This nice, mellow route makes for a pleasant winter outing. Roughly 2/3 of the trail follows a trail. The 1/3 of the route that is off-trail is relatively straight-forward, passing first through timber then through a lower clearing and finally reaching the krumholz, topping out in tundra. The views from the upper clearing to the summit are wide-open and fantastic.
Roundtrip Distance: 7 miles
Net Elevation Gain: 2,400 feet
YDS Class: 2
From the Southeast via the Burning Bear Trail, western trailhead
From Hwy 285 about 4 miles southbound from Grant, head north on Park County Road #60 (FS #120) and drive 3 miles to a very small parking area on the right side of the road. This trailhead, reached via graded dirt road, is accessible to all vehicles. Parking, however, is limited.
• From the small parking area, immediately ascend a switchback to top out on a ridge.
• Cross through an aspen-studded meadow before entering an the area where the walls of the Burning Bear Creek drainage tighten in on the trail.
• Roughly 1 mile from the trailhead, reach the confluence with Lamping Creek.
• Continue following Burning Bear Creek for a bit less than 1 mile, where the trail departs the creek to climb to a saddle. From the saddle, the summit is less than 1.5 miles away.
• Near the top of the saddle (elevation 10,700 ft.), depart the trail, trending west-northwest toward “Burning Bear Peak” through timber.
• Surmount a small hump, drop slightly, then begin the climb up the slopes of “Burning Bear Peak.” Climb first west, then trend northwest above treeline through tundra.
• The summit of “Burning Bear Peak” is marked by a large cairn. The views are fantastic.
• Trails Illustrated #104: Idaho Springs | Georgetown | Loveland Pass
• Outerwear appropriate to the season
• Flotation (snowshoes or skis) in snow season