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To you people who labeled this hike “kid friendly”, who are your kids? Rambo and Wolverine? This hike should be labeled hard, not moderate, due to very steep dropoffs throughout the Chavez section and some most definite rock climbing involved that is not appropriate for small children. This is NOT a kid friendly hike in any universe. Beautiful scenery but some nasty surprises as you near the creek. Will gladly do this again solo with my husband. Very much regretted taking my kid!

I took this trail counter-clockwise which I’d never do again. Too much scrambling boulders downhill which was tricky. I suggest to take the beaver brook to Chavez rather than going via the Braille trail. Once down the brook is so pretty and made it worth the extra effort. Next time I’ll take beaver brook to the creek then go back the same way. Boulder scrambling isn’t my thing.

Solid hike! Pretty lengthy. About 6.5 miles of a service road, 5 miles of a secluded, quiet trail, 6.5 miles back on the service road. I stayed on the trail the entire time, and clock a distance of 18.2 miles. Good for an all day hike!

it says moderate, but we thought it was closer to hard. beautiful hike, though, some stunning views of the city when you first start out. from the top you can see Golden to the left, and way in the back you can see downtown Denver, so you really can see it all.
the sun would beat down during the climb up, and then In the forest it cooled down.

This has (or, rather, had) become one of my favorite hikes. However, just within the last month or so, the town of Palmer Laker (presumably driven by a few dog haters) has completely banned dogs from the trail.
It was bad enough last time I did it (about 6 weeks) ago -- they had plastered the trail with DOZENS of signs stating "Dogs must be on leash" -- it was literally visual pollution.
But, apparently that wasn't good enough for the haters, so now dogs are banned. I didn't notice the sign at the trailhead (I've hiked it 5-6 times, why would I read the signs), but saw it after we'd done the hard part and gotten to the first reservoir. This is a foolish and hateful decision by the town.

Nice laid out trail. Not technical but parts that are exposed are warm.

Great trail for the pups. Enough shade and they enjoyed the break in the water about half way in. Clean trail, not crowded on a Friday and perfect hiking weather. We will be back!

hiking
2 days ago

Grew up hiking these hills. Would suggest early morning or evening jaunts to avoid the heat. It can still get very warm here even though you are in the mountains.

I've only hiked this trail once and it is a really cool trail, especially 12 minutes away from my house in the city, but the main drawback for me is all the bikes. It's a very popular MTB trail and I had to pause pretty much every other minute to let a bike go by. A few bikes hurtled toward me and expected me to lunge out of the way. Overall it was hard to settle into the hike itself.

Mostly incline on the way up, but the views are worth it! Beautiful!

It was my first time hiking in Colorado, great place to start. Really fun and enjoyed the beautiful views. Was a bit hard for the first time but I bet if you are used to hiking it would be a pleasant hike.

hiking
4 days ago

The day was hot. We probably should have started sooner and avoided the heat, but overall this was a nice hike. To be fair, I should probably go again on a cooler day to better rate it. Good sized parking lot and vault toilets at trailhead. Some shady spots, water crossings, lots of wild raspberries.

I just moved from Florida so I’m still getting used to the altitude change but not hard otherwise. Beautiful place for picnic at the second lake. Very serene by the water.

Great hiking option if you don't want to drive hours to the mountains. Not to difficult except a brief incline at both ends of the canyon where you climb out of the canyon itself and to the rim. Decent views for being out east towards the plains. Have hiked this trail many times (usually as a pre-hiking season leg stretcher) and will again! Can't go wrong!

Nice trail with a variety of terrain. This trail may be considered hard for those who do not hike frequently... some narrow, rocky areas with over 1000 ft of elevation change. The river was a nice spot to stop for a rest half way through the hike.

A nice workout with a strong hill qt the end. - beautiful - the river was great for my dog too :)

Beautiful hike, mostly uphill going in with a few flat breaks. Reservoirs are lovely. Kids ages 4-7 and grandparents age 60 had a great time.

Wonderful views at the top and several different paths to get there. Right in the middle of a cute little town, too.

My sister-in-law and I hiked this trail late afternoon and it was great! I’m not in great shape, so it was challenging, but the view was well worth it. If you’re wearing “open” hiking shoes, like Keens or Chacos, be prepared to get some sand and dirt in your kicks. Also, since the trail is sandy, be ready for extra umph to get you up, and extra grip to get you down. I would 100% recommend hiking poles if you’re not fit or only slightly fit. Bring lots of water on a hot day!
We took the north loop up and south loop back.
Even in late August the wildflower foliage was very pretty. Not a boat load of blooms, but still good. In the end, the view from the top is gorgeous.
The hike down was super easy, but because of that rocks/sand don’t forget those good grip shoes.
Again, great hike!

Great trail. Scenic, very challenging

Definitely not an easy hike but we did pretty well. The views are incredible and we went right as it was about to rain so at the peak of the trail we were surrounded by clouds and fogs rolling in over the mountains. According to our fitness tracker it was about 3.2 miles up one side of the loop, up the full north path, back out and down the other side of the loop.

A challenge going up, but worth the view at the top.

Went early August, late morning. Plenty of parking in two lots - only saw a few people on the trail. Trails are well marked. I took West Ridge Trail to Bear Creek Trail to Bear Creek Cutoff. Was a lovely mix of forest and meadow - lots of beautiful flowers! Saw a stag, two does, and three fawns, as well as lots of birds and smaller critters. West Ridge Trail starts fairly steep, but evens out after half a mile or so. Bear Creek is shared with bikers, but wide enough it's not a problem. You'll hear air and road traffic, especially on the last portion of West Ridge, as it run parallel with Meyers Gulch Road. Had a lovely hike!

good one with kids

Went on a Thursday morning and the parking lot was empty. The west side (Oxen draw) was a beautiful, shady trail. Narrow at some points, and some getting over rocks that my 4 year old had no problem with. Raven's Roost was a much wider, sunnier path with excellent views. It got very steep at some points. The park definitely felt like a place with a high probability of seeing wildlife, and saw signs of bears. Didn't see the dead horse although the warning sign for it was still up.

Beautiful hike with my dog, but had to go early in the AM to beat the summer heat (by noon it was 95 degrees). A few spots got narrow and with mtn bikers out and about there were a couple times we were forced off the path to make room for them. Nice mixture of rocky scrambles and smooth trail.

Excellent summer hike. I don't know why this is rated as "hard". The trail is clearly marked, there's like one spot where you have to scale (or descend, depending on which way you go) a rock, and it's nothing even remotely dangerous or technical. I did this back in January and it was much more difficult due to ice and snow. Still a nice hike through the forest, saw a decent amount of people, most of whom were worried they lost the trail. Dogs should be just fine on this trail. Do your research before you hike, people!

decent mixed terrain, good if you're just looking for a place to get a workout. we didn't find this trail exceptionally challenging or attractive in the way of views, but had a pleasant stroll here. would have given 4 stars if there wasn't a good section of it by the road or if the views were more significant. enjoyable space down in the ravine though.

I love this hike. The first time I did it I was surprised by how difficult it was, as the last mile is relatively steep uphill, but it’s worth it for the beautiful river, wildflowers and abundant shade. I would not recommend bringing dogs on this hike as there are some rocky areas that are very difficult for them to climb over. If you go on a weekday it’s not very crowded and the trail is well marked. Highly recommend.

Nice little workout in a pretty setting without a ton of traffic. Great little saloon on the way back to Denver, too.

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