Black Bear Trail to Ralston Roost is a 4.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Golden, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from May until November.
Nice challenge. I was 8mo pregnant and handled this just fine. There's some rock scrambling.
I really enjoyed this hike. It was rated "most difficult" but aside from a decent incline and some (beginner) scrambling, this hike wasn't rough at all! Some areas were a little confusing to figure out which trail to take to get back to the parking area, but I'm typing this which means WE MADE IT! Others complain about seeing "the road" but you can't hear anything and the views MORE than make-up for a strip of pavement. I recommend this hike - maybe not for the elderly or small children though.
I love this little hike. It's my go to hike for busy Saturday mornings, friends visiting from out of town, or when I just want a decent workout without driving more than an hour to a trailhead. Turn this trail into a loop by connecting with Horseshoe. This loop has some good uphill, a nice view of the Continental Divide, marmots, shade and some fun boulders and rocks to maneuver at the top (you don't need an special gear just your hands and feet). Golden Gate Canyon State Park requires a pass for parking and the nearby welcome center has restrooms, rangers to answer your question, an education center and gifts. This hike is dog friendly!
Nice trail, a little rocky but not too difficult. Awesome views from top. Nice quick hike.
don't come. no trail, no trail head
We made this into a 4.5mi loop hike by going up Black Bear and crossing over to Horseshoe for the way down (see uploaded track). On a weekday morning in July we were the only car at the Black Bear TH parking lot and we were the only ones on that trail. We did see other people on the way down on Horseshoe. So, this is definitely a quiet trail with lots of challenging rock scrambles and a good vertical climb with some steep parts. The way down on Horseshoe is just a gradual downhill hike. Good views from the top of Black Bear as you pass through Aspen groves and pine trees.
Excellent views along the trail with plenty of boulder sections to explore.
Decided to take this trail back from the horseshoe loop/frazer meadow point so see something different on the way back. Woo lawdy. Did not anticipate it being a constant incline, incredibly rocky/bouldery, and fairly monotonous in ecosystem.
Mostly rocks and pine trees. Which is nice. To a point. We were tired as it was the first day back of the hiking season ready to just get to the car already.
That said, there are many lookout points and you hike along some ridges.
Feels to me like it's a better hike for a 'power hiker' (you know, those looking for the most intense calorie burn) than an 'exploring hiker' where you just want to see new things all the time and take in the scenery (more my speed).
We were definitely the only ones on the trail the whole time, so it's not a popular trail. Good for those of us who like solitude.
Also it's easy at points to lose the markings/trail. But the loss is usually rectified with a marker right around the next bend.
We did this as part of a loop with Mule Deer and Horseshoe trails. Rocky climb to a ridge with almost 360 degrees view, including back range. Very pretty in June with wildflowers and butterflies.
A little hard to find the path at times but great view on top of the rocks at the top.