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 Peak(s):  Bear Peak - 8,461 feet
 Post Date:  11/03/2008 Modified: 07/18/2013
 Date Climbed:   10/12/2008
 Posted By:  kimo

 Autumn in the Flatirons - Bear Peak   

I hiked Bear Peak on October 12th.

It was snowing in the mountains and raining in Boulder. The color of autumn was fading all too fast. I had to get out and experience what remained. Snow wasn't appealing, so I kept the trip close to home. I hiked Bear Peak, one of the more obvious peaks above Boulder's Flatirons. The mountain stands 8,461 feet tall.

I attempted Bear Peak in similar weather conditions back in May. It was cold, wet, and foggy, so we gave up 300 feet shy of the summit in favor of some warm comfort food down in Boulder.

But now it's autumn. The plants go supernova. The chill moves back in. People do other things and the local trails become a lot less traveled. Time to try again.

Hike distance: ~7 miles, lollipop loop
Vertical gain: ~3000 feet
Topo map of the route in red:
http://www.summitpost.org/view_object.php?object_id=21484

Captions are on top of pics.

The adventure begins!







After enjoying the fantastic fall color on the Mesa Trail, I arrive at the junction with Fern Canyon. Now the climb to Bear Park begins in earnest.


The trail starts easy enough, but soon becomes a relentless ascent. The trail is in great condition its entire length.




I'm about 1/2 way up the moutain when I discover the first ice.


The trail continues to climb.






I can't see the summit, but I know I'm close.


There is a lot more ice up here.



My first sight of the summit.


Bear Peak.


I worked my way across.


I'm the only nutjob on the summit. The USGS marker is on top of the rock on the left, and the register hangs from the rock on the right.


There was a second USGS marker nearby.


Summit view of cloud swallowing the world.


A loud group of hikers have made their arrival all too obvious. Time to leave the summit to them. I go back the way I came.


Once off the summit, I start down the Bear Peak West Ridge Trail to Bear Canyon.












As I hike out of the canyon, I look over at one of the uplifted sandstone slabs that give the Flatirons their name.


This hike was unforgettable. The lush conditions made it more sublime. I can't get over how beautiful our world is in autumn. It's just unreal.

 
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