Bear Creek Trail

MODERATE 330 reviews
#1 of 2 trails in

Bear Creek Trail is a 4.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Telluride, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,092 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

rock climbing

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

snow

Bear Creek Trail is one of the most popular hiking and biking trails in Uncompahgre National Forest. The trailhead is located at the end of South Pine Street in downtown Telluride and leads to a scenic viewpoint of the 80-foot upper Bear Creek Falls at just over 1000 feet in elevation. Hikers can continue up the rugged cliffs of Bear Creek canyon on the Wasatch Trail. This mellow mountain trail winds its way through the 325-acre Bear Creek Preserve full of aspen and pine groves. Bear Creek is a public open space preserved by The San Miguel Conservation Foundation, in partnership with the town of Telluride, Colorado. Parking is available at the Mountain Village and a free gondola brings visitors to downtown Telluride. Summer visitors drawn to the natural beauty of Colorado Parks might also be interested in nearby Lizard Head Wilderness Area and Mount Sneffels Wilderness Areas.

13 hours ago

Nice warm up trail with a waterfall on top

2 days ago

up hill the whole way but definitely worth it for the views and knowing you climbed a mountain

hiking
3 days ago

Hike was a challenge for our seven and nine-year-old but we were able to push them along and they were glad they made it to the Falls! What a spectacular seen. The trail is beautiful framed by mainly Aspen, with some stunning scenery of the cliffs.

One note: as the write up says this is a very popular hike, so there were plenty of other people, dogs, and trail runners but all courteous and friendly.

4 days ago

Very nice trail, mostly on an old forest road but be prepared for some extended hiking on rocks in places. A good balance of shade and sun. If you take your pup, there are a few small stream crossings where they can get a drink. Near the top there is a nice area to see the falls from about a quarter mile away, but the hike to the falls itself will reward you with some great views back toward the valley.

4 days ago

This was a great hike. Great day and a beautiful hike.

5 days ago

A great hike to get acclimated to the altitude. If you get an early start then you’ll likely have the falls to yourself. The views are fantastic along the way. We wrapped up the hike around 11:30 after relaxing at the top for 40 minuets, and the trail was pretty crowded at that point. Only 4 stars due to the sheer beauty and solitude of other hikes in the area.

10 days ago

Definitely worth the short semi steep hike. Runnable for those who like to trail run

12 days ago

We went early in morning and only saw a few people on the trail and at the falls. Great for photos. More people on the trail after about 9am. We took our time and explored a lot of side trails, playing around in the creek and taking photos of the views, and that made the hike even better for us. Not many wildflowers this week, except at the last .25-mile near the falls and then some very pretty foliage.

13 days ago

This hike was pretty simple and to the point. Wide trail, easy to pass people (which is good as it was pretty busy). Parking downtown on the streets, so your time is limited on the trail due to the meters. The waterfall is easy to get to and beautiful. Would recommend if you are in the area.

19 days ago

Such a gorgeous hike of moderate difficulty. The most bang for the buck as it affords you beautiful views, water along the whole hike, wildflowers and a gorgeous water fall at the destination. Take time to hike in or along side the creek when you get to the huge rock climbing boulder right before the final ascent to the falls. Stunning.

hiking
21 days ago

What a treat to find a trail right on the edge of town! It was an easy 12-minute walk from my hotel. Being so conveniently located, I figured it would be crowded so I went very early in the morning -- I was at the trailhead at 7:20am and had the trail to myself. (Which meant I also had the waterfall at the top to myself as well!) The trail is a steady incline out and decline back, but not strenuous. I hike pretty slowly, so it took me 1 hour 20 minutes to get to the waterfall. (There's a giant bolder at a plateau on the trail that looks like the end of the trail, and you can see the waterfall in the distance, but keep going! The trail gets narrower and a little steeper, but you can get right up to the waterfall -- close enough to feel the spray.) As I was heading down, the trail was getting pretty crowded (people starting the trail around 9am or after). Lots of dogs -- all well behaved, but none on leashes. I was pleasantly surprised to have only seen 3 poop bags on the trail -- I would have expected far more. This trail was a real gem. And easy to stop for coffee in town afterwards.

walking
21 days ago

Great trail!! Perfect for dogs too.

27 days ago

It’s easy. Plus waterfall

hiking
1 month ago

Gorgeous views and waterfall with a trailhead right in town. Lots of people and dogs.

walking
1 month ago

Easy trail. Stunning waterfall at the end.

hiking
1 month ago

Hike is beautiful and very family friendly!

1 month ago

This is a great trail with beautiful views. You can get right up to the base of the waterfall!

1 month ago

Amazing views!

hiking
1 month ago

Family friendly. Crowded though still pleasant. Climb feels worth it at the Falls.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with beautiful scenery. I highly recommend going up to the falls then going back to where the bear creek trail meets the Wasatch trailhead and continuing along there. Wasatch is a bit more strenuous but worth it. You can also take Wasatch all the way to Bridal Veil Falls and continue along other trailheads if you want a full day of hiking. Great wildflowers along the way and much of the trail is right alongside the water.

1 month ago

Beautiful scenery on the way to the falls, but the spray from the waterfall at the end of this hard climb make it all worth while. However, it is a VERY rocky trail...hard on the feet. It’s also hard if you’re not used to altitude. We calculated 5.5 miles round trip on our GPS. Also, lots of dogs running loose, so be careful of owners that can’t control their dogs very well.

1 month ago

Totally worth the up hill trek! Waterfall is very refreshing and views are fabulous. Easy for kids.

hiking
2 months ago

Traveled with a group of 8 including a 10 year old who did great. The Trail was nice and wide for us. Steady incline the majority of the Trail, somewhat rocky. End waterfall is worth the trek!! The most enjoyable part of this hike are views going up AND coming down! 360 scenery - 5 stars

hiking
2 months ago

Unreal views

hiking
2 months ago

Really enjoyed the trail, took it slow and enjoyed the views. Push yourself to the top and it’s so worth all the views! Not terribly hard, just watch your footing at the top. Would do again!

hiking
2 months ago

This trail is well maintained and offers spectacular views along the way to the waterfall!

hiking
2 months ago

It's a beautiful hike! Very scenic and has a steady elevation all the way to the top. Breathtaking views all the way. Once you reach the waterfall, you have an excellent view of the mountains when you look back. Try to do it during the early hours of the day.

mountain biking
2 months ago

We went to Bear Creek Trail with mountain bikes couple days ago. I am a beginner so biking was though for me, please stay away from the edge if you biking! Try to keep your bike on the right side! The trail itself was very beautiful, interesting, challenging. At the end I was really proud of myself and super exhausted. Highly recommend!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike with just about all elevation gain on the way up, so a breezy walk down. You can hear the water throughout the entire hike and see the stream right off the path. The waterfall at the very top is incredible and refreshing. One of my favorite hikes ever!

hiking
3 months ago

I loved this hike!
It is walking distances from town and rewarding views almost instantly from every direction. The falls at the top are spectacular and are worth the all uphill hike.

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