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Black Bear - Horseshoe Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.5 (20) 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

80%

Runnable

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 20 votes

#536

Overall
  4.5 from 20 votes
5 Star
55%
4 Star
40%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#108

in Colorado

#536

Overall
63 Views Last Month
3,534 Since Apr 3, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
29%
18%
53%
0%

Photos

Views
Apr 4, 2018 near Coal Creek, CO
Easy singletrack
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 Scramble
Apr 4, 2018 near Coal Creek, CO
Lovely views!
Jul 20, 2019 near Coal Creek, CO
Tougher scramble
Apr 4, 2018 near Coal Creek, CO

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Check-Ins

Oct 19, 2020
Josh M
Jun 29, 2019
Jack Henstridge
Intense start going clockwise. Awesome flow finish after that. 5.1mi — 1h 30m
Jun 9, 2019
Kit Chiu-Arunakul
Jun 8, 2019
Chad Phyle
Beautiful scenery, easy paths to follow. Some leg and lung burning climbs but we worth the effort and not overly crowded. Will come back to camp!! 5.7mi — 3h 30m
Oct 12, 2018
ChrisG George
Lovely run with a steep start. Not always runnable. some more training I could keep a running pace. training ground for picking up my pace on steeps 4mi