Bear Creek Trail

HARD 47 reviews

Bear Creek Trail is a 12.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ouray, Colorado that features a river and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October.

12.4 miles
4,698 feet
Out & Back




nature trips




wild flowers


no dogs

Directions from Ouray: Take Hwy 550 two miles south. Trail parking is on the east side of US 550 immediately south of the tunnel.

19 days ago

CLOSED! I was in Ouray about a week ago, and had plans to hike this trail. Unfortunately, the storms had washed away the switchbacks and I was told the trail would be closed for quite some time. Make sure to check in with the visitors center if you have plans to hike BCT. We did the "Bridge to Heaven" instead, which was really lovely and still challenging.

24 days ago

Hiked in 2016. Beautiful views of the ravine, creek, water cascades, and mountains. I went to the mine ruins and back and was beat. I would like to go back eventually with more time/endurance to explore further up. There is some exposure to a steep drop during the lower/middle section. The trail was wide enough that I felt safe, but I wouldn't recommend it with small children. You may want insect repellent.

25 days ago

Went a couple of weeks ago. Amazing hike. Very strenuous and lots of exposure. Bring lots of water!!!

26 days ago

Went to hike this today and the trail was closed due to trail damage I assume from Mudslides.

1 month ago

Had to turn around on a hot day, start early or super late. There is little shade on the ascent through the switchbacks. Bring plenty of water!

2 months ago

What an amazing hike! Very strenuous and not for the faint of heart but if you take the leap it is well worth all the vertical change. Very well maintained and thought out. There are some amazing views of the valley, mountains and Bear Creek itself. Hiked past Bear Creek Mine and turned around at the creek crossing. Next time we are going to hike all the way to Yellow Jacket. Definetely worth doing again.

2 months ago

This review is only based on the hike to Grizzly Bear Mine. By Colorado standards, I would say this is more moderate than hard -- about 1600 gain to the mine in 2.4 miles. The trail is mostly rock and shale with beautiful views, a couple parts of exposure, but never felt uncomfortable. Will definitely do this again and go all the way to Engineer, however didn't have time for today.

2 months ago

Such a beautiful hike!! It was epic! It was a good trail slightly difficult. Lots of rock. The scenery was beyond description. The endless waterfalls and aspens budding with bright green leaves was breathless. Would do this again in the fall

2 months ago

Gorgeous hike, as far as we went. We turned back after 3.25 miles due to a washed out crossing (we're older, and more careful than some), though it could be crossed with care. Beautiful views all the way: waterfalls, mining equipment, an open mine. No ice or snow. Loved the "wind chime" effect from walking on the rock flakes on the initial climb. A "must-do" hike for the Ouray area.

2 months ago

one of the best hikes I've done

11 months ago

Make it past the first mile of switch back on loose rock and you wont want to turn back. Beautiful views and get to see some history from the old mining sites.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Always a stunning hike! Started at 8AM and went up the steep shale covered portion of the trail in shade (which makes it much more enjoyable) and turned around at Yellow Jacket Mine. We were back in the parking lot a little before 2PM, with a few stops along the way for photos, snacks, and to catch our breath.
Heads up: A portion of the trail was washed out above Grizzly Bear Mine (see photo) and it required some careful scrambling as the footing was very loose gravel and fell with about a 10ft drop into Bear Creek below. There were a few creek crossing after this but they didn't require getting wet.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

We really enjoyed this hike. The views are breath taking and pictures really don't do justice.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

I loved what I did of this trail. I didn't do the whole 13 miles. I went to Grizzly Bear Mine and back to the trailhead is all. It was beautiful!

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Tough trail. Not for the faint hearted. Be prepared to go straight up over some very loose rocks but once you make it passed that point it is 100% worth it. The canyon is the best part by far

Sunday, August 21, 2016

A GREAT trail, however, I would give it a slightly higher rating than moderate. It is steep at the beginning but there are also other REALLY steep, consistent bouts. I feel I'm in good shape, have been here in the mountains for a month and still found it pretty challenging.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

strenuous but worth it.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Very good trail. It's my favorite trail around.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

One of my favorite hikes in the area! Would definitely recommend it. There are steep drop offs so dogs are probably not the best idea, but if they are well behaved don't worry. If you can, do it early so you can see the sunrise in Ridgeway. Invade it to Grizzly in about an hour.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

As others have said, the beginning is tough. Lots of up, and very narrow trails. The views to be had are worth the effort. There are some parts where I found myself saying "Don't look down. Don't look down". Very exciting hike.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Very fun hike. We only went to Grizzly Bear mine but enjoyed it thoroughly! A tiny bit steep but so enjoyable it makes the heavy breathing worth it! Amazing views.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Hiked to Grizzly Bear mine August 2015 and quiet enjoyed it! The reviews had me curious to see how steep and narrow this trail was, but it wasn't too terrible. If you're afraid of heights, get vertigo easily, or in not great shape, this is NOT the trail for you. The beginning is killer - the shale can be slippery and it's steep - but the views are gorgeous and it levels out for a while after about a mile. We made it up to Grizzly Bear in about 2 hours with a few stops for water and a snack, back down to the parking lot in another hour for a 3 hour adventure.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

This trail is filled with great views. The beginning of the trail is the most difficult with a lot of switchbacks, but it gets better after so stick with it. Views of the mountains outside Ouray are amazing, and lots of views of a wonderful river and waterfall as well. Lots of steep cliffsides to be careful with but also to enjoy the view.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

The trail was very wet and muddy in several places. Breath taking views more than made up for it.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

We took this trail about 2.4 miles to the Grizzly Bear Mine to take a look at the remaining ruins. There are some good views of the surrounding hills and river valley below. We ran into some fresh pools of water along the ways for the dogs to get a drink but found no gold or silver :).

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Well-maintained trail for experienced hikers with beautiful views.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Great hike. Start early if it's going to be a hot day. Beginning of trail is steep and covered in shale. The shale will get hot in the sun and make you mildly miserable. Once you get to the valley, it's stunning and cooler! Amazing windflowers!

Friday, July 05, 2013

Beautiful hike. Very tough at the beginning, but views are worth it. Definitely not for people with fears of sheer drop offs and narrow trail. This is hiking on the edge of a cliff! Amazing experience, however, and very glad we did it.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Great hike, but watch out out for wash outs.

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