Black Bear Trail to Ralston Roost

HARD 64 reviews

Black Bear Trail to Ralston Roost is a 4.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Golden, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1263 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

2 days ago

awesome hike. challenging and fun. moderate traffic. amazing views at top.

hiking
11 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

So nice! We couldn't believe how few people we ran into (we were the only car parked at the trailhead on a Tuesday afternoon). Beautiful, shaded trail with lots of Aspens (I can see this being an amazing Fall hike) and several nice outcroppings. Trail is extremely well marked with signs. The map on All Trails suggests making it a loop with the Horseshoe Trail, which is wise and saves you some mileage. As an out and back, this would be closer to 5.6 miles, with some extra elevation gain on the way back. Wouldn't consider this a very difficult hike. There are some rocky bits, but not really any scrambling required. Hit up this park on August 7 for free entry (Colorado Parks Day)!

hiking
1 month ago

Love this route....

hiking
1 month ago

Did this trail a few days ago. The views weren't that great but the trial itself is really pretty. Lots of butterflies and aspens. Reminded me of scenes from Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. the first half is pretty steep and uphill while the second half is pretty simple.

hiking
1 month ago

It was a great hike. I enjoyed going up through the black bear trail, because it was a lot more of climing and hiking all the way to the peak.

1 month ago

Gorgeous. Tough to find the trail several times. Unexpected incline toward the end!

hiking
1 month ago

Altogether a great trail and a good workout! I'd say this trail is somewhere between moderate and difficult (going clockwise and ascending via Black Bear). Depends on how good you are with quick elevation gains. I huffed and puffed my way up but was pretty much able to go at a constant pace while it was an easy walk for my husband. Despite ample signage, still managed to wind up off trail 3 times on the way up, but found the trail again pretty quickly. Black bear is rocky and narrow with some rock scrambling while mule deer/horseshoe are well worn, spacious dirt trails. Saw beautiful aspen groves, views of the mountains, wildflowers, and small streams. Pretty shady the entire time. Small parking area at ralston roost. If you park there and go clockwise, make sure you take a right at the last turn on horseshoe trail to return to that lot instead of continuing straight to horseshoe trail head/parking lot. stop at the visitors center to get your permit. we brought our little 15lb dog and he did great!

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

This hike was stunning! My daughter and I didn't think it was difficult, just a very steady upward climb with some mild rock scrambling at the top. The flowers were beautiful and the views are spectacular! We took the wrong trail back down (Mule Deer) and ended up having to walk the road back to our car so we ended up doing 6 miles.

2 months ago

Great loop. Black bear trail has some great views at the top and can be hard at points. The horseshoe side of the loop is pretty casual with a few steep spots. Good mix of rigorous exercise and relatively easy stroll through the woods.

2 months ago

2 months ago

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail. Moderate B hike classification. Don't know why people are saying this is hard. Hard is South Boulder Peak via Shadow Canyon.

The trail is rocky at some points but not difficult at all. These aren't like difficult boulder fields! Seriously, peeps this is a moderate climb. Plus there were tons of wildflowers to look at on the trail.

Black bear trail to Mule deer trail to Horseshoe trail. Did little bit off-trail bush whacking hiking at Mule Deer to see if there was a way to the upper Meadow- there wasn't. Lower Frazer Meadow, where the cabin is, good spot for lunch.

Awesome views at Ralston Roost of still snow capped Epaulet, Rosalie, Mt. Evans and Indian Peaks.

Wildflowers are out and are fabulous- everything from Calypso orchids, Shooting Stars, Star Solomon Seal to Wallflowers etc. We, being wildflowers enthusiasts, had to stop frequently to take pics of the fantastic wildflowers.

2 months ago

2 months ago