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Black Bear - Horseshoe Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.5 (23) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A quiet and remote escape that provides exposure to a variety of terrain.


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Map Key

5.1

Miles

8.2

KM

Loop

9,314' 2,839 m

High

8,225' 2,507 m

Low

1,199' 365 m

Up

1,193' 364 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

42%

Max Grade (23°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views

Overview

This route provides varied terrain and a remote escape from the more crowded trails closer to Denver. Though the route follows all singletrack, there are some technical and rocky sections. The nice views of the bigger mountains just beyond make the tougher sections worth it.

Need to Know

There is $7 fee for a day pass at the state park. Park hours are from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Temperatures can vary quickly in the mountains. Early season there may still be snow.

Description

From the parking lot off Hwy-57, follow the Black Bear Trail on a rocky climb from the Ralston Roost Trailhead up to the Mule Deer Trail. The majority of the Black Bear Trail is advanced singletrack with more technical sections including a short, easy scramble popping up closer to the intersection with the Mule Deer Trail.

Follow Mule Deer Trail for a short while and hang a right onto Horseshoe Trail Alternate. From here, the trail is a mix of singletrack and wider trail. There are some short rocky sections but mostly the trail is smooth. At about the 3.7 mile mark, this joins the main Horseshoe Trail and continues south.

Finally, near the end of the Horseshoe Trail, cut right across a small wooden bridge and follow Horseshoe Connector Trail back to the Black Bear Trail and ultimately the Ralston Roost Trailhead.

Contacts

Shared By:

Max Krueger

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 23 votes

#492

Overall
  4.5 from 23 votes
5 Star
57%
4 Star
39%
3 Star
4%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#102

in Colorado

#492

Overall
77 Views Last Month
4,425 Since Apr 3, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
35%
20%
45%
0%

Photos

Views
Apr 4, 2018 near Coal Creek, CO
The ridge as you top out on Black Bear Trail.
May 15, 2016 near Coal Creek, CO
Easy singletrack
Apr 4, 2018 near Coal Creek, CO
Lovely views!
Jul 20, 2019 near Coal Creek, CO
Easy Scramble
Apr 4, 2018 near Coal Creek, CO
Tougher scramble
Apr 4, 2018 near Coal Creek, CO

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Weather


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Check-Ins

Jun 4, 2022
Tarita Fisher Boersma
5.7mi — 2h 40m
Nov 28, 2021
Ari R.
Sep 9, 2021
Jay Decker
Aug 29, 2021
Megan Huber
1h 36m
Jun 27, 2021
jenn lu
Moderate from mile ~1.5-2, o/w easy. 3 hrs w/resting/training of G — 3h 00m
Jun 6, 2021
Courtney Arete
Apr 18, 2021
Patrick Csongei
5.2mi — 2h 00m
Mar 20, 2021
Deborah Bacon
Snow packed in some places. Slushy in others. Breathtakingly beautiful views. A great hike! 5.6mi — 4h 10m