Bear Peak Trail

HARD 490 reviews
#4 of 84 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
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.

3 hours 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
7 days 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.

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
13 days 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.

14 days ago

Great walk

hiking
19 days 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
20 days ago

Well worth the hike!

hiking
25 days 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!

27 days ago

Lns

28 days 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.

1 month 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
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month 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
1 month ago

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

1 month ago

Great workout, I have done it for years

1 month ago

It never gets easy! It’s always a beautiful hike in every season. Indeed, it’s a challenge and is rated appropriately. Work up to the difficulty and it’s very enjoyable.

hiking
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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!!!

2 months 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
2 months 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

2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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.

2 months ago

Awesome hike! It is not easy tho

hiking
2 months 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.

2 months 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!

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