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 alanlopezz Membro dal: 03 Gennaio 2013 
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Hiking in Boulder
Are you currently dreaming of climbing 14ers come july 1st? Bear Peak in Boulder is a superb training hike. At about 8 miles and almost 3,000 feet of elevation gain along the way, your lungs, legs and knees will feel this one.
Boulder lists the total distance as 7.6 miles, my GPS showed it was nearer to 8 miles. The summit of Bear Peak reaches 8,461 feet. This can be a beautiful, but strenuous hike. If you decide to take Fern Canyon up, Boulder's Site describes the trail as "climbs gently southward, then turns west to start an unrelenting 1,700 ft. climb to finish in the summit."
Climbing down from Fern Canyon side of Bear Peak
The trail has some ups and down because it crosses ridges. Watch the for Bear Peak West Ridge signs after 1.7 miles so you don't end up on the trail to Green Mountain or South Boulder Peak. As you become toward the top peak, you'll find themselves in an area of scree (loose rock). Spend some time and pick the right path through. There is a trail, but it is strict sometimes. The trail ends in a trail split with sign saying Bear Peak Summit one of the ways and and Fern Canyon another way. The Bear Peak Summit is behind you at this point and takes about 40 feet of mountain climbing to get at the very top and also the US Geological marker. When the weather conditions are clear this is a great spot for lunch. Enjoy the views from the Indian Peaks wilderness behind you. Try to pick out the slopes of Eldora Ski area. Enjoy the views from the Front Range in front of you. Search for NCAR down below.
The hike starts on the Walter Orr Roberts Trail along the north side from the building. As you're starting to warm up, read the weather signs NCAR has placed here. About .2 of a mile along the trail there's a trailhead sign and a short drop down. Came from here the trail drops to a broad saddle, then climbs another ridge to a water tank, before dropping into a valley to finish at Mesa Trail.
At the Mesa Trail sign, turn left. The Mesa Trail runs across the flatirons from Chautauqua towards the south Mesa Trailhead, a total of about 6 miles. Bear Peak hikers will hike about 1.3 miles along the Mesa Trail towards the Bear Canyon Trail. (When you get confused when you are getting to a sign saying Bear Mountain Dr. one of the ways, NCAR one other way and Eldorado Springs one of the ways. Follow the Eldorado Springs arrow.)
After a lunch and photo stop, many hikers head down the Fern Canyon Trail. While it's mainly downhill from here, it is not easy! This trail is about elevation loss and never mileage. The trail is steep, rocky, slippery and takes some holding of trees and various rocks to work your way down. Boulder's trail description says hikers will drop 2100 feet in 1.2 miles. Don't go too quickly in this area, as you get into the rock walled canyon, spend some time and relish the scenic rock and peaceful atmosphere.
When the Fern Canyon Trail reaches the Shanahan Trail reverse north or left. Follow this to the available Mesa Trail and switch left or north again. Follow the Mesa Trail to NCAR.
Scree Field on west side of Bear Peak
Bear Peak, by Deb Stanley
Came from here, Boulder lists the Bear Canyon Trail and the Bear Peak West Ridge trails to the peak from the Peak as 3.5 miles and a pair of,200 feet elevation gain. The trail starts inside a canyon with beautiful rock formations on the north side of the trail. With the canyon we found lots of water crossings. Some had rocks or a tree to skip across, the water wasn't so deep if you decided to walk-through it. The sound of the running water crashing within the rocks and through the downed trees makes for a refreshing melody as hikers head up this canyon. Depending on the season you visit, expect to crawl over and around some downed trees. It appears the snow and powerful winds of Winter 2009 broke lots of trees in this area.

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