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    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    1,022 m
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    12.9 km
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Bear and South Boulder Peaks Loop


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    Table of contents

    Looking for a demanding but rewarding hike near Boulder? We’ve got you covered. The Bear and South Boulder Peaks Hike is a challenging but impressively scenic adventure in the Boulder Open Space. Hike up not one, but two summits that present awe-inspiring views of the surrounding mountainous wilderness and the cityscape below.

    Route Description for Bear and South Boulder Peaks Loop

    The Bear and South Boulder Peaks Hike is one of our favorite adventures near Boulder. Hike through meadowlands, ponderosa pine forests, and rocky screes up to two of Boulder’s big three summits. Put your stamina to the test as you hike up to high elevations along vertiginous terrain. Traveling to high altitudes, make sure to head out in the early morning and check the forecast prior to your ascent to mitigate the chances of getting caught in an afternoon storm. Additionally, when hiking in the fall and winter months, be sure to wear microspikes.

    Embark on your journey along the Bear and South Boulder Peaks Trail from the trailhead off Cragmoor Road. From here, track the Cragmoor Connector Trail west, merging onto the Shanahan North Fork Trail through the woodlands. Eventually, the path will merge onto the Shanahan Mesa Trail, which will deliver adventurers to a junction. Here, keep left and you will be diverted along the Fern Canyon Trail. Scramble up the vertiginous terrain, hiking along the path all the way to the summit of Bear Peak, then along the South Boulder Peak Trail up to the second summit.

    Enjoy the views then trek down the Shadow Canyon Trail east, connecting with the Shadow Canyon North Trail at the base of the peak. At the route’s end, hook onto the Mesa Trail, wandering north. At the Shanahan intersection, keep right and track the Shanahan South Fork Trail onto the Shanahan Connector Trail. Take the Shanahan North Fork Trail east at the next junction, hiking this route all the way back to the trailhead.

    Getting to the Bear and South Boulder Peaks Loop Trailhead

    The Bear and South Boulder Peaks Hike departs from the Cragmoor Connector Trailhead off Cragmoor Road.

    Route Information

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    Bear and South Boulder Peaks Loop Elevation Graph

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