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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.
    542 m
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    8.0 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

    NCAR to Fern Canyon Hike


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    Table of contents

    The NCAR to Fern Canyon Hike is an awesome but challenging adventure up to the summit of Nebel Horn. Put your endurance to the test as you ascend the steep path up to an epic overlook of the Flatirons and the Boulder cityscape below.

    Route Description for NCAR to Fern Canyon Hike

    The NCAR to Fern Canyon Hike is a demanding excursion that rewards its conquerors with wonderful views of Colorado’s mountainous foothills and flat plains. Let the lush scenes of the flora and fauna motivate you as you trek up the technical terrain. When trekking this hike, make sure to wear sturdy footwear and pack plenty of water because this hike will undoubtedly exhaust you. In the winter months, be mindful of the increasingly dangerous terrain and strap on microspikes to help safely navigate it.

    Embark on your adventure along the NCAR to Fern Canyon Hike from the NCAR Trailhead. From here the path travels west up Table Mountain to an intersection. At the junction, veer left, and you will be diverted onto the Mesa Trail. Now trekking through the woodlands, the route will guide adventurers over Bear Creek to another junction. At this point, hikers will turn right onto the Fern Canyon Trail. This route will trek up the northeastern flank of Bear Peak.

    The vertiginous terrain will demand scrambling as trail-goers track up the steep terrain. Mind your footing as you navigate the switchbacks up to Nebel Horn. Rest and recover as you admire the stunning panoramic views of the Colorado wilderness. When you are ready to head back, retrace your footing along the path all the way back to the trailhead.

    Getting to the NCAR to Fern Canyon Hike Trailhead

    The NCAR to Fern Canyon Hike departs from the NCAR trailhead off the NCAR road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground:


    • When to do:


    • Pets allowed:

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly:

      Older Children only

    • Route Signage:


    • Crowd Levels:


    • Route Type:

      Out and back

    NCAR to Fern Canyon Hike Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

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