ApproachThis is the alternate route up Dinosaur Mountain. It is more obvious than the standard Mallory Cave route, but it avoids many of the route-finding challenges which make the standard so much fun.
This route is a good descent when combined with the Mallory Cave ascent.
Route DescriptionStart from either the NCAR trailhead or the Bear Creek trailhead on Bear Mountain Drive in Boulder. From NCAR, hike west to the Mesa Trail. Turn south and descend into Bear Canyon. From Bear Mountain Drