Black Bear Trail to Ralston Roost

HARD 72 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

hiking
4 days ago

7 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail for an early fall hike. The colors look like they are about 10 days - 2 weeks from popping.

I would classify this trail as Moderate, not Hard, but this was my first time in Golden Gate Canyon, so I can't rate this trail relative to other trails in the park.

hiking
1 month ago

Terrific! Hiked this loop this afternoon. Saw a family of 3 moose near the summit. Workout, views, critters - this one has it all.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months 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
2 months ago

2 months ago

Love this route....

hiking
2 months ago

2 months 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
3 months 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.

3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months 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
3 months ago

hiking
3 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.