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    Black Bear Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    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.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    6.8 km
    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.
    362 m
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Black Bear Trail is an awesome day-hike in the Golden Gate Canyon National Park. Hike beneath the shade of golden aspens interspersed with towering pines, and up the rocky terrain to a luxuriant meadow that exposes epic mountain views. This hike is a must add to your day-hikes near Denver list.

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    Route Description for Black Bear Trail

    You can probably tell, but we love this hike. The Black Bear exhibits some of our favorite ecosystems: forestlands and meadows. You get the best of both worlds on this hike, both shaded verdant woodlands and open meadows that reveal sights of the encompassing snow-capped peaks of the Front Range, what more could you ask for? There are some steep sections, so be mindful of your footing, but they are nothing extreme. This path also is prone to moose and deer, so keep an eye out as you travel through the wilderness. Note that this hike is located within the State Park, so visitors are required to purchase a day pass, which typically costs around $6USD.

    Embark on your adventure along the Black Bear Hike from the trailhead off Crawford Gulch Road. From here, the trek can be completed in either direction, but we prefer to hike clockwise on this one. Shortly after your departure from the trailhead, you will encounter an intersection, turn left here and you will begin your hike along the Black Bear Trail. Hike the path through the shade of the towering pines and aspen trees, minding your footing on the rocky terrain. Navigate a few sets of switchbacks up to the summit of a rocky ridge and hike the increasingly exposed terrain past Ralston Roost Peak to an intersection. At the junction, turn right onto Horseshoe Trail, tracking past the dispersed campsites through the meadowlands.

    Keep an eye out for moose and grazing deer in this area. At the next fork, keep right along the gradually descending path. Follow the Horseshoe Trail back beneath the timberline and down through a forested Gulch. At the trail’s end, turn right and track the Black Bear/Horseshoe Connector Trail back to the trailhead, marking the end of your adventure.

    Getting to the Black Bear Trail Trailhead

    The Black Bear Trail departs from the parking lot and trailhead off Crawford Gulch Road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Rim Meadow Dispersed Campground

    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly

      Older Children only

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    Black Bear Trail Elevation Graph

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