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Burning Bear Trail is a 7.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Jefferson, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and mountain biking and is best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 7.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1,253 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Directions from Bailey: Eastern Trailhead: From Bailey drive west on Highway 285 for 10.8 miles to Grant. Turn right (north) on Park county Road #62 (sometimes called the Guanella Pass Road) and drive 4.9 miles to the trailhead at a turn in the road. There is a sign and gate on the left (north) side of the road at the trailhead. Parking is available .2 miles further at the parking area for Abyss Lake Trail.

hiking
15 days ago

Trail was in good shape on 5/10, stills some snow in areas but nothing to worry about. Great views at the start of the trail, I was really enjoying the forest and creek but it finishes pretty anticlimactically. The trail just sort of abruptly ends in the woods after a decent incline. After the All Trails map indicated I had reached the end of Burning Bear Trail, I followed the blue trail markers down the other side of the mountain for a bit hoping for a clearing and some views of the surrounding peaks but no luck.

recorded Burning Bear Trail

snowshoeing
snow
2 months ago

hiking
snow
2 months ago

Through woods. Was good snow shoe trip. Went 4 miles out and back to field. Slight uphill climb

snowshoeing
2 months ago

7.7 miles from parking lot to end of trail at top of ridge. Great snowshoe but not much for views at the top.

hiking
snow
2 months ago

Went on 3/15, snow-packed and slushy, last mile or so to the peak could benefit from poles or snowshoes. Nice hike mostly in the trees, peak doesn’t have any views (all wooded), but pleasant on a sunny winter day! Trailhead is down the road a bit from parking lot, away from the Georgetown side of the pass on the right.

hiking
snow
3 months ago

This is a great hike to get away from crowds. The best views were within the first few miles but the remaining trail was perfect forest bathing.

hiking
snow
3 months ago

Great day for a hike on this trail with a snow dump yesterday. Snowshoes or skis appropriate. Easy trail next to a creek and through the Forrest.

snowshoeing
snow
4 months ago

Got started too late in the day to do the whole trail. Snowshoes weren’t required, but made the trek faster. Sunny, cold day. Only saw two other groups out.

hiking
snow
7 months ago

Saw several hunters on this trail. They were very respectful but be aware. They said the hunting season goes through November so keep this in mind when hiking and wear bright noticable colors.

hiking
bugs
7 months ago

Did this mid-July. Unless you’re going the whole trail, there is no view/surprise at the end. LOTS of bugs (seriously counted 24 mosquito bites when I got done). Very easy trail with streams and wildflowers. Lots of shade!

hiking
8 months ago

beautiful hike. nice easy trail without a lot of rocks until the uphill toward the end. not a lot of people. great for dogs because of the water. best views in the beginning, then a lovely hike through mostly forest with a few meadows thrown in. The top of the hike is a bit anticlimactic.

hiking
8 months ago

Not much color yet....

hiking
9 months ago

Once I found the actual trail head it was really nice. Thanks to previous reviews that mentioned the location of the trailhead I was able to find it. Signage definitely needs to be A LOT better!!

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

We have three kids under 10 and it was the perfect hike for us, but I will note that we turned around at 2 miles to make it a 4 mile hike in total. I was a little surprised at just how shaded the trail is - given that it was a warm day it was very much appreciated but I could see this making it chilly during the cooler months. Thanks to the other reviewers we sprayed the kids down with bug spray and were glad we did - the gnats and mosquitos were a bit swarming through parts of the woods. This is easily a 5 star hike for our family. While there were no steep grades you are away from the crowds and into the mountains. The river next to the trail and views of the mountains over the meadows were breathtaking. I highly recommend this hike.

hiking
9 months ago

A very pleasant amble with lots of variety: stream, meadow, and forest. Views early on, after that you’re in trees. Will return to climb from the west trailhead. The stump marker at the ridge is lying on the ground, but you’ll know you’re there as soon as the trail starts heading back down. Lovely day. Didn’t have the bug problem others mention.

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

really neat trail. although the trailhead parking is share by abyss and burningbear. you simple walk along side the road for a bit and find a gate that is the official start of the trail. signage could be better to get you to the trail. but it's nice as well because most people just go to abyss and bear is not as active. saw 2 other groups total.

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

Wear or bring bug spray; mosquitos are killer first 2 miles. Trail is relatively easy first few miles and last 1.5 miles is where you ascend. Saw 2 other hikers at the start but no one else. Great trail, would highly recommend. You can easily miss the trail end though because it transitions into another trail as you mistakingly start descending. Right now there’s a tree down in the middle of the trail that is a good marker it’s time to go back. Lots of cool things to see-an old cabin, a well-built lean-to, some great little waterfalls. Lots of spots for dogs to grab a drink from the rivers/streams.

recorded Burning Bear Trail

hiking
9 months ago

Lots of mosquitos as of 7/28. Might want some bug spray!

recorded Burning Bear Trail

hiking
muddy
snow
washed out
11 months ago

backpacking
snow
11 months ago

ONLY accessible to abandoned cabin 2.5 miles in. Lot's of Snow and I was not able to get to the ridge. Snowshoes needed. Post holing up to my hips! It's another 1.2 miles from the cabin to the ridge. Even up to the cabin, trail is dry & spots and hardly passable in others. may take another few weeks to melt. Spent the night, saw nobody. It was awesome!

hiking
snow
Sat Apr 20 2019

I bet this trail would be a 5 stars trail at any other time except spring. My advice wait till summer. We were exhausted because coming back it was warm, slushy and the snow pack is still significant so we sank 3 feet every other step coming back down. Exhausting. Wait for summer.

hiking
snow
Sat Apr 20 2019

hiking
snow
Sun Mar 31 2019

First up the trail this morning. Gorgeous day, though it started a little chilly (17 deg). Snow was packed down/frozen enough that snowshoes weren't necessary.

snowshoeing
snow
Tue Feb 26 2019

hiking
snow
Sat Feb 16 2019

Feb. 9, 2019. This was a bautiful hike and despite a bit of a late start we were fortunate to have great weather. The trail starts off with a packed path that narrows as you go and basically became single track. We started off carrying our snowshoes since it was mostly packed. However, we put snowshoes on about a mile in and it would have been better if we started with them. Because of the late start we only made it just passed the second river crossing (both had crossings). Trail was a gradual ascent throughout the hike. At the second river crossing it got a bit steeper and rockier but we were still able to use shoes. Turned back at that point but will definitely be back to complete the trail.

hiking
Thu Jan 31 2019

nice hike. didn't take the snowshoes today, but after the first 1.5 miles or so they could've been used. At 2.5 miles in I kind of wish I had them, but the trail wasn't too hard to find and there was still significant snow pack so I didn't sink too much. At the very end (I think, at least) the trail did just kind of disappear. I saw the blue diamond I was following on a tree with 3 yellow rectangles and my recording looked like I had gotten to the end so I turned around there (at that point I had gone thigh deep in snow)

hiking
Mon Jan 07 2019

Lovely hike through the forest. Best views are in the first mile and then it’s about enjoying the serenity of the forest. Follows and crosses the stream which is mostly frozen at this time of year. Trail was well broken, mostly packed snow the whole way, some bare spots. Could do it with boots, traction was helpful. Could use snowshoes but not necessary. Made it to the 4 mile mark where it flattens out and there are some nice logs to sit on for a snack.

Sun Jan 06 2019

Took family there to snowshoe Dec 29, 2018. Was a beautiful hike, though not enough snow to merit needing snowshoes. Would love to return in summer

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