Black Bear/Horseshoe Loop

MODERATE 70 reviews

Black Bear/Horseshoe Loop is a 6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Central City, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. 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
6.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,433 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

wild flowers

hiking
1 month ago

Just finished this hike with my fiance and our dog and it was incredible! We took the Black Bear trail from the Ralston Roost parking area and followed the loop clockwise. I'm really glad we did this because it starts off really steep and rocky, but after you make it to the top and start down on the Horseshoe trail it's less steep and a bit easier. It's nice to get the hard stuff out of the way first, while I'm fresh.

There's some rock scramble areas, and areas where the trail isn't clear due to boulders, but the signage is really good, so keep your eyes open for those. The Meadows are incredibly beautiful and the flowers are starting to bloom. No snow at all on this trail, that was a concern since some of the higher up trails are still snow covered.

We'll definitely add this trail to our repertoire!

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty nice trail. Recommend going up blackbear to get the hard uphill out of the way. Very nice hike with light traffic.

hiking
2 months ago

We did this Monday 7-30-18. Beautiful hike, good climb at the start if you go to the left and do Blackbear first. Appreciate the signage at the top! Will likely go back once the Aspens start to change color.

trail running
4 months ago

Would do this one again. I love this park, it’s beautiful!! I can’t wait to do mountain lion trail on the other side now.

It gets very rocky at the top so be sure to follow the signs. No mountain bikers!!!! :) I saw people with dogs, but I can’t imagine doing the top of this trail with a dog. Horseshoe trail is good for trail running on the way back, but black bear is more of a hiking trail.

backpacking
4 months ago

Did this as introduction backpacking experience for my partner. Good little overnight trip. You do have to pick your campsite ahead of time at the visitors center, but we arrived in the afternoon and only one had been selected (on a holiday weekend). We camped at site five and had a couple of encounters with two moose there. As others have said, not a ton of breathtaking views but still worth doing.

hiking
5 months ago

Love this hike. No bikes or horses allowed on most of the trail so this one stays fairly quiet even when the rest of the park is crowded. Steady climb no matter which direction you go. Great views on Black Bear and a nice creek on the Horseshoe side. Rocky in spots and watch the signs on the incline in Black Bear. It is very easy to go the wring direction. Great hike close to Denver.

10 months ago

Hiked the first week of December. It is very rocky at parts and not much of a view except at the very top. Still a very wonderful trail.

hiking
11 months ago

Nice fairly short hike through mostly wooded trails. Don't expect many aha moments but there are some nice snow cap shots. Strenuous and rocky at times but should be doable for most. Make sure to have a map. To follow the trail as it is shown here, there are lots of turns. The trail is well marked but pay attention in the area around Ralston Roost as it makes its way through rocky terrain.

hiking
Sunday, October 15, 2017

Did the black bear trail. Great hike, great views. Coming back for camping!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

This trail is fine, but not one you'll be telling your friends they HAVE to do. The colors were starting to change last weekend and there are some great aspen groves along the trail, which were very pretty.

The thing this trail lacks is sweeping views of the surrounding valley and mountains. There are spots where you can go off trail to find a ledge with views, but the majority of the trail itself is in the trees.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Pretty hike! Spot on for distance. You do need a park pass so stop at the station right before the turn to the trailhead if you don't have one. Some of the Aspens were just starting to change when we went last weekend. I imagine it will be even more beautiful in a few weeks.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Great trail. Some loose areas and steep moments but not too difficult.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Solid hike for exercise, but the scenery could be better.

hiking
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Great hike, weather was great. We got a little rain around 1230 ish, but not bad. Not very crowded at all. Beautiful flowers and scenery.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Awesome hike! There is some rock scrambling, but trail is very well marked. You also go through aspen groves which will be beautiful in the fall.

hiking
Sunday, June 25, 2017

Great hike! Well marked and a lot of variety to the trail. Went up Black Bear trail and came down Horseshoe Trail. Black bear trail was some what challenging but definitely doable with beautiful views. Took about 3 1/2 hours.

hiking
Sunday, June 25, 2017

Great hike!

hiking
Friday, June 16, 2017

Went up the Horseshoe trail and down Black Bear. This was a very doable hike - only challenging part was a little bit of rock scrambling on the top. I think going up the opposite way would be considerably more difficult. Wildflowers were pretty. Very little traffic on a Friday.

hiking
Monday, May 29, 2017

Great hike close to Denver and Golden. Went on the Sunday before memorial day and the Black Bear portion was almost empty. Just a couple other groups of hikers. The mule deer section of the trail was very busy on our way back to the trailhead. The Black Bear portion is a good, strenuous hike uphill, scrabbling over some boulder areas. You then go down and meet up with the mule deer trail. No wildflowers in the meadows on May 29.. I bet in a couple weeks it would be different.

hiking
Friday, May 12, 2017

Enjoyable hike. Pretty view and wildflowers at Frazer Meadow during the correct season.

hiking
13 days ago

recorded Black Bear/Horseshoe Loop

hiking
16 days ago

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23 days ago

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