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Savor Early Winter on the Burning Bear Trail

Burning Bear Trail

The Burning Bear Trail provides relative solitude just one hour from Denver.  Enjoy the best that Colorado’s winter has to offer!  Note that you can hike this trail in the summer, as well.

Trailhead: Geneva Creek

Activities: Hiking, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Camping

Closest City / Town: Grant, Colorado

Driving Directions:

  • From Denver, drive southwest on US 285 approximately 40 miles to Grant.
  • Turn right (north) onto Park County 62 (towards Guanella Pass), and drive 5.5 miles to the trailhead.
  • The trailhead is on the west (left) side of the road and is located just south of Burning Bear Campground.
  • Note: there is a large parking area at the trailhead.

Hiking Distance: 5.5 miles (one way); 11.0 miles (roundtrip)

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Description: The first mile of the Burning Bear Trail is relatively flat. You then leave the meadow area and begin climbing through a stand of lodgepole pine.  Approximately 2.5 miles from the trailhead you will come to remnants of an old log cabin on the left (see “Rustic Cabin” photo on the right).  The trail then becomes steep and switchbacks to the ridge summit at 3.7 miles. A six-foot tree stump that has 2 metal diamond-shaped markers (cross country ski markers) designates the high point of the trail.

From this saddle, the trail begins to descend in a southwesterly direction. Fifteen minutes down the ridge you will cross Lamping Creek as it drains west. From this point, the trail follows the creek to the Hall Valley trailhead on an old road. 10 minutes from the stream crossing you will pass the remains of another log cabin. The trail is identified by diamond shaped metal markers (blue and gray) nailed to trees. The trailhead in Hall Valley at the west end of the trail is marked by a sign posted along Park County Road 60.

Worth Noting: As close as the Burning Bear Trail is to Denver, very few people utilize the route during the winter.  Moreover, if you trek more than a mile or so into the woods, it is likely that you will not run into another person.  Finally, due to its proximity to the Mount Evans Wilderness Area, the trail offers a pristine backcountry experience.

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