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We enjoyed our hike today but there was a lot of ice and snow on the trail. Crampons would have been very helpful.

3/13/18: Did this trail today w/my 9 y-o & 17 y-o. We parked in the lower lot but the upper lot has the bathrooms. We took the Nighthawk trail. No bikers allowed on this trail. The only issue we had was when the trailed forked off with no sign. The fork off to the right is what looks like a vehicle made path (what the path had been up to that point for awhile) and the fork to the left is a thin foot trail. We went right because it seemed to be going in the right direction. It wasn't the path but still got us to the same point - where you can take Button Rock trail or Nelson Loop. They need to put a sign at that fork! We took Nelson Loop to the right (east), stopped at the settlement then took Bitterbush trail to the parking lot. Almost as soon as we got on Nelson Loop the mountain bikes started coming. With the exception of the mountain bikes, our favorite part of the hike was Bitterbrush & Nelson Loop. If we do this one again we'll skip Nighthawk. It took us just over 4 hours to hike this. I don't think I'd brave this one in the summer. Not much shade. Must be really hot in the summer. We didn't think it was difficult but the kids complained that it was too long.

6 days ago

Pretty easy hike and would be easier without any snow. I would do it again.

We took bear canyon up which was longer than shadow or fern but had some nice pine covered areas. The last summit up to the peak was pretty challenging as it was very steep and straight up. Took my chihuahua and he did great. Once at Bear peak the view is unbelievable!We took shadow canyon down as others said fern canyon was too icy and slippery without micro spikes. Shadow was so rocky not very diverse terrain but not slippery. Somehow got lost connecting back to Mesa trail after shadow and hiked an extra couple miles, next time I’ll take a map. It’s easy to hike south boulder peak from bear and south boulder peak (not bear as I was told) is the actual highest peak in Boulder, maybe next time. Overall a great hike!

Easy trail and well maintained... good workout distance wise with inclines not being strenuous compared to other hikes... not too many “ah ha” moments but lots of wildlife... saw deer , turkey, gopher (at least I thought that’s what they were lol)... saw about 10 mountain bikers and only 1 other hiker on a Wednesday afternoon... seemed more of an attraction for mountain bikes than hiking... minimal mud/ice and no need for traction when hiking

15 days ago

Slightly icy in the beginning and towards the top today. Temperature was very warm 50F+ with the sun beaming down I had only a long sleeve on the whole time. Coming down the other side there was a ton of packed snow and ice. Would have been quite a bit more difficult without crampons. Try and get there pretty early as it can get pretty packed at the top later in the day.

Backside has kneedeep snow the entire way, definitely need snowshoes right now! Go towards Gem Lake if you are doing the entire loop, or you'll have a bad time.

On a clear day the views at the top are stunning! Took about 4 hours RT with a 30 min break at the top, so it makes for a perfect day hike from Denver. Overall a steady uphill climb but frequent places to stop and take a break. Trail is clearly marked as well. The loop back down is incredibly icy and shaded, so spikes/traction are a plus.

Today the trail started off muddy and with a little snow. Once you get past Cub lake the snow got very deep in spots. Bring poles and snow pants to make it easier.

on Green Mountain Loop

28 days ago

Gregory Canyon is in mostly good shape. Yak tracks helped with a few of the icy areas. Saddle Rock on the way down thought was steep with lots of ice and snow pack. Worst areas are at the top and near the ladder. I would not recommend trying Saddle Rock with just sneakers or anything without a lot of traction.

1 month ago

great hiking definitely hard

1 month ago

One of my favorite trails to hike. Fair amount of snow still, spikes aren't a requirement, but they would definitely help on the walk down. Not usually busy at all during the week, and the summit is well worth the hike up.

Nice easy hiking. Pretty views

Great hike! Once I summited South Boulder Peak, I decided to check out Bear Peak, which was an easy add once your up there if your legs are still feeling good. I started this hike around 8:40am and on my decent the sun/warm weather had already put in work on the snow from yesterday! Extra traction (as of today) is a “nice to have” over a “need to have”.

Tough climb, great hike. Beautiful views above the Flatirons. Microspikes would’ve been helpful on way down, but not necessary.

In my opinion, this is the best hike directly in boulder. Not too easy, not too hard, easy access, not overly crowded (the day I went), just a great hike. I used microspikes for about 30% of the trail and was definitely glad I had them, but I saw other people getting by without them.

Need traction once you hit Shadow Canyon. Awesome hike!!

Great climb- did it on Saturday, lots of snow- which resulted in less high steps and knee bending.
Most of the snow is after the 2nd shack on shadow canyon.

on Cub Lake Trail Loop

1 month ago

Great winter hike! It was very windy but it hadn't snowed in a while so the snow was mostly packed down up the lake. After the lake down to the pools, gaiters would be helpful as the snow has drifted knee deep in some places. The fern lake section had a bit more ice but I didn't have spikes. I started early but the trailhead parking was a bit full when I left. The loop took me about 3 hrs but I wasn't going that quickly.

1 month ago

Icey in spots!

1 month ago

This is a very pretty hike - great openings to views - not too crowded if you go early. Good to have microspikes as there are some icy areas

1 month ago

Bring spikes, great hike. Views are great!

I did this trail late in the afternoon on a colder December day. It's a real climber until you reach Green Mountain, and from there it's all down hill. I definitely recommend microspikes because there are icy and hardpacked areas. I will definitely want to hike this trail again.

Did the loop in reverse- it was a butt kicker. If you do it in reverse- keep a careful eye out, we mistakenly headed toward Shadow Canyon and has to turn around

Legs are tired after climbing this one today but it was gorgeous with a beautiful view of Indian Peaks and RMNP. Take your yak tracks...lots of ice on the rocky parts of the trails.

trail running
2 months ago

Ran up today, Snow was packed well and didn’t need to use Yaktrax, very windy and cold up top but over all a great run. Fern Canyon coming down had some slippery spots on it, but still able to run most of it

Maybe my favorite Boulder County open space. There are a lot of places where it feels more like plateau country than Front Range. Bike traffic is a big detractor for hikers on the Bitterbrush but it's often worth it due to the awesomeness. Especially love the rock garden area and it's fun to watch the more skilled bikers who can really ride it. A lot of the summer, this trail is a bit too hot. The mule deer here are not particularly afraid of people and especially when they have fawns and will often stand their ground when you meet them on the trail.

Definitely a hard hike. So many stairs! Great fun though. Lots to see and many different styles of terrain.

3 months ago

I went up amphitheater (loop clockwise) definitely a challenge with the climb. I wouldn’t do it in sneakers but there were multiple people running so to each their own. The way down was great and way more scenic.

3 months ago

Great hike! A few sporadic ice patches, but the trail is still pretty clear. I would highly recommend this loop.

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