Bard Peak Hike

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Hard
Duration
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.
6-8.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
14.0 km
Elevation
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.
1,322 m
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

The Bard Peak Hike is a challenging adventure in the Arapaho National Forest. Immerse yourself in nature as you travel through the quintessential Front Range landscapes. Scenic and strenuous, this adventure is ideal for intrepid outdoor enthusiasts.

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Route Description for Bard Peak Hike

Travel the impressively scenic trail up to not one but two Front Range peaks. The hike up to the summits is incomparable, but the vistas from the peak are the main attraction. The views from Parnassus Peak and Bard Peak are breathtaking; enjoy sights of the neighboring snow-dusted peaks and the verdant woodlands below. Make sure you wear layers when attempting this hike because the exposed ridges will be windy and cold. Additionally, we recommend checking the forecast before your excursion to avoid getting caught in a storm.

Begin your journey to summit Bard Peak from the Herman Gulch Trailhead. From the trailhead, take the Herman Gulch Trail before quickly merging onto the trail signposted for Watrous Gulch. Trek northeast along the Watrous Gulch Trail as it ascends the aspen forest and Herman Gulch Creek. Enjoy the relaxing ambiance of this trail and continue up the forested valley. When you meet a junction, veer right up the more primitive path up to Parnassus Peak. Climb up the steep terrain to the mountain saddle before curving southeast up Mount Parnassus.

Ascend the rocky ridge and enjoy the 360-degree views of the mountainous wilderness. Then, traverse along the rocky saddle over to Bard Peak. This is your endpoint. Revel in the expansive views, rest and refuel before beginning your descent. When you are ready, retrace your steps along the route back to the trailhead.

Getting to the Bard Peak Hike Trailhead

The Bard Peak Hike begins from the Herman Gulch Trailhead off I-70.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Dispersed Backcountry Camping, restrictions apply.

  • When to do

    September-July

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Low

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Bard Peak Hike Elevation Graph

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Bard Peak Hike Reviews

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