Bear Peak Trail

HARD 437 reviews
#4 of 83 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
6 days ago

This hike was extremely challenging! I loved it, it is so beautiful the scenery left me in ah. You do have to pay for parking here, it’s only 5 dollars cash only, that was the only downside.

hiking
10 days ago

Very challenging. Steep scrambling most of the way. It's also fairly exposed the whole way, so it would be better in early morning or on an overcast day. I'm an intermediate level hiker and I'm still sore two days later. It was a little busy , but not unbearable. A tough hike for dogs, but they can do it with some help in the rockier areas.

hiking
11 days ago

This hike is HARD. Came up from Florida, went on one 3.5 mike warm-up home the day before. Ascended the fern canyon trail to the top (so steep), then descended the shadow canyon trail (easier to descend). The views from the top were beautiful! Took us 3.5hrs to get to the top, 2.5 down. Totally worth it!!!

15 days ago

Incredible views the whole way. Last couple miles are very steep, with a near scramble for the last 10 minutes or so. A harder hike than I expected but the views made it worth the climb.

hiking
18 days ago

Went on a weds and relatively quiet for a Boulder hike. Difficult climbing over boulders and up the valley. Pretty views. I prefer the other hike to the peak that starts in Chataqua as it seems more scenic

19 days ago

This was definitely a difficult trail. It is also very busy. Uncomfortably busy.

hiking
22 days ago

This is one of mine and my pup’s favorite hikes ever. It gets tough in the last mile and a half or so but totally worth it. Beautiful views at the top!

Depending on the season, be prepared for slippery icy areas and there’s some loose rock towards the end.

hiking
22 days ago

The difficulty rating is well deserved! Hardest trail I’ve ever done with a total of 3,148 ft of gain. I also did south boulder peak on this hike. Shadow canyon was way harder than I thought it would be but as usual hard work pays off with incredible views at the top. Scrambling on bear peak was thrilling but I guess this time of yr there’s tons of bugs so the summit was full of them, SoBo too. Well worth the trek!

hiking
24 days ago

We didn’t quite follow this route so it ended up being closer to 10 miles but this was challenging and fun with great views towards boulder and Denver. Definitely ranked appropriately as hard even though the altitude is pretty low. Conditions were great.

hiking
26 days ago

Excellent and strenuous hike first through the open fields/forest until you get to shadow canyon and then it is tough big steps and steep elevation gains to the top. Views are amazing of course!

hiking
26 days ago

360 view at the top. If you are not in good shape you should reconsider; the climb is pretty steep and steady once you get off Mesa Trail. If you take Shadow Canyon trail up make sure you stay right when you hit the rocky area that you feel like you have potentially lost the trail. Great view though, def worth it.

26 days ago

Awesome hike! It is not easy tho

hiking
26 days ago

Beautiful hike! Continued on Mesa trail instead of going the shadow canyon route. The hike is easy up until about the last three quarters of a mile in which the ascension to the top is pretty tough. The flies at the peak are fairly annoying but they don't bite.

1 month ago

Hiked on 5/20. It was a cloudy day so we didn’t get any views, but it was still fun! The trail was muddy but passable. Not a fly in sight. Met lots and lots of friendly puppers!

1 month ago

This trail kicked my butt. Bear canyon trail was really scenic. The nats or flies were terrible. I couldn’t even get a photo at the top they were so bad. I hiked the West ridge and came back down the same way. Fourth hike of the season I just wasn’t prepared. I could barely walk by the time I reached my car. I have done bear peak from fern canyon before. It seemed much easier than coming in from the West. All in all it was a good hike and am glad I did it. 5/17/18

hiking
1 month ago

My friend and I did this hike today and we thought it would be useful to give a few tips.
1) make sure to bring an adequate amount of water
2) mentally prepare for a long, a very long, hike
3) an early start is ideal
4) when it gets hard, keep going!
After we completed the hike, it was a huge accomplishment. It’s well worth doing it (the view is awesome towards the top). However, we didn’t make it to the very top because we literally were attacked by flies; I think some died in my hair, if I’m being honest.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike. Definitely not for beginners. The Mesa loop was very muddy.

hiking
1 month ago

Went yesterday with two friends and the dogs. It is a really beautiful trail even through our view from the peak was non-existent because it was a foggy/rainy day. The beginning is relatively gentle steady incline and then as soon as you hit shadow canyon trail, the climb up becomes more intense and is pretty consistently difficult until you get to the fork that takes you either to south boulder peak or bear peak. there is a pretty simple section of scrambling up to bear peak. Coming back down was almost as much of a leg workout as going up was a cardio workout. Really lush and beautiful.

