Dragon's Tail Couloir Climb

Rate this Adventure Colorado Bear Lake Trailhead

Added by Kyle Frost

  • A classic Rocky Mountain couoir climb
  • Short approach and fun steep snow climbing (1500 ft)
  • Easy to knock out in a couple hours in the morning if you're in shape

Start your day at the Bear Lake parking lot, and head out on the short 2-mile approach that winds uphill past Nymph and Dream Lake. After arriving at Emerald Lake, skirt around the shore on the left side to reach the bottom of the couloir, clearly visibile on the far side of the lake.

The 1500 ft climb starts gradually and increases in steepness as the couloir narrows towards the top, reaching somewhere around 50 degrees. Depending on conditions, this may be a very classic straightforward snow climb, or you may have to deal with a few rock/icy steps on the way up.

The route branches about 3/4 of the way up and you have the option to go left or right. The typical route heads left, but be on the lookout for cornices on either side, depending on the time of year.

Enjoy spectacular views of Flattop, Hallett and Longs Peak from the top.

From the top of the route, you can either continue on to the top of Flattop Mountain (about a mile and a few hundred feet) or take a right and follow the ridge back down the Flattop trail back to the Bear Lake parking lot.

Pack List

  • Mountaineering Axe
  • Crampons
  • Climbing Helmet
  • Depending on conditions/your experience level, you may want to bring a rope and a couple pieces of protection
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Rock Climbing

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Added by Kyle Frost

Designer and Adventure Photographer based in Boulder, Colorado. Fan of mountains, coffee, beer, and witty banter. Available for commissions and collaborations. I'm @kylefrost pretty much everywhere.

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