Bear Peak Trail

HARD 377 reviews
#2 of 24 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
4 days 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
5 days 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
14 days 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
21 days ago

Always spectacular

21 days 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!

24 days 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.

26 days ago

Difficult and rewarding hike with astounding views. We ascended NCAR and West Ridge to the summit, and descend via Fern and NCAR. I highly recommend it!

1 month ago

Did this trail out and back via shadow canyon on 3/13. In my opinion, it's a pretty uninteresting trail from a view and geological standpoint until the last 0.3 miles, but what it lacks in beauty it makes up for in physical challenge. Trail was completely clear of snow and pretty dry !

hiking
1 month ago

Interesting boulders on the way up, easy scramble for the last 100 feet to the summit, great views the entire way. We descended via Fern Canyon, which is much steeper than the ascent via Shadow Canyon. Fern Canyon brings you closer to larger formations, then you can use the Mesa Trail to get back to the parking area. Microspikes needed in late February.

1 month ago

Beautiful day for a hike! It was a bit muddy and icy but with micro-spikes, we were good. Slipped a few times but we laughed it off. Lots of people on the trail, likely due to the weather. Took us about 4 hours at an easy, steady pace with a small dog.

2 months ago

Today was a beautiful day with great views of all of the snow caped peaks in their full glory. Shadow Canyon was ok on the way up but Fern Canyon was very slick. My micro spikes made it fine but my hiking partner was experimenting with creative descents in the slickest spots.

hiking
2 months ago

Perfect weather for hiking! We took Shadow Canyon on the way up--steep but doable without microspikes (2/4 of us had a pair). The views at the top are stunning; it is a pretty narrow clamber to the peak and benefits from microspikes. We lucked out and got a half hour without wind, too. The way down we took Fern Canyon and definitely should have had more microspikes, it was pretty brutal slipping and sliding down packed snow/ice all the way down, and once we hit the Mesa Trail section it was very muddy. All in all though a gorgeous hike and well worth the effort!

hiking
2 months ago

Nice variation between easy portions with more challenging sections, especially once you cross the first stream. The trail had a layer of snow, but not enough to need traction devices. Great views once you get to the top of the ridge, would definitely recommend!

hiking
3 months ago

Nice hike - summer type (66 deg in the city) weather in January. Hiked both Bear and S Boulder Peaks without microspikes - unusual for Jan.

hiking
3 months ago

Great day hike. Started around 8am, trail was mildly icy in a few spots. Nothing bad, didn’t use traction. Shadow Canyon trail is a little hard to follow in the rockier parts but not too hard to get back on track. Great views!

3 months ago

Great hike! The last push is incredible

hiking
3 months ago

This is a fun trail. Took the dog and was fine for a pup, except the last 40-80 vertical feet. Other dogs were doing it,but I had to lift my dog down one 3 ft drop he couldn’t find footing on. Once you get on Shadow Canyon trail the traffic drops off and the vertical starts climbing quickly from there on. Going up was challenging. Seeing Devils Thumb from below, parallel and above was really cool.

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome close to home!

hiking
3 months ago

Did Bear Peak and South Boulder Peak in one push. Bear Peak was the nicer and more fun summit. Had normal running shoes and didn't need to take out the crampons. 4,5 hrs slow tempo. Well worth it.

3 months ago

great trail run and hike

hiking
3 months ago

A good jaunt: It'll raise your blood pressure and make ya sweat from the climb up to Fern Ridge and then onto the peak. Windy.

hiking
4 months ago

Awesome views of the Flatirons. This is a great trail that is deceptively easy at the front Save some energy for the last bit where it gets fairly technical. I would call that last little push a solid class 4.

hiking
4 months ago

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

hiking
4 months ago

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

4 months 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.

5 months ago

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

5 months ago

Great Hike

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
6 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.

6 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.

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