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Weekend Hikers...Plus Message Board › New Meetup: Bear Peak-South Boulder Peak

New Meetup: Bear Peak-South Boulder Peak

A former member
Announcing a new Meetup for Weekend Hikers...Plus!

What: Bear Peak-South Boulder Peak
When: Saturday, May 7, 2011 10:00 PM

Where: South Mesa Trail
CO 170
Eldorado Springs , CO 80025

Why: It's a workout and beautiful.

My weekend just opened up, and you know I can't sit still. So I want to hike and run a race since it is supposed to be SUPER NICE weather.

What: Bear Peak via South Mesa Trailhead
Distance: Approximately 6+ miles
Difficulty: Strenuous

Meeting Place:5025 W. 88th Pl., Westminster, CO 80031
We will leave the Park N Ride at 9:15 sharp for a 10:00 hike start.

For those of you meeting at trailhead. From 88th and Sheridan take 88th to Wadsworth (121) and before you pass over 36, turn left on Interlocken which is 128. Take that all the way to 93 and go left. Turn into Eldorado Springs, there will be Eldorado Springs Market store. Follow the road and there are two parking lots to choose from. We will be at South Mesa Trailhead at 10:00 SHARP.

Or you can take 93 towards Boulder and left at Eldorado Springs Market, towards South Mesa trailhead.

The Hike:
When you look at the Boulder Flatirons, there are three major peaks: South Boulder Peak, Bear Peak and Green Mountain. Bear Peak sits at 8,461 feet up. It's quite a climb. This challenging hike to Bear Peak rewards visitors with sensational views of the eastern plains, front range foothills, Indian Peaks and Continental Divide. Bear Peak’s central location within Boulder’s extensive trail network allows for several routing options: the following describes the Shadow Canyon-Bear Peak West Ridge route, and is highly recommended for its compelling scenery and lighter traffic. Note this is the shortest but most challenging route leading to Bear Peak (longer but arguably more moderate routes can be formed by connecting the The Mesa Trail with either the Bear Canyon or Fern Canyon trails).

From the South Mesa Trailhead parking lot, cross over the footbridge and follow signs to the Towhee Trail (.1 mile) - bear left. The Towhee Trail rises gradually through open grassy slopes for .5 miles, then narrows into a thatch brush-lined gulley paralleled by a small stream.

The Towhee Trail merges with the Homestead Trail after 1.15 miles, bears right and continues on as the Shadow Canyon Trail. The Shadow Canyon Trail joins a fire road at 1.35 miles (6,275’); this is the first of three access points to the Mesa Trail. Turn left on the fire road and climb methodically over well-groomed terrain for .7 miles to the last Mesa Trail access point, and beginning of travel up Shadow Canyon (2.1 miles : 6,582’).

Here the trail is markedly more strenuous, climbing 1,967’ in just 1.25 miles to reach the summit. Lingering winter conditions will amplify this challenge. The trail twists and weaves tightly along a faintly marked path amid notably large boulders and old-growth ponderosa and lodgepole. Look for occasional signs posted on trees to the right of the trail for guidance. Though views are limited, the dark, boulder-laden forest itself is quite scenic and serene.

The grade eases upon reaching the Shadow Canyon Trail - Bear Peak West Ridge Trail junction (3 miles : 8,155’). Take note of young aspen groves on the saddle before turning right (north) for the final .4 miles to Bear Peak.

This short segment rises quickly up Bear Peak's narrow south and west flanks, the latter stage of which is a near-vertical climb up steep talus. Mind your footing, especially when strong winds or moisture is present. The boulder-riddled summit is small and uneven, but sure-footed scramblers will find a handful of nooks with terrific panoramas of the surrounding area.

Bring: Warm and appropriate clothing. Water and snacks, this will be a long hike. Appropriate footwear, meaning Yaktraxs or Microspikes are required. Your sense of adventure!

Dogs are allowed on a leash. Woof!

Check it out!
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