Bear Peak - Boulder Colorado's Second Tallest Mountain
The City of Boulder boasts five beautiful peaks that have trails leading to the summit (Mt. Sanitas, South Boulder Peak, Green Mountain, Flagstaff, and Bear Peak). Each one offers unique challenges and gorgeous scenery. Boulder's hometown range has something for everyone.
Bear Peak is Boulder’s second tallest mountain at 8,461 feet, but its combination of beauty, panoramic scenic vistas and its very steep ascent has made it an ever-popular challenge among locals and visitor's alike. There are a variety of routes leading to the summit ranging from 4.7 miles to 9 miles and the elevation gain will range between 2,400' - 3,000' depending on the route. Keep in mind that these hikes are considered very difficult.
The trailheads that can be used for this climb are: Gregory Canyon, Chautauqua, NCAR Trailhead, Bear Canyon Trail, Shanahan Ridge, and South Mesa Trailheads.
Why Climb to the Summit of Bear Peak? There are awesome 360 views at the top (Continental Divide, the Flatirons, Boulder, Denver), it is tremendously challenging both mentally and physically and it will give you a great sense of accomplishment sitting on top of a summit!
Make Sure you are Prepared For this Challenging Climb.
- Check the weather forecast. Bring a long sleeve shirt or sweater and a rain jacket or outer shell if there is any mention of rain/snow/wind (weather in Colorado's mountains can change very quickly).
- Carry plenty (2-3L ) of water especially on hot days. It's also a good idea to hydrate prior to the start of your hike.
- Take snacks (nuts, protein bars, etc.).
- Wear hiking boots (lightweight are fine) with a solid tread. Avoid wearing regular running shoes or your feet will get pounded by the rocks.
- Wear a hat and sunglasses The sun is very powerful at this elevation so also wear sunscreen.
- Download a digital Geo-PDF Map to your phone and follow your progress by loading this digital map into the TopoReader or Paper Maps navigation apps.
- Take your camera.