Bear Peak via the Shadow Canyon Trail

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Boulder Open Space

Bear Peak via the Shadow Canyon Trail is a 13.0 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Boulder, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length13.0 kmElevation gain881 mRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashHikingNature tripsBird watchingRunningForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyScrambleFee
Description
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There is a $5 fee for parking. The trail to Bear Peak from the parking lot starts out fairly easy with well-maintained trails. The lower third is high desert, crowded suburban-type parkland, before curving into a more steep, but quieter and still wide track. The final portion is a boulder clambering, challenging, and high stepping elevation gain in the pine needle woods before emerging atop the snow-covered craggy peak. As you progress deeper and higher, the terrain increases in difficulty to the point of being slightly technical. The great views at the top look towards the rocky mountains and there are views of Boulder, Colorado as well. Beautiful scenery can be viewed from start to end. Vast meadows sprawling with wildflowers to forests with towering evergreens to rocky boulders of great size. During the winter months, wearing microspikes can be useful for hiking in the snow. Hikers suggest checking out the conditions before hitting the trail to make sure the park is open.

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Reviews (932)
Photos (2,251)
Activities (620)
Completed (3,520)
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Colorado Girl
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Hiking

Dry up to the saddle and then up to the top of Bear. Was able to make it thru slush going up to the top of SoBo. Spikes very helpful coming down from SoBo to the saddle.

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Kristine Ogle
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Hiking

Very good

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Onkar G
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HikingGreat!
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Conner Mcshain
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HikingIcy

Incredible. Recommend spikes

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D Turner
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Hiking

Great day. Almost all snow gone on the trail except for the last quarter mile to the top. I put my spikes on there.

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Grev Tucker
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Hiking

Y go’ss

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Tony E
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HikingIcyMuddyRockySnow

Wear spikes! It’ll be an enormous help! It’s still a very snowy hike. Going up was fine with just hiking boots. Coming down, however, was very challenging without spikes. Took my dog with me and he had a blast! Close to the peak, walking along the edge can be pretty scary. The view from the peak is beautiful though!

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Trevor Moylan
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Hiking

Challenging but awesome hike. Amazing views.

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Jerry Pickart
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Hiking
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Sophie Bergan
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Hiking

Awesome!!

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Onkar G
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HikingIcyMuddy

Weather was nice, and it wasn't windy at all. it got a little rough towards the end coz of snow. Microspikes needed, specially for the last part of the hike. The views at the top were amazing obviously.

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william hall
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Hiking
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Tristen Williams
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Hiking

Epic. No ice, beautiful views

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Leah Kron
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Hiking

Great views at the top, but difficult trail.

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Elizabeth Engelbrecht
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HikingRocky

Awesome views (obviously)! The hike gets pretty hard my then end though...like really hard. I’m not in the best shape but I was able to finish it in like 2.5 hours, and even though it got hard, it’s definitely worth.

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Ryan Olson
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HikingIcy

Overused, eroded trail with ice in spots. No traction necessary. Limited parking.

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Nicho F
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Hiking

very technical at the peak, be careful

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Bennett Bennett Washburn
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Hiking
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Alexx Gasca
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Hiking

I reach the summit in a little more than 2 hours, it was a little rough for the first 3 miles because of the incline but the last one (the rocky part) was brutal lol, granted I'm not a avid hiker yet, but it was really challenging. I did achieve my goal of catching the sunrise and it was well worth it. on the way back I did took my time to appreciate the views and to eat some breakfast so I did 4 hours on the way back. in resume, Bear Peak is a beautiful hike, but very challenging if your not prepared.

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Callan Hyatt
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Hiking

Great make sure you go in the morning to find a parking spot. Also icy in the the winter because of little sun.

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Daniel Jagd
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Running

Amazing day after Christmas hike, burned off last nights dinner ordered in from Pepper. Most of the ice had melted however we did need micro spikes near the summit.

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Deb Blake
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Hiking

This is surprisingly cool trail. The lower third is high desert, crowded suburban type parkland, before curving into a more steep, but quieter and still wide track. The final portion is a Boulder clambering, challenging and high stepping elevation lift in the pine needled woods before emerging atop the snow covered craggy peak. You’ll need spikes for quite a it bit of the latter and be prepared to strip clothes on and offthroighoit.

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Curtis Jones
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Hiking

Great trail but if you do it when there is ice such as there is now (November), make absolute sure you take shoe spikes (or whatever they are called) - it is a much harder hike and possibly dangerous without them. Great views all the way.

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Bruce Perry
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Hiking
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Collin Olson
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Hiking
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Ilia Kossilov
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Hiking
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