hiking
1 month ago

Completed this hike yesterday with a friend. Starts out pretty easy, but quickly becomes advanced or as my friend put it, “It’s relentless.” This is definitely a glute, ham & thigh burner. Once you get to the top, you are rewarded with beautiful views. However, at the summit you have to fight off swarms of black flies! While the flies likely won’t last long, there was no stopping for a snack or meditation as the flies were aggressive. Instead of coming down the way we came, we decided to go down the north side via Fern Trail (I think). This was a MUCH steeper and sketchier hike down. Wish we were the wiser and went back the way we came. My knees haven’t forgiven me yet! This hike will challenge you both physically and mentally, but it is well worth it and prepare appropriately! Happy trails!

hiking
1 month ago

VERY difficult hike. Did yesterday, 5/9, started about 4:15 and was back down around 9:10. No joke of a hike. Had to take my time going both up and down because of the steep incline. Views are amazing. Will take me a few days to say it was worth it (my knees and legs are definitely feeling it right now). I think everyone should give it a try!

hiking
1 month ago

Fucking rad hike. Gorgeous views with lots of landscape diversity.

hiking
1 month ago

This is no beginners hike. Very steep. I had to take multiple breaks. However the views are worth it but if you have bad knees don’t do this hike! Very heavy inclines.

hiking
1 month ago

Did 5/4- didn’t make it the whole way because... it was hard. Seriously uphill 95% of the way. Once you get on shadow canyon, you enter into a beautiful forest that is nice and cool. Would do again but on a day when I had more energy.

hiking
1 month ago

One of our favorite hard hikes and has amazing views at the end. We saw a momma bear and her cub along with two bull snakes. The trek up the mountain is quite difficult and you have to be prepared to make it back down! #whatgoesupmustcomedown

hiking
2 months ago

I started my trek around 10:30 am after having to run to the gas station to get cash for the $5 fee that was required to park in the lot. It was slightly overcast, but the sun was shining through the clouds and I broke a sweat after climbing up the hill and pushing forward around the bend on Mesa Trail.

It was a relatively gradual and easy climb until I reached the fork in the trail to take Shadow Canyon North or continue on to Beak Peak. This is where the trail earns it's "Hard" classification, as it is a 2.2 mile trek directly uphill to the ridge line where South Boulder Peak and Bear Peak trails meet.

From the ridge line it is a easy trek to the top of the peak, with just an additional 300 ft. or so of elevation gain. There is a false summit near the top, though, and if you want to reach the top you will need to scramble across some boulders to reach the true summit.

Reaching the summit is well worth it, as you have incredible 360 degree views of Longs Peak, the Flatirons, the city of Boulder, South Boulder Peak, and so much more!

This was a somewhat difficult hike with exceptionally rewarding views upon reaching the summit. Definitely not for the faint of heart, as this was as taxing, if not more taxing than some of the easier 14ers I've completed in the past. Absolutely worth it for those of you looking to test yourself with some beautiful landscape along the way!

(It took me about 4 hours to complete the hike, with a few stops along the way)

hiking
2 months ago

Enjoyed a hike near Boulder.... it felt a lot like the fourteeners I’ve climbed.... quite a lot of elevation gain in short amount of distance..... fun! I’d do it again

hiking
2 months ago

A must! Was last here Weds the 16th of March when Boulder got dumped by at least 4-6 inches of snow. It was so different from my first hike when it was dry. It was instead very windy! I had to hold on to rocks, branches or get pushed off the trail. Both hikes were extreme n both times I summit the peak. Each occasion made difficult by ice/snow/wind. But this is gorgeous!

trail running
2 months ago

Always spectacular

2 months ago

Excellent trail. A bit muddy this time of year but offer the perfect amount of scenery and challenge mixed into a single hike. Great trail for dogs!

2 months ago

I wouldn’t say simple but also wouldn’t say hard, it was nice and beautiful. Could be strenuous for those new or working to improve their skills. Completed the hike today (3.27) fresh snow at the base of a couple inches, upwards of a foot near the top. My 8 y/o son did it with little motivational pep talking. Rewarding views once you get to the top, we had a slow pace with the kid and made it up in just over 2 hours with the fresh snow. Had Micro’s with but didn’t need them, good boots all around. By the time we got to the bottom, nice and muddy and no snow. Good, fun Colorado trail.

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