A GREAT trail, however, I would give it a slightly higher rating than moderate. It is steep at the beginning but there are also other REALLY steep, consistent bouts. I feel I'm in good shape, have been here in the mountains for a month and still found it pretty challenging.
One of my favorite hikes in the area! Would definitely recommend it. There are steep drop offs so dogs are probably not the best idea, but if they are well behaved don't worry. If you can, do it early so you can see the sunrise in Ridgeway. Invade it to Grizzly in about an hour.
Hiked to Grizzly Bear mine August 2015 and quiet enjoyed it! The reviews had me curious to see how steep and narrow this trail was, but it wasn't too terrible. If you're afraid of heights, get vertigo easily, or in not great shape, this is NOT the trail for you. The beginning is killer - the shale can be slippery and it's steep - but the views are gorgeous and it levels out for a while after about a mile. We made it up to Grizzly Bear in about 2 hours with a few stops for water and a snack, back down to the parking lot in another hour for a 3 hour adventure.
This trail is filled with great views. The beginning of the trail is the most difficult with a lot of switchbacks, but it gets better after so stick with it. Views of the mountains outside Ouray are amazing, and lots of views of a wonderful river and waterfall as well. Lots of steep cliffsides to be careful with but also to enjoy the view.
Nathan M. on Bear Creek Trail
We took this trail about 2.4 miles to the Grizzly Bear Mine to take a look at the remaining ruins. There are some good views of the surrounding hills and river valley below. We ran into some fresh pools of water along the ways for the dogs to get a drink but found no gold or silver :).
Unfortunately the weather was cool and rainy when I tried this trail. When the rain got heavier I had to turn back because it was creating waterfalls blocking the paths, so no good for a rainy day. Also what I could see was beautiful but a lot was blocked by clouds. Going in is steep uphill. I thought this was a beautiful trail, must come back to visit and do the whole thing in better weather
David W. on Bear Creek Trail
A great, very strenuous trail. I made it about 3.2 miles up. Hope to make it back to go even further.
This trail is out of a story book, it's amazing and spectacular. I've hiked it a dozen times and even found ghost in the mining camps along the way. Several times I hooked up with Horse thief trail and looped back through Ouray, which is the way to go if you're back packing, the whole trip is 2-3 days.