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Trail was closed today. Hiked this before with my dog and she loved being off leash with the cows. Special dog tag for voice control needed for off leash capability.

One of the best trails around.

it's all true. rough trail, very steep and beautiful views

Yaktracks and layers made this possible and as wonderful as well. Will be back !

This is a great trail to couple with the Squaw mountain. I would suggest doing this one first. This one is still an easy trail, but is slightly more difficult than Squaw. The incline a little more steep. My opinion is this is better because it’s more in the woods and the trail is more fun. The views at the top are stunning as well.
You will be able to identify the parking on the side of the road but the trailhead is easy to miss. It’s on the other side of the road and is a small entry.

As of 11/10/2018 the trail is covered in snow but I didn’t need shoe traction at all and the trail is still being used enough that the path is obvious. A great, short hike with unbelievable views at the top. Download the PeakFinder app for some fun after summiting.

it was raining at the start, so the trail was pretty slick, but a really good hike. as others mentioned, there's a bit of scrambling up some rocks about 3/4 of the way up. great views and definitely worth it.

Nice, steep trail with great Red Rocks views.

hiking
13 days ago

This hike will probably take longer than you think. It is quite steep. Views at the beginning are expansive, the middle section is a tough climb in the trees with few views, and the end section once you gain the ridge has views back towards Boulder and also east to the Indian Peaks. From the Bear Peak summit you can probably pick out your house if you live in Boulder, the view is that unobstructed.

trail running
14 days ago

Fun trail. Good grade for trail running, but there can be crowds. Was lucky enough to catch a rainbow on my run.

trail running
17 days ago

10/29/18 Beautiful trail. There were some icy spots but not too bad. Was able to run most of the trail, but ended up stopping several times to take in the waterfalls.

Bring spikes! Great mini hike with incredible views.

hiking
18 days ago

Wear micro spikes.
2 miles straight up but views so worth it.
Incredible

walking
18 days ago

Easy trail with great 360 views. Requires crampons in fall due to packed ice and inclines

Good hike today. Started at 8AM after a night of decent drinking and ~4 hours sleep. It was hot enough such that a t-shirt and shorts would have been perfect unlike the warmer attire that I choose to wear. I kept a close eye on the trail but didn’t see any snakes. Great views on way up and up top (Mt. Evans & James Peak both snow covered). Not the best trail to break in new hiking shoes. Watch you’re speed driving into and out of Morrison. A cop (sloppy fat prick) gave me a ticket for going 40mph in a 25mph zone — totally ridiculous!

What a perfect trail for beginners, out of towners, and people who want a short day. Easy trailhead to get to. Easy, well-maintained trail, and a great destination. Beautiful drive up and view from the top of Chief Mountain.

Hiked on 10/26. I had been there almost 20 years ago with my kids aged 1, 3, and 4 (a good fraction on my back as you can imagine). This was during the summer and we had a great time. This is why I wanted to take the opportunity of my visit in Boulder to return.
Some snow on the path, but not too much. The lowest part of the trail is somewhat icy, and some may want to use spikes (I did not). After the tree line, the snow is soft, so that the spikes are not useful. Today was very windy but clear. I left the winter parking lot at 7AM and was back at 1PM. There is no need for snow shoes, but good hiking shoes and protection (to avoid the snow to get in) are needed

hiking
20 days ago

We did the short ~2 or 2.5 mile loop.
It was ok. Easy for out of towners but not much to see unless you do the longer loops. Part of the forest was being thinned intentionally by the park service. Equipment and sights of the road took away from the experience. It is a gravel/rock path and very exposed to the sun in midday so bring sunscreen, hat, plenty of water anyway.

Cows grazing freely which was interesting. Mountain bikers to be cautious of and let pass. Dogs on leash.

$5 parking for non Boulder residents or you can get the $25 year pass online ahead of time.

hiking
20 days ago

Pretty basic/boring/easy hike. The only excitement on this hike were the cows....

Gorgeous

There are many poorly marked intersections. At one point we came to a dead end and had to turn around and backtrack to the closest fork and take the other path. We didn’t even end up making it to Bear Peak.

hiking
21 days ago

Snow covered most of the trail and was all packed down, though slick in many spots. The wind was pretty cutting at points and at the top, so definitely bring a wind breaker. I'd also advise on gloves if you have trekking poles, I did not have gloves and regret it.

The hike was beautiful and the view from the top was incredible. I went on a Wednesday afternoon and had the entire mountain to myself.

absolutely beautiful!

Beautiful views at the top! I’d consider the hike to be overall easy if there’s not snow. I went on 10/20 and the majority of the trail had hard, slippery snow.

hiking
23 days ago

Harder trail than you'd think! (A few 14ers are not this challenging.) If you're hiking in summer, watch for rattlesnakes. Bring plenty of water- there's lots of sun on this one.

Thanks to Beau for building/improving much of this trail!

interesting and varied hike which takes you through all kinds of terrains. challenging but worth it for the views!

I do this one at least once a week. Great training hike. I am posting because I have already seen, more than once, people asking how to get to the top when there is barely any daylight left. The top section of the ridge, after the tight trees, has some exposure. One needs a headlamp, Tripping over in the wrong spot and one can get hurt. A cell phone flashlight ties up one hand. Even if you turn around, from the false ridge to the car is just scree coming down. Not really fun to do it without light. This is rattlesnake paradise. Not sure I would want to spend the night (hurt) there.

hiking
24 days ago

Hiked on 10/20. As others have said, the road into Brainard Lake is closed for the season, so you park in the lot before the fee station. I tracked the whole hike on my fitbit, and it's 2 miles to Brainard Lake, and another mile to the trailhead. All we wore were Yaktraks over our hiking shoes. It would have been nice to have snow boots or gaiters on, as you fall through the snow a LOT. Our feet were soaked for most of the hike.

Took us 7 hours, and we took a wrong turn on the way to the trailhead that added a mile. 14 miles round trip. There was no wind at all until the top, and even then it wasn't too bad. The snow made this hike TOUGH and made it take a lot longer than it should have for us, but the views are some of the most incredible I've seen. We only saw a few other people all day. Highly recommend if you love a challenging hike--though I wouldn't do it again in the snow.

Leg-burner close to Denver. Not a lot of shade, but well worth the trip. 2.5 hour round trip with a 15 minute break at the top. Great 360 views.

Loved it! Got to parking lot at Gateway at 6 am and biked the 2 plus miles to trailhead. The trail starts in trees and snow was packed on the trail with scattered ice. I wore micro spikes and knee gaiters—both were needed. Parts of the trail were nearly dry on a ridge about 3/4 of a mile up and before tree line. After tree line it’s consistently snowy. The trail above tree line is marked by rock piles and was easy to follow until a quarter mile from the summit. Lots of packed snow and many post holes from recent hikers breaking through the crust. The wind above tree line today was fierce. Three other hikers and I were all amazed at the wind speed, likely a constant 25 mph + with stronger gust? ( I had no gauge so let’s just say it was plenty strong and slowed my forward progress to a crawl at times.) But glorious views at the top! Well worth the effort. I hike about ten miles a week at elevation but I’m a slow hiker and took my time, stopped often and ate lunch near the summit. Got back to the Gateway parking lot at 4:45 even using a mountain bike. Highly recommend this trail, but with more snow I will pass on going again till summer. Snow shoes would have done no good today, if you’re going soon use knee gaiters and spikes.

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