official Rosalie trail however, skirts to the east of the hill and provides more stunning views of Bierstadt and the imposing Sawtooth Ridge connecting it to Mt. Evans. After the skirt the hill you'll come to a flatter open tundra meadow. Continue hiking until you reach the 1.2 mile mark. Here the Rosalie trail continues to the east and old road/double track trail will head due south. Turn off of the Rosalie trail here. As you continue hiking you should see two rock outcrops in the near distance, the one on the left is Geneva Knob.
After a little more hiking you'll come to another faint junction, you can go either way, they both lead to the same spot, but we stayed to the right. Soon you'll come over a hill and spot a seasonal pond. When the pond it is beautiul with Bierstaft mirrored in the water. From the pond you follow the trail for another few minutes to the next faint junction. At this point veer off to the right. The trail will continue up until you are climbing to a gentle saddle between the two rock outcroppings. The trail will fade but continue to the saddle and turn south (left) and head straight for Geneva Knob.
Some easy scrambling gets you to the top of the knob where you can relax and take in the views. You'll be surrounded by mountains with Bierstadt and Square Top taking up most of the horizon. You can also get a great view to the south of South Park and the Collegiate Peaks in the distance.
Return back to the double track (which continues to the south along the ridge leading to Geneva Mountain (2 miles away) and retrace your steps to the Rosalie Trail and the Guanella Pass Summit.
This hike is really worth your while. The entire hike is above treeline but relatively easy. The hike is good for kids to get accustomed to high alpine hiking and with the immediate views you only have to go as far, or near, as you like.
HIKES BY REGION
NATIONAL PARK HIKES
- BENT'S OLD FORT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK
- COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT
- CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
- DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT
- FLORISSANT FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT
- MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
- ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
- GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
- HOVENWEEP NATIONAL MONUMENT
- SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- YUCCA HOUSE NATIONAL MONUMENT
- HIKES BY CATEGORY
- $UPPORT GHC
- INTERACTIVE MAP
Mt. Evans Wilderness, Pike National Forest
Date Hiked: June 24, 2017
Distance: 4 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 780 ft
Elevation Min/Max:11,601 to 12,000 ft
Trailhead Lat/Long: 39º 35' 43" N; 105º 42' 39" W
Managing Agency :U.S Forest Service