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Black Bear Trail to Ralston Roost

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Golden Gate Canyon State Park

Black Bear Trail to Ralston Roost is a 4.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Golden, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and bird watching and is best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.2 miles Elevation Gain: 1,187 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

scramble

Hiked this trail today 6/24/20. Short for enthusiastic hikers but hard to challenge your stamina. Starting trail at Ralston Roost Parking lot I hiked clockwise direction. It was about 2 miles on uphill and the path is very rocky. I do not recommend going downhill in this direction. Coming back to parking lot on horseshoe trail was manageable.

hiking
rocky
10 days ago

hiking
rocky
12 days ago

Gorgeous trail. Parking was limited at the trailhead at 930 am and I had to park on the side of the road (which isn’t allowed). Definitely recommend doing this trail clockwise, starting with Black Bear trail. There’s a segment of the trail that seems a bit tricky to follow but I just used All Trails to keep me on track. The second part of the trail is just a beautiful hike through the woods. I definitely wouldn’t rate this hike as hard - more of a moderate hike in my opinion.

hiking
rocky
15 days ago

The view on the top is worth the difficultness of trail. Started on the left side of the trail and we were glad we did due to the rocky parts. It was better going up than trying to come down on that side. Will be back for sure. Make sure to take lots of water.

hiking
20 days ago

This was an incredible hike! Great workout and nice views of mountains, meadows and many different trees. Definitely recommend going left once you get to the loop so you can take care of the rock scramble on the incline! Also if you get to the lot before 9am, be sure to have your $9 fee in cash. Will definitely do this one again!

hiking
fee
rocky
25 days ago

Arrived around 6am and the parking lot was empty. Challenging trail with lots of shade from trees. Be sure to watch for the trail markings as my group went off trail a few times. You can see the road from the highest viewpoint but there was no road noise during the hike.

hiking
1 month ago

trail is dry. braided in places but well marked in the rocky portions. challenging, nice views and lots of aspens.

hiking
icy
2 months ago

It was a nice hike. Should be better once the Aspen leaves come in. Only a few icy spots but they were totally manageable.

hiking
snow
2 months ago

Stunning views and an awesome challenge on the way up. The way down was still packed with snow and very icy in some parts, poles would be helpful

hiking
rocky
snow
2 months ago

First 2 miles have a steady incline. Very rocky through out. Shady and mostly trees for most of the loop. Thus, limited views but very nice challenging day hike.

hiking
muddy
snow
3 months ago

Need park pass for this trail! At the beginning it was not marked very well, we got off trail made our way back. A lot of snow at this time would recommend hiking stick! Nice trail’ fun hike

hiking
muddy
snow
3 months ago

There’s snow on most of the trail so I would recommend traction devices. I would also be mindful of the warming temperatures as the trail was getting very muddy towards the end. Beautiful trail that’s mostly through the trees.

hiking
snow
4 months ago

Mostly snow packed with a few sections of ice. If you do all of Horseshoe Trail, the back half has not been hiked much and still has some deep snow. We post-holed a few places. Cloudy today so the views were not much but this is a great hike not far from Denver.

hiking
rocky
snow
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Basically did this hike except we did all of Horseshoe which makes this hike 6 miles on the nose. About 80% of this trails is still covered in hard packed snow and ice (and it's snow heavily as I write this). We saw people do this without extra traction but we were very glad we had ours. Views on the west side of Black Bear Trails we great today. Great hike with woods, meadows and decent views.

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
5 months ago

hiking
icy
rocky
scramble
snow
5 months ago

Beautiful trail! Decent snow and ice. Definitely needed poles and spikes. Our dog LOVED it.

hiking
closed
rocky
scramble
snow
7 months ago

Thanksgiving hike! 2 days after the snow storm made this trip very interesting. If this was done in summer, it didn't take too long to finish it. Some part of trail was not existed anymore, I am glad I had a downloaded map. I only ran into 4 groups of people but didn't look like nobody stepped on the top since no footprints there. The trail was well-marked(most of the times), so I was able to follow the sign to identify the trail with deep snow. Glad I completed the hike! It's worth it :) 11/28/2019 #54

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