Explore the most popular trails near Central City with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Central City, Colorado Map

Gorgeous hike today. Snow throughout but pretty packed except for a few stretches. Yak Trax were nice to have but not necessary. Great views on Ralston Peak. Top part of Horseshoe near the campsites had not been traveled yet. I started to walk it but the snow was knee deep. Had to take the small spur to get back to Horseshoe. Pretty quiet for a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Love this loop. Very packed snow and ice today. I wore traction the entire hike and was glad I did. Not many people and the views were great. Some steady climbs with a little rock climbing on Black Bear.

1 month ago

Well marked, but snowy and deep. No need for snow shoes, but would absolutely have traction. Great views at the top !

Did this trail Jan 26 2019. Beautiful trail but at the top was way too much snow. We didn’t have snow shoes and wished we did. Ankle to shin deep most of the time. The cabin is really neat at the top! Beautiful forests, great views, and wilderness all around.

Nice little hike in Golden Gate. We usually take the loop counter clockwise to save the good views for towards the end. Steady climb for about 2 miles. The it mellows out until you hit a few steep, rocky spots as you get closer to the lookout. Great views form there. At this time there was snow on more than half the trail but no ice. We did not break out the yak trax today. Very quiet today, although this trail can get crowded in the prime season. This is a good one if you are looking for a little exercise but don't want to drive too far form Denver. Don't forget you will need to get a day pass or CO State Park pass.

great trail with fresh snow.

4 months ago

Slightly snow packed at the top, but beautiful and we almost had the trail to ourselves.

Did this on Sunday. We were planning on doing the Raccoon Trail, but the road to that trailhead was closed. This was a pretty hike - Blue Grouse goes .7 miles to Mule Deer trail, and then you just follow signs to Frazer Meadow, where the cabin is. We were pretty cold and there was a good bit of snow. I was fine in boots, but my friends were in sneakers and were slipping a bit. It's a pretty easy trail and you get nice views along the way.

Great hike but has a couple of boulder sections of Black Bear Paw that our 12 yr old border collie had some difficulty with... heads up.

The aspens were beautiful! This hike has it all, meadows, aspens, sections through the evergreen trees, amazing view on top of the rocks of the canyon. Just the right amount of difficulty.

6 months ago

Just finished this hike with my fiance and our dog and it was incredible! We took the Black Bear trail from the Ralston Roost parking area and followed the loop clockwise. I'm really glad we did this because it starts off really steep and rocky, but after you make it to the top and start down on the Horseshoe trail it's less steep and a bit easier. It's nice to get the hard stuff out of the way first, while I'm fresh.

There's some rock scramble areas, and areas where the trail isn't clear due to boulders, but the signage is really good, so keep your eyes open for those. The Meadows are incredibly beautiful and the flowers are starting to bloom. No snow at all on this trail, that was a concern since some of the higher up trails are still snow covered.

We'll definitely add this trail to our repertoire!

7 months ago

Pretty nice trail. Recommend going up blackbear to get the hard uphill out of the way. Very nice hike with light traffic.

7 months ago

We did this Monday 7-30-18. Beautiful hike, good climb at the start if you go to the left and do Blackbear first. Appreciate the signage at the top! Will likely go back once the Aspens start to change color.

8 months ago

Great trail. Took my 6 year olds with and they did very well.

Great hike with a beautiful rewarding view at the top, and then beautiful aspen trees and wildflowers on the way back down. Highly recommend!

It was diverse

trail running
9 months ago

Would do this one again. I love this park, it’s beautiful!! I can’t wait to do mountain lion trail on the other side now.

It gets very rocky at the top so be sure to follow the signs. No mountain bikers!!!! :) I saw people with dogs, but I can’t imagine doing the top of this trail with a dog. Horseshoe trail is good for trail running on the way back, but black bear is more of a hiking trail.

9 months ago

An easy trail that the kids really enjoyed. This was the first stop of our Colorado trip.

9 months ago

Did this as introduction backpacking experience for my partner. Good little overnight trip. You do have to pick your campsite ahead of time at the visitors center, but we arrived in the afternoon and only one had been selected (on a holiday weekend). We camped at site five and had a couple of encounters with two moose there. As others have said, not a ton of breathtaking views but still worth doing.

10 months ago

Love this hike. No bikes or horses allowed on most of the trail so this one stays fairly quiet even when the rest of the park is crowded. Steady climb no matter which direction you go. Great views on Black Bear and a nice creek on the Horseshoe side. Rocky in spots and watch the signs on the incline in Black Bear. It is very easy to go the wring direction. Great hike close to Denver.

Did this trail 4/22. Little muddy in few spots but mostly dry and super fun. Some really awesome views once you get going as well. Third time hiking this combo and one of my all time favorites.

Great scenic drive. Would highly recommend stopping in Nederland, it’s such a cool little town!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

It was a fun little hike on Christmas day. 2-3"snow all along. It ends in Mule Deer trail, which is closed on the right side (climbing up) in about 100 yards
It was windy, cold and snowing throughout.
We started hike at about 2:30 pm

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Not too difficult and hooks up to a lot of other trails.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Hiked the first week of December. It is very rocky at parts and not much of a view except at the very top. Still a very wonderful trail.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Nice fairly short hike through mostly wooded trails. Don't expect many aha moments but there are some nice snow cap shots. Strenuous and rocky at times but should be doable for most. Make sure to have a map. To follow the trail as it is shown here, there are lots of turns. The trail is well marked but pay attention in the area around Ralston Roost as it makes its way through rocky terrain.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Did the black bear trail. Great hike, great views. Coming back for camping!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

This trail is fine, but not one you'll be telling your friends they HAVE to do. The colors were starting to change last weekend and there are some great aspen groves along the trail, which were very pretty.

The thing this trail lacks is sweeping views of the surrounding valley and mountains. There are spots where you can go off trail to find a ledge with views, but the majority of the trail itself is in the trees.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Pretty hike! Spot on for distance. You do need a park pass so stop at the station right before the turn to the trailhead if you don't have one. Some of the Aspens were just starting to change when we went last weekend. I imagine it will be even more beautiful in a few weeks.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Great trail. Some loose areas and steep moments but not too difficult.

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