Bear Peak Trail

HARD 329 reviews
#2 of 23 trails in

Bear Peak Trail is a 7.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Boulder, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2847 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

The trail starts out very easy with well maintained walking trails. As you progress deeper and higher the terrain increases in difficulty; to the point of being slightly technical. The trail gets fairly challenging on the last mile or so before summit. Beautiful scenery from start to end. Vast meadows sprawling with wild flowers to forests with towering evergreens to rocky boulders of great size.

hiking
13 days ago

Awesome trail with great views but the shadow canyon trail wasn't the easiest going up that's for sure!

hiking
19 days ago

Awesome hike! Completed it from map to peak in 1 hour and 5 minutes! Really gets stiff after the saddle.

21 days ago

FYI this trail is closer to 9.5 miles. It’s our favorite so far. It goes from easy to moderate to easy again and the views are stunning. It took us about 5 hours to do the loop- we are fit individuals but not star athletes.

1 month ago

Rugged and longer than listed, and totally worth it. Tough to find parking but all joy after that.

1 month ago

Great Hike

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

This hike matches well with the great hikes I've done in Austria, Switzerland, and New Zealand. Truly diverse in the terrain throughout the hike and the view from the peak is so rewarding. Definitely wear gear because it gets really slick at the top. By peak they really mean peak. I think about 5-8 people can secure themselves at the top and that's it.

2 months ago

The pup and I took Mesa to Shadow Canyon on up to Bear Peak. Lots of vertical, but nothing to be wary of if you're in shape. Friendly people and friendly dogs abound.

hiking
2 months ago

If I could give it 4.5, I would. The trail is beautiful. Be prepared to scramble over large rocks for the last mile and a half or so.

hiking
2 months ago

Good hike, but medium to high traffic depending on the day. The summit is hand of foot, so beware if you have a untrained dog. Also very slick in winter due to the steep trail I would recommend yak tracks and poles.

2 months ago

Didn’t make it to the top as it’s too foggy today but still lovely will do again when the view will be visible

hiking
2 months ago

Pretty rough, really steep, but totally worth it. If you take Mesa Trail to Fern Trail, it will take you up to Bear Peak, approx 3/4hrs round trip. If you stay to the right at the crossroads and take Bear Canyon Trail it will take you all the way around, and it's much longer, I'd guess double in length. In my opinion climbing the peak on the back side is more difficult, it's a steeper climb up - on jagged rocks, and it's completely exposed to the sun. Aside from that It's a pretty moderate and beautiful hike through the woods prior to the summit climb. But as you should with any adventure, be prepared with the essentials, right shoes, snacks/lunch, and lots of friggen water - either direction you go!

hiking
3 months ago

I did this trail with a friend and my dog on Labor Day. We started from NCAR and my watch recorded over 10 miles, without the summit. The trail goes through an area that burned a few years ago; be sure to bring extra water and if you bring a dog, I would recommend booties for dog feet snce the trail gets very rough and hot. Although it is a difficult trail, it is one that will be done again.

3 months ago

hiked from ncar to bear peak via fern canyon came down the shadow canyon route going up bear peak via shadow canyon would have been much more challenging over all hike was okay I would rate it moderate for most clocked approx 10 miles, bring plenty of water

3 months ago

Great hike with incredible views. My Fitbit had the mileage at 10 miles (starting from NCAR). It is definitely worth the climb!

trail running
3 months ago

Great workout and awesome views. Apple Watch had it closer to 9 miles. Shadow canyon is nice and cool, but mesa is sun baked making the last two miles brutal.

hiking
3 months ago

Is it hard? Most definitely! Is it fun? Most definitely! The reward at the top worth every bit of the workout to get there. Our camelbak's (3L) were depleted shortly after the hike back to the trail head, so bring plenty of water! Also, there were far more people there than I believe to be considered "lightly trafficked" and in the end my pedometer read 9.9 miles.

hiking
3 months ago

Whole family (kids aged 13, 10, and 8) plus our lab did this and it was a very worthwhile slog fest. Beautiful and cool in shadow canyon but hot on Mesa. Incredible rewarding views from the saddle and up top. Easily went through all our water though..brought 42 oz per person -granted we shared some with our pup. Thankfully there was "angel" water on Mesa left by work equipment. It would have been an extremely frantic last mile and half of not for that.

hiking
3 months ago

Definitely a hard trail, but well worth the views. We made a loop out of it - went up to South Boulder Peak then across the saddle to Bear Peak, then took the Mesa Trail down and around to add more miles. The 1-1.5 miles up everyone talks about is steep elevation gain, and tough, but fun to scramble up the rocks (in Shadow Canyon). Fern Canyon on the way down was drier, not as shaded, and hot! Rocks were slippery and loose there b/c of the dryness. Normally my tracker has been spot on, but this one isn't accurate - we hiked closer to 13 miles - I don't know why it changed, but whatever. Easy drive to the paved trailhead lot from the highway. $5 for non-Boulder residents. Began 7:00am on Sunday and saw a good amount of trail runners and hikers throughout. (Until Nov 17ish - this trail is closed for maintenance during the weekdays, and open on weekends).

3 months ago

This was definitely a very difficult hike, but so amazing!!! probably the funnest hike I have done, alot of steep rocks, pretty much strait up at different parts. I would definitely suggest this for people who are in decent shape, but pack lots of water and snacks, you will get depleted quick.

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