Boulder, Colorado

Hike Bear Peak

7 Miles Total - 2810 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Kathleen Morton

This hike dog-friendly hike is not just a great workout, but will reward you with breathtaking panorama of Boulder and distant view of Denver.

The best advice I can give you? Wake up early to start this hike.

Even though the Bear Peak hike will only take you about 4-5 hours round trip, it will still be advantageous to get off the mountain before afternoon and evening storms might pass through. This is a steep 7-mile out and back trail.

Start at the South Mesa Trailhead. Take Eldorado Springs Drive until there's a dirt road turnoff; take this down from the road to the parking lot.

After your gear is loaded, prepare for a steep climb that will most likely leave you breathless. The trail is easy to follow, but it is strenuous, as you're climbing 2,810 ft. in elevation (a total of 3,000 ft. elevation gain roundtrip).

Prepare for snow on your hike. In the spring or fall, areas of this trail may become wet, but you should still be warm in the Colorado sunshine. Most of this hike is forested, and will offer shade in the early morning.

This is a narrow trail. Watch for other hikers, and if you're bringing a four-legged friend, make sure to keep them close.

It will take you about 2 hours to reach the top, where you might want to hang out and eat some trail snacks. As it gets later in the day, the peak gets quite crowded. Enjoy panorama views of Boulder and look out in the distance to see Denver and surrounding cities.

From the top, head back down the way you came. This trail also connects to the Towhee Trail, Homestead Trail, South Boulder Creek Trail and Big Bluestem Trail.

If you're lucky, you may see some wildlife on your hike, including falcons, hawks, songbirds and mule deer.

After I finished this hike, I relaxed the rest of the day. It's exhausting hiking more than 2,800 feet elevation in one day!

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Tags

Fitness
Rock Climbing
Photography
Running
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Groups
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

about 2 years ago

Make sure you know where you are going!

This was a great hike, but the description given here isn’t helpful. Follow the main trail (called Mesa I think) until you hit the Shadow Canyon trail on the left. Shadow Canyon will take you up! If you stay on the main trail you’ll wind around back to Shadow Canyon but there are a lot of other offshoots and it’s not clear, I don’t recommend it. South Boulder Peak is to the left when you get to the saddle (Bear Peak to the right) and it’s also beautiful!

over 2 years ago

Awesome Hike

This is a great hike, but the directions on getting there in this article can be a little deceiving. You will take Eldorado Springs Drive, but the road eventually turns into a dirt road if you go too far. You will actually be looking for trail head signs on your left or right for the City of Boulder OSMP, it is just a little ways around the curve after the Rocky Mountain Fire Station. The North side is South Mesa and the South side is Doudy Draw Trailhead. DO NOT park in the road, it is illegal and the chances of you getting a ticket are extremely high. Be conscious of signage as well, almost all of South Mesa is closed during the week right now due to restoration work. Also, these trailheads are extremely busy on the weekends, especially in the summer. This leads into my next point, THIS IS NOT YOUR ONLY OPTION TO BEAR PEAK!!! There are several other stunning options. You can hike in through Shanahan Ridge, Cragmoor, Bear Mountain Road, NCAR, or even from Green Mountain West ridge if you are feeling really adventurous! Plan your trip accordingly and make sure you "Know Before You Go!"

about 3 years ago

Strenuous

This is a great hike! But... it is long and strenuous. Although you will see lots of trail runners coming up and down, I thought this hike was an ass kicker. I brought my parents who are approaching 60 on this hike and we were able to complete it in about 7 hours round trip which included a lunch at the peak. By the end of the hike we were spent, I recommend a lot of water and a very early start as this trail was packed with people.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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