Peak(s):  "Golden Bear Pk"  -  13,010 feet
Date Posted:  08/22/2019
Modified:  08/28/2019
Date Climbed:   08/08/2019
Author:  Chelsea
 Golden Bear via Upper Straight Creek Trail  


Golden Bear Peak (13,010') | CO Rank: 634/637

via Upper Straight Creek Trail | Front Range | White River National Forest | Silverthorne, CO

08/08/19 | 6.93 miles | 1,950' gain | Class 2


Golden Bear has been on my list for a day when I needed a quick & easy peak. And today was that day. A short drive and an easy hike was just what I needed after a long 2 weeks of family visiting. There is no route listed on 14ers.com, so I had to do a little more research than normal. I lucked out when I found the Upper Straight Creek Trail that would take me most of the way to the summit.

This trail starts from the strangest trailhead I've ever been to. Heading west from Denver on I-70, after you exit the Eisenhower Tunnel, take an immediate right into the "Brake Check Area". There is no parking lot or signage indicating a trailhead, but it's legal to park alongside the truck area. The Upper Straight Creek Trail starts right off I-70.

Follow the side road north into the basin, where it eventually turns into a trail.

19701_01
Walk on the paved road for a short ways into the basin.
19701_02
The paved road becomes a 2-track.
19701_04
The 2-track becomes a trail.

The wildflowers in this basin were UNREAL and I stopped often to take picture after picture.

19701_03
19701_05
19701_06

For the most part, the trail is gradual. It slowly switchbacks up the ridge, eventually tops out on the Continental Divide, and continues down the other side.

19701_09
Heading further into the basin.
19701_11
19701_12
Looking back towards I-70.
19701_13
19701_14
Getting close to the Divide! You can see the parking area below.
19701_15
The guardians of Golden Bear taunted poor Otis as we climbed higher.
19701_16
Views to the west.
19701_18
The summit is in sight! It's the pointy one in the center.

When we reached the Divide, we turned off trail and headed north along the ridge to Golden Bear. It would be very easy to turn off sooner, saving a bit of mileage.

19701_19
It was easiest to follow the line of t-posts.
19701_20
Some sections were rocky, but the terrain was mostly grassy tundra.
19701_21
Views off the east side of the ridge.
19701_22
Still following t-posts...summit getting closer

I think the t-posts were just marking the ski area boundary, but they were easy to follow all the way to the summit. There was even a faint trail through them.

19701_23
Almost there!
19701_24
19701_25
The summit is rocky, but stable.
19701_26
The bumps just on the other side of the summit are slightly shorter.
19701_28
19701_27
My golden bear on Golden Bear.
19701_29
Looking towards Grays and Torreys.
19701_30
Looking at the off-trail portion of the route, nice and gradual! You can JUST see the trail in the center, and the parking area bottom right.
19701_31
Summit views

On the way down, we cut back to the trail sooner on slightly steeper terrain, which saved us maybe 1/4 mile or so. Golden Bear is a quick & easy summit that would be great for a beginner!


My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 9 11 12 13 14 15 16 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31


 Comments or Questions
Jay521

Pix...
08/22/2019 09:24
Really nice photos...


sigepnader

Thank you
08/22/2019 12:57
This is perfect timing. I was searching for routes for this Sunday!


Chelsea

...
08/22/2019 13:00
@Jay521 - Thank you!

@sigepnader - I'm so glad! Enjoy!


Trotter

good beta
08/22/2019 19:38
not much info on these low peaks


mcklarry

Thank you
07/24/2020 11:08
Thank you for the post and the information and pictures.
Looks like a great hike for me and my dog.


stephw

Thank You!
07/26/2020 11:11
Thanks for posting info on Golden Bear! Like you said, not much info out there! I'm heading up there Thursday! Your pics really helped! I've been on this trail heading up to Hagar Mtn a few times, so was kinda familiar with the unusual parking location & the flower covered basin!



   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.




© 2020 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.