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Bear Peak Trail

HARD 397 reviews
#4 of 106 trails in

Bear Peak Trail is a 7.7 mile heavily 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 April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,847 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

trail running

bird watching

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. There is a $5 fee for parking.

hiking
rocky
scramble
5 days ago

Did this hike for the second time on Saturday, May 18 with my 61 year old mom. Mom is in great shape but we had to go very slowly and it took 6.5 hours - she was pretty thrilled with it, though! Started at 10:40 am, and views were incredible when we got to the summit. A couple of small creek crossings and technical areas. Also, when you go all the way up to the peak, be careful that you come back down the correct trail! The obvious route will lead you back down towards the NCAR building - I have a lot of trouble finding the trail back towards Shadow Canyon.

hiking
9 days ago

Hiked on Sunday, May 5th. Combo’d Bear Peak and South Boulder Peak. Great hike. Really nice balance of clearly established route trekking to more technical hiking — navigating boulders with some minor route finding. Nice training for 14ers, while we wait for the snow to melt at high elevation... Be mindful of the many interconnected trails between the trailhead and base of the mountain. Easy to get off your desired course and turn into a longer hike than planned. One of my favorite hikes to date. Snow was non-existent at this time.

hiking
9 days ago

Sunday May 12, it was a stunning hike, perfect weather. A marvelous challenge, especially the last bit of scrambling to the top. But so worth the effort! A little slush on the path to the top, Yaktrax really helped there. Felt like a big achievement kicking off my hiking season!

10 days ago

Amazing views and muddy and snow in spots.

15 days ago

Hiked on May 5th 2019 Great hike .Very steep and rocky.Views are amazing at bear peak. coming down can be a little rough on knees take it easy

hiking
rocky
scramble
24 days ago

Very rocky climb up the last half mile or so, and very windy at the top. Beautiful views! Might recommend poles especially for the trip back down.

hiking
24 days ago

Hard. Lots of afoot off trails to make as long or short st you want. Very scrambley at top

hiking
off trail
rocky
snow
25 days ago

I loved this trail! I went with a group of friends and 3 dogs in late November. Towards the top of the mountain it got fairly icey and slick. My dog tore up his paws, but he was still loving the hike. Overall, one of my favorite hikes to date!

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Very steep, loose slate, rock scrambling, a few snow/ice patches, very few switchbacks but well worth the struggle. Lots of well behaved dogs along the way. This would be difficult for someone not acclimated to the altitude. Not so busy that it was annoying but not much alone time if that's what you're looking for.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Great hike. First 1.5 miles or so has no shade so it gets pretty hot. The rest consists of a steep hike through the trees. Once you get to the saddle of South Boulder Peak and Bear Peak, the hard work is over; take a gentle trail followed by a very brief class 3 scramble to the summit. All the snow is melted so no spikes needed. Incredible views of the Indian Peaks and Longs/Meeker!

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

After about 1.5 mile, the trail becomes steep. Overall, the trail is hard, but finally you will see nice Boulder. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_1Y3wjSOvU

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail! Enjoyed the quiet trail and views at the top. Didn’t use spikes even after the fresh snow. Open trail was great for a little extra sun and warmth on a cool day.

1 month ago

What a wonderful trail. it's definitely difficult so be prepared. hiked on 4/9 it was beautiful. no spikes needed - just good shoes

hiking
muddy
snow
1 month ago

Hiked this on 4/6 without any spikes. Trail was in good condition. A little mud and snow.

hiking
1 month ago

I think this is one of the best front range training hikes / runs you can do. This is always my outdoor initiation for each running season. Beautiful and a fun , quick class three scramble to the top. The elevation gain and mileAge is a great way to start conditioning your body for the season!

hiking
1 month ago

Super steep hike toward the end. Shadow Canyon is just glorious and my dog appreciated the shadows and cool places. We did not make it to the top due to timing; it was getting late and we still had a ways to go so we turned back. I'm going to do this again several times as a training hike for an upcoming backpacking trip. There are a lot of rocks so consider leaving your flip-flops at home when you hike this one!

2 months ago

The first mile is pretty bare but it’s a nice warm up for what’s about to come. The last two miles are very steep and consist of a lot of light scrambling through the trees. Today it was still very icy most of the ascent through the trees and I would highly recommend micro spikes! Awesome variety of terrain. The peak and the views at the top are beautiful!

hiking
2 months ago

Killer hike and climb, but not worth the view at the top in my opinion. Gonna try it again in the summer and see if I change my mind.

hiking
scramble
snow
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Started at NCAR and made my way up the “shorter but steeper route”. You’ll want spikes! There’s a false summit, so keep going when you think you’re at the top. Bring layers - It’s windy and cold at the top! This hike has earned the rating of hard - steeper than Flatirons and Sanitas! Round trip, with multiple stop to catch my breath! and take this view in, 6 miles in 3.5 hours.

hiking
4 months ago

If you're not a Boulder resident, you need to pay $5(cash only) in an envelope. The hike was challenging I do hiking weekly but this was one of the tough ones. 263 floors(per Fitbit) so good cardio can get done. Sadly 2 routes were not the correct trails. I posted the photos. Have a great hike! x 12/23/2018 70th hike of 2018.

hiking
5 months ago

I did this hike prior to it getting colder. This is a good hike to test your cardio level. The portion in forest has some scrambling.

5 months ago

When I go to Colorado, I get excited thinking about summiting this peak. I absolutely love this trail!

hiking
6 months ago

11/03/18 beautiful peak, but tougher than expected. saw a lot of other hikes even though the weather wasn't great. I'd probably do it again though!

6 months ago

Amazing hike with good technical areas. Go in the snow if you really want a good challenge, but to get to the peak you’ll definitely want trail spikes. Lots of trails to link onto too. definitely one to add to the books!

hiking
6 months ago

This hike will probably take longer than you think. It is quite steep. Views at the beginning are expansive, the middle section is a tough climb in the trees with few views, and the end section once you gain the ridge has views back towards Boulder and also east to the Indian Peaks. From the Bear Peak summit you can probably pick out your house if you live in Boulder, the view is that unobstructed.

6 months ago

There are many poorly marked intersections. At one point we came to a dead end and had to turn around and backtrack to the closest fork and take the other path. We didn’t even end up making it to Bear Peak.

6 months ago

interesting and varied hike which takes you through all kinds of terrains. challenging but worth it for the views!

7 months ago

Awesome hike!

7 months ago

Hiked 10/4. Mesa trail to fern. Strenuous constant uphill the last mile. Fun scramble at the top!

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