Bear Peak Canyon Loop Trail

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Boulder Open Space

Bear Peak Canyon Loop Trail is a 7.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Boulder, Colorado that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 7.6 miles Elevation Gain: 2,811 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

bird watching

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

Along a lonely canyon to a ridge leading to a peak. This hike starts at the NCAR parking lot. Head west to the Mesa trail then south. At the Bear Peak canyon trail junction head west. This canyon takes you to the bear peak west ridge trail leading to the peak. After a break, head north down fern canyon trail until it curves and reaches the mesa trail, then continue back to the start of your venture.

hiking
6 hours ago

Beautiful morning. Went up the flatter side to the north and came back down the east ridge. The last 3/4 mile is very tough, but worth it. Great views at the top.

hiking
rocky
4 days ago

Great Trial! And so close to town. I saw a baby rattlesnake on Mesa part of the trail but he wasn’t a harm to us. Then I talked to ranger who was pulling everyone aside who wasn’t wearing mask and made request for them to wear a mask next time. This trail is hard to social distance as well.

hiking
rocky
6 days ago

hiking
rocky
10 days ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
20 days ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
23 days ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
24 days ago

hiking
snow
1 month ago

I do it in the reverse order as the map and description show. Section from the saddle at Nebel Horn to Bear Peak has some significant compact snow sections, but if you're cautious it's easily doable without spikes. The rest of the route is largely bare and dry, with only occasional wet, snowy, or muddy places, most of which are avoidable and all easily passable with no special gear. Biggest concern was rattlesnakes, on the first downhill right where the trail starts.

hiking
1 month ago

Definitely need micro spikes if wanting to hit the top of bear peak. All the lower trails are doable without. Not too busy at all. Great!

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
icy
1 month ago

Still a bit of icy spots on the north slope of Fern canyon. Other than that, beautiful hike!

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
snow
1 month ago

Mesa trail is very muddy. About an hour into hike the mud let's up. The view from Bear Peak Summit is worth the climb. Spikes a must have coming down Fern Canyon.

hiking
1 month ago

Very beautiful out. Got a late start went and saw Mallory cave the last mile is extremely steep but well worth of you. Sky of course at the time of her life.

hiking
icy
1 month ago

phenomenal journey. If you are coming down Fern Canyon you might want spikes, I literally had to slide down

hiking
icy
rocky
scramble
snow
1 month ago

Ok - just landed in NCAR - the “gentle breeze” down here was a massive sunami up top! With 7 inches or so of snow at the top of Bear (and yes I made it) I had to scramble a bit. I thought if I started going down the Bear canyon loop it would be better....nope...gale force winds - thigh deep snow..,couldn’t see the trail...so I had to go back up to top of Bear and the down Fern...I will still do it again! The view from the top is priceless!

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
2 months ago

Went out today. The NCAR Trail is muddy all the way to the service road. Then there’s snow from the bridge all the way to the summit. Spikes are a must. I did the loop starting with Bear Canyon to Bear Peak and down Fern Canyon. Just off the Peak you have a good 100+ feet to the ridge just below. I had to slide on my backside all the way down. Strava pegged it at 8.78miles and 2932 elev gain.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
2 months ago

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