Bear Peak via Shanahan Ridge

HARD 180 reviews
#16 of 98 trails in

Bear Peak via Shanahan Ridge is a 4.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Boulder, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,611 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

trail running

forest

views

wild flowers

rocky

snow

This hike can be completed year round, though it can be covered in snow after a snowfall. Depending on the time of year, there are creeks and ponds for water.

2 days ago

Great hike. Did a winter sunrise hike to Bear Peak on 1/15/19. Started the hike at 4:30am and made the sunrise just in time. Definitely not the smartest decision, but the sunrise was beautiful. Trail is packed down and icy. At the top of the peak, for a section of ~100ft or so, it is going to be tough with snowpack in some places. I don't have microspikes, but they would have been extremely useful and cut down the hike time substantially.

hiking
4 months ago

That was certainly tough. Extremely steep at times. Amazing 360 degree views from the top. Thankfully the haze that has been around for seemingly weeks was gone today. Took me about 3 hours total with some short breaks.

hiking
5 months ago

Boulder hiking at its best. The thigh burn begins at Shanahan-Mesa and really turns up at Fern Canyon. Lots of large, high steps. The summit is a hand-over-hand scramble and boulder climb. The views are excellent - gorgeous sites all along the trail. Wildflowers visible near the peak. Head up early to avoid the flies - I summited at 9am and there were no flies at all.

hiking
6 months ago

Nature’s version of a stairmaster!

hiking
6 months ago

Great challenging hike w/ dog. Good workout Fern canyon is no joke. Last .5 mile will have you questioning life choices and dreaming of calories... gummy bears... Dog couldn’t make very last bit to summit- which is a scary scramble if you don’t like heights. Amazing views and totally worth it- the gnats were a welcome protein. Hit South Boulder peak.- worth it while you’re up there. Came down via Bear canyon... that was too crowded.

hiking
7 months ago

This was such an amazing hike, but be prepared to work. Started sweating 10 mins in, and I normally don’t sweat much at all! This trailhead started incline immediately, and doesn’t ever really level out at any point. However, this is my favorite hike that I’ve done by far. The views are incredible at the top. BUG SPRAY IS NECESSARY, especially at the peak. Would hike again. Make sure you are in shape to climb 2600 ft in a 2.2 mile span.

hiking
7 months ago

An awesome hike that’s close to home if you aren’t looking to drive too far for some good views. It kicked my butt, but I’ll be back!

hiking
8 months ago

Excellent hike with incredible 360 views

8 months ago

This trail is tough! But the views are worth the climb. It was fairly crowded when I started but it thins out the further you get.

hiking
8 months ago

It was a perfect day to hike this trail although it was somewhat crowded. Fairly steep hike most of the trail rocky or with boulders mostly toward the end. Way to many bugs by the summit, suggesting bug repellent.
The view is great and the ponderosa pines are pretty nice

hiking
9 months ago

This was a beautiful but strenuous hike to the Bear Peak Summit.The weather was nearly perfect except for the high clouds. Temperature remained in the 60’s and very light winds. It is approximately a 5.9 round trip. For the entire day, I passed 18-20 people. Most of the day was with me, myself, and I.

The path begins narrow but widens as you reach the Shanghai Ridge Trail. It is always heading up. Think about it. In 2.9 miles you will climb over 2500’ in elevation. The closer you get to the Summit the narrower and steeper your trek becomes. I had to take short breaks for the last mile to the Peak. At times, toward the end, you’ll need to use your hands for assistance. Unless of course, you’re in excellent condition. Me, I’m 54 years young but was breathing fairly heavily near the top.

Once you Summit, you have breathtaking panoramic views in all directions. Longs Peak is to the northwest while Mt Evans shares its glory from the southwest. Look east and the Great Plains never end. Boulder and the Flatirons are to the north and if you look closely, you’ll view Eldora Ski Resort just south of due west.

Overall, I highly recommend it, especially if you’re wanting to climb some 14ers this summer.

hiking
10 months ago

Coil treads recommended for winter hike to reach the top

hiking
Monday, January 08, 2018

definitely advise some spike shoes for peace of mind-higher you go the pathway gets a bit icy in some precarious locations but an enjoyable hike with incredible views (very windy at top, layer up)

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Great Hike, Windy at the top, steep at times.

trail running
Monday, November 27, 2017

Great way to elevate your heart rate! Upper Bear Peak is as normal, eroded, loose, steep, lots of opportunities to crash on way down. All ice on this trail is now melted until the next snow storm, no need for Kahtoola Microspikes, or Yaktrax.

hiking
Monday, November 13, 2017

You need crampons/yaktrax to complete the full hike at this point. Far to icy for simple hiking shoes, don't be fooled by warm temps either, shady trails can keep ice for a long period of time, and it gets packed in by hikers over time.

hiking
Sunday, October 29, 2017

This is definitely a challenging hike, but the view from the peak is amazing. FYI, if you’re afraid of heights, the end of this hike can be a little sketchy. But if you’re ok with jagged peaks, then sitting at the top on a sunny Fall day is incredible.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Definitely one of the hardest climbs I've ever made. Equally rewarding though!

hiking
Monday, September 18, 2017

very challenging hike. Last 1/2 mile is very steep but awesome workout. Beautiful views at top! You can see very far west, possibly even Winter Park ski runs (I think).

hiking
Saturday, September 16, 2017

The hike up Fern Canyon is no joke but the views from the top are incredible. Make sure to hop over to South Boulder too! Definitely worth the easy additional mile.

hiking
Tuesday, September 05, 2017

hiking
Wednesday, August 02, 2017

killer trail, and I mean that in the best way possible. good little scramble near the top, which had incredible views. only downside was the plethora of bugs at the summit.

hiking
Sunday, July 30, 2017

Awesome hike! Strenuous, steep incline until the Fern Canyon overlook. From Fern Canyon up to the top of Bear Peak is a very strenuous climb, stair-stepping on rocks to the top. The view is completely worth it! Feels like you can see the whole state from up there. Come prepared with a hat, lots of water, and snacks. Best on cool, cloudy day.

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

Great but strenuous hike up to one of the highest peaks right above the city of Boulder. Pretty tough incline that gets steeper as you get close to the top. Views from the summit are amazing!! Very buggy at the very top localized to one rock at the summit for whatever reason. Bring lots of water!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Great hike. Beautiful views. I'm not the most in shape person. Definitely felt this one the next day.

hiking
Monday, June 19, 2017

Great hike. The last 0.5 mile is extremely steep.

hiking
Saturday, June 17, 2017

Great close hike with an epic summit & great views - you need to be in shape for it

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Super steep to the top, beautiful view at the summit, long way down, but it was great :)

hiking
Monday, June 05, 2017

Did this a few days ago and Loved it.. So peaceful and the views are amazing.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Fun and challenging trail with some beautiful views and fun scrambles on the way up. Was killed by the swarm of black flies at the summit though. Not sure if it's a seasonal thing, but it was so bad I could only stay at the summit for a minute before having to run down to get away from them.

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