Bear Peak Canyon Loop Trail is a 8.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Boulder, CO that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until November.
Along a lonely canyon to a ridge leading to a peak This hike starts at the NCAR parking lot. Head west to the Mesa trail then south. At the Bear Peak canyon trail junction head west. This canyon takes you to the bear peak west ridge trail leading to the peak. After a break, head north down fern canyon trail until it curves and reaches the mesa trail, then continue back to the start of your venture.
We approached from Bear Canyon and descended via Fern Canyon. I would consider approaching and returning via Bear Canyon to make the hike longer, more scenic, and more moderate. Beautiful views on the back side, the stream parallels the trail much of the way and the dirt path opens onto meadows of wildflowers and the burn from 4 years back creates visual interest. Whereas the ascent/descent via Fern Canyon is steep and more technical for some.
Great 365 view once on the top of the peak. We went up Fern canyon and came down via Bear canyon. Easier descent in my opinion. About 10 miles loop from NCAR parking lot.
We hiked this yesterday with our 2 dogs. Took Mesa trail to Bear Canyon up to the peak. It was a nice hike on the way up, but we took the fern canyon trail on the way down which made for a steep descent. The trail was relatively crowded (not surprising being that it's so close to Boulder), and there weren't many wildflowers because it was hot and bone dry. Overall a good workout with nice views from the summit, but not a hike I'd repeat. (Warning - the trails aren't marked well at the peak and we started coming down to shadow canyon before turning around)
This trail was great! Lightly trafficked so it made it nice! I did the whole loop and it was great! Climb to bear peak was a little steep but worth it! Also the way I hiked the loop I descended via fern canyon... Gorgeous but steep decent!
Went shadow canyon up to bear peak instead of south Boulder peak, and then came back via fern canyon and Mesa trail. Overall a solid 7.5+ mile loop with some steep parts. Great views from the top though.
This trail is no joke. I am a southerner and it was truly amazing. We don't get these kinds of views in GA. So a few pointers. Take plenty of water! It was hot and I ran out with a mile left to go. Plan to take breaks if you are out of shape. I am a moderate hiker. Can do distance but the elevation change was new to me along with altitude. So as for the scenery you get a little bit of everything.
Awesome trail with scenic view..
Bear peak always great workout, gnats at top are getting old. Canyon loop adds an hour or so versus out and back of fern canyon but great addition on a nice day
Beautiful views and abundant flowers on June 2. A very steep climb up Fern Canyon, but worth it!
We loved this trail! We went up fern canyon, which was strenuous but rewarding, and had beautiful views. Bear peak was spectacular, but we were swarmed with gnats. Pay attention to signs, since we didn't and had to backtrack a little to get where we wanted to go. Took bear peak west ridge to bear canyon, then back to Mesa trail to NCAR. Bear canyon was gorgeous and had lots of wild flowers. Pick a day with good weather, as this route took us all day and we were lucky to not get stuck in afternoon thunderstorms. Also bring LOTS of water. The hike up fern canyon is challenging, and a recent wildfire on bear peak west ridge means there is little shade in that section.
Great trail with lots of views. Very busy towards the end (10am) with people. Lots of dog owners aren't following the leash law that is plastered all over the place as well. Overall it was a great hike! I'll be back.
Awesome views. There were a lot of gnats at the peak but other than that , I loved it.
This was an incredible trail!!! I hiked with my love and my puppy, and although it took us over 6 hours, it was 100% worth it. The last half was really strenuous and our Florida muscles and lungs didn't appreciate it, but it was wonderful and fulfilling. The view at the top... Breathtaking.
One of my favorite hikes! The hike up is hard but the view at the top of bear's peak is amazing, and if you're not tired from that head over to South Boulder peak as well before heading down.
One of my favorite hikes in town! Although, I tend to go up Fern Canyon (steeper) and down Bear Canyon. While you're at the top, take a quick walk over to South Boulder Peak!