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NCAR to Fern Canyon to Mesa Loop

hard(22)
Boulder Open Space

NCAR to Fern Canyon to Mesa Loop is a 8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Boulder, Colorado that features a great forest setting and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 8.0 miles Elevation Gain: 2,890 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

forest

views

rocky

scramble

icy
muddy
1 day ago

HOLY MOLY. Gorgeous trail. If you're planning to get to Bear Peak via Fern Canyon without spikes, go home. Seriously. Ridiculously steep grade, all ice and snow packed, and not much to hold on to especially at the top section when you're on like the edge of a cliff. Going down Fern Canyon without spikes is basically going to be you sliding down on your ass for a very very long time. I recommend spikes and poles, and I generally bring the least equipment I can get away with. perfect!!!! beautiful!!

hiking
muddy
15 days ago

hiking
icy
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Did the loop counter clockwise by going up fern canyon which was lovely. Very icy the last .5 miles to bear peak. Decided not to go down that way and instead took the scenic route down shadow canyon. Exhausting and pretty dark walking back to NCAR that last mile or so.

hiking
9 months ago

The top part of the climb up to bear peak is tough with a strong incline but worth it at the top, easy to get over to south boulder peak on the other side as well and then take shadow canyon back down. Everything is super green and lush in June.

muddy
11 months ago

little muddy, rain coming this week so take with salt

muddy
Sun Mar 31 2019

SO MUDDY. But a great, diverse trail otherwise. Will be back when it's dry.

hiking
25 days ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
Sat Feb 16 2019

hiking
Sun Dec 23 2018

hiking
Sun Dec 23 2018

hiking
Thu Jul 12 2018

hiking
Sat Jul 08 2017

hiking
Sat Aug 06 2016