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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, horses, 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.

Length 7.5 mi Elevation gain 1,253 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Horseback riding

Mountain biking

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Waypoints (1)
Contact
Getting There
  • 1

    Camping spot to the right of the trail

    39.51119, -105.73516

Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO

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.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (140)
Photos (79)
Recordings (103)
Completed (217)
Laura Nicoara
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Great views and an easy climb.

Tamara Bilewski
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HikingBugs

Over 8 miles by the time we walked .2 in wrong direction and then .2 in right direction - didn't see the trail driving in so thought it must have been in the other direction. So it was the back in the direction from which we came - towards 285 about .2 miles. The parking lot was full so parked along road. We did get a good sweat worked up on the upper portion but the trail was well groomed to make it a bit easier. We liked this trail and the running water along a good portion of it. Mosquitoes were out in force. Saw only a handful of people and the majority had masks in passing. Agree with some of the others - anti-climatic end to the trail but lovely hike over all. Today was not sunny but the tree lined path would have been heaven on a sunny day.

Ben Colky
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Hiking

Seemed to be the first one on the trail this morning with about a 7:30am start. Did not encounter anyone else on the trail til on the way down. Still not many people overall. Nice trail that is mainly in the woods. No views after the first mile and a half until you really get above treeline, which is not what this trail shows you doing. However at the high point on this map you can find a trail that continues on to a couple of peaks. Didn't make it to a peak today, did about 4 miles in each direction which took me about .5 past the high point indicated on this route. Overall awesome trail and not strenuous at all. Just have to avoid the horse shit mainly at the beginning of the trail. Enjoy!

Ashley Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 14, 2020
HikingBugs

A very pleasant trail. Hiked this on Sunday 6/12/20. I recommend this one if you want to get away from the crowds, we only saw 3 solo hikers and 3 groups of people. Great views within the first mile or so then it becomes nicely wooded and shaded for the remainder. The creek runs along a good portion of the trail so the pup had access to water. Saw one hiker who mentioned he was hiking to the peak, not sure where that is but would be interested exploring that in the future. Would definitely do this again if the fall to see the aspens or try it out in the winter on snowshoes.

Jeff Anderson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 13, 2020
Hiking

Only did about half of the trail for a nice easy relatively flat hike through the valley. Forest service was improving the trail, while I was there I saw at least six service workers clearing and fixing areas. It was a nice morning walk, I made it to the campsite that is on the trail map.

View Jeff's Recording
Megan Galgano
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 11, 2020
Hiking

Pretty from the parking area and the first part but then entirely in the woods without views. Turned around at the cairin halfway. Was hoping for a vista view but no such luck. Guanella Pass is gorgeous but not this trail so much. Far prettier trails in CO to do this one again or even recommend to anyone else.

Colorado Jones
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HikingGreat!

We did a shorter version of this hike, turning back at the 2.3 mile mark. Around Thursday noon, the parking lot for Abyss/Burning Bear Trailheads was roughly 3/4 full. To access Burning Bear Trail, we had to hike south along the edge of the road for roughly .2 mile. There's a cattle gate that appears to be locked, but just fiddle with the latch a bit and you should be able to enter. Once on the trail, there were great views of the Geneva Park Valley and, of course, Burning Bear Creek. The route is mostly forested after the 1.5 mile mark. Lots of horse doo on this route, so watch your step. The portion of the route we hiked was relatively flat, so good for beginning hikers. The route gets much steeper after our turnaround point.

Sarah Schultz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 15, 2020
HikingBugs

Absolutely lovely trail. It’s in great shape given the elevation and time of year — dry, no downed trees, etc. We did encounter quite a few mosquitoes but not enough to be more than a periodic annoyance. No real wildflowers to speak of. I’ll echo others in saying that the turnaround point at the Ridge Summit is fairly anticlimactic and wooded but makes for a great spot to have some food before hoofing it back to the car. My GPS clocked 8 full miles.

Kathy Fieweger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 11, 2020
HikingBugs

Only the third car in the TH lot at 8AM on a Thursday. Very pleasant weather but the mosquitos *are* starting to get vicious....bring bug spray if they bother you. Trail and log bridges are in good shape -hardly any mud at this point, there are a few small downed trees you'll need to step over. Having hiked this several times before, we didn't feel bad about turning around just shy of the "top" as our knees were bothering us from the uphill (we're old). I think kids would love this with all the crossings of Burning Bear Creek....

linda ek
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 7, 2020
HikingBugs

Lovely, relatively easy hike. I forgot mosquito repellant and got stung several times (through my clothes). The end of the hike was indicated by a few small rocks on the road of which I'll post a picture here.

Jim Nethercott
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MuddySnow

Last weekend was pretty slushy, but plenty warm to complete the hike. Trail ends in a great opening for lunch.

Tom Mueller
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Hiking

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.

Kevin M.
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SnowshoeingSnow
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Carla Williams
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HikingSnow

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

View Carla's Recording
Michael Metzger
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Snowshoeing

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

View Michael's Recording
Nicole Lapka
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HikingSnow

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.

Kaylyn Molitor
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HikingSnow

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.

View Kaylyn's Recording
TBar Bar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 9, 2020
HikingSnow

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.

Val Wolf
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 19, 2020
SnowshoeingSnow

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.

View Val's Recording
Cate Tanenbaum
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 14, 2019
HikingSnow

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.

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Melissa Wahlers
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HikingBugs

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!

ANN KLEIN
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 21, 2019
Hiking

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.

Ayn Svott
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 19, 2019
Hiking

Not much color yet....

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Sheri Palizzi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 24, 2019
Hiking

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!!

Ethan C
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 19, 2019
HikingBugs

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.

Carol Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 18, 2019
Hiking

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.

View Carol's Recording
Jon Wicklund
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2019
HikingBugs

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.

Monica Ross
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2019
HikingBugs

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.

Haley K.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 28, 2019
Hiking

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

View Haley's Recording
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