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

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. There is a $5 fee for parking.

2 days ago

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

hiking
23 days 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!

23 days 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
1 month 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.

1 month 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.

1 month ago

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

1 month ago

Awesome hike!

2 months ago

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

2 months ago

Freakin intense.- but when you feel like you’re gonna give up, keep going!

2 months ago

one of my favorites

3 months ago

Spectacularly beautiful with varied terrain and a challenging ascent. Good work-out, mid-week not crowded and a well-marked trail. Saddle offers a nice spot for a break. Final segment rutty but accessible. We started at NCAR and went up Fern Canyon trail.

trail running
3 months ago

This hike is well worth the effort especially for some good views of the flatirons and front range. As you get closer to the top, the climb becomes more technical with boulders and loose rock, but nothing that an able-bodied human or canine can’t do. My pup and I ran most of the way until we hit the more technical sections and it was a blast! Highly recommended for those in the area but I can see how this hike can be dangerous if weather is hot and dry. Bring plenty of water esp. if you have a pup out there.

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome peak! The directions are a bit confusing, you actually start the hike at South Mesa Trail and then I used the map on here to see which way to go when the trail heads intersected. Definitely worth the hike to the top.

hiking
3 months ago

Exactly as the description states. incredibly beautiful and stimulating in every aspect! With ever changing scenery and wildlife, a nice easy warm-up, and the most incredible view as a reward from the peak, this my favorite trail to date.

hiking
3 months ago

This hike was not exciting for the first couple of miles, but then it got much better and more interesting.

Look out for bears! Encountered an adult and a cub on the way down.

3 months ago

Hit the trail at about 7am on a Saturday and it was great, not crowded but started to see more people in the way down, still not bad. Definitely strenuous, but I haven’t done many hikes lately so I’m not sure I’m the best judge. Pretty mellow first half until you climb between bear peak and south boulder peak, easy to hit both while you’re up there and each offers a little bit of a different view so definitely check both out (only adds like 20 minutes I’d say to the hike). Very pretty views and diverse vegetation from top to bottom which kept it interesting. My knees were shakin’ on the way down as there’s lots of rocks to go down but that’s only about 1/2 of the trail, as the first half is quite wide and gravelly. Would definitely do it again!

hiking
4 months ago

Definitely a challenging trail. I’m in good shape but being from a lower elevation, I felt pretty winded at times. With breaks I still took about 4 hours with a half hour break at the peak. The view was worth it for sure. Highly recommend getting an early start since the trail is in the full sun at the beginning.

4 months ago

This hike borders on moderate to hard. A fairly mild incline with a few steeper sections. We have run into a large bear on this trail so be alert and be prepared for what to do. We had to turn around the last time when the big guy would not back off and grant us passage.

hiking
4 months ago

This is a great hike. I would call this the long slog to the top. We took Mesa via Towhee to Shadow Canyon to Bear Peak. Really beautiful views at all levels of the hike. Ran into rain/hail going up and waited it out. it cleared for a bit and by the time we reached the saddle more fronts we coming in. The Summit scramble was quick and we got pounded again with hail/rain coming back down to the Saddle. Overall...it was an awesome hike with wonderful view. took us 7.5 hours round trip. Most of that was due to several breaks and a couple good pauses for sheltering from the hail.

4 months ago

Great walk

hiking
4 months ago

2 mid-twenty girls and it took us just a little over 4 hours up and down. Awesome hike, the views make it worth it. Lots of rock scrambling and not much else than going straight up! A good workout, but not too too difficult.

Make sure you have $5 cash for parking!

hiking
4 months ago

Well worth the hike!

hiking
4 months ago

We hiked Bear Peak on Saturday 7/21, very hot sunny Boulder summer day. Coming from near sea level and not an experienced mountaineer I have always tried to follow the rules of climbing when doing 14ers. and other Peaks. We got a late start and ran out of water even though we had approx. 3 liters each. While we didn't get lightening it came close and we could see storms rolling in from the northwest. This was a very strenuous hike on a 94 degree day. 4 hours 20 minutes , 10 miles from NCAR parking in total, we did a loop. While I would highly recommend this hike and I will do this again, always be prepared. Enjoy!

4 months ago

Lns

4 months ago

Transplant to Colorado and have done a few hikes and this was one of my favorites. Hiked this today and it was tough. Gorgeous views from the top!! Definitely want to do this before it gets too hot out on your way down. A lot of rocks, shade and great trail.

5 months ago

The first part of the hike is very exposed — there is no shade so come prepared! It becomes nice and shaded once you reach Shadow Canyon trail, however, then begins the most difficult part of the journey. This is not a hike to bring your low-altitude friends on, as it is demanding of your endurance, balance, and ability to climb a lot of rocks. Reaching the summit is quite a treat after everything is all said and done. I completed it in 5 hours roundtrip while intermittently resting as needed, but I am also in relatively good shape. Happy trails!

hiking
5 months ago

Love this hike. Took it slow and steady and made it in 4.3 hours. Beautiful and challenging.

hiking
5 months ago

I thought I was in decent shape. But damn. This trail was very humbling. Took shadow canyon up — lots of scrambling but doable. Took fern canyon down — so steep, so tiring. Ended up being 11-12 miles and 8 hours total with breaks and picnic at the peak. I am city dweller, however, so I’m probably on the slower side. With all that said...TOTALLY WORTH IT.

hiking
5 months ago

Perfect conditions. Hard but attainable for the average hiker. Turn south and visit boulder peak too only adds less than an hour

5 months ago

Great workout, I have done it for years

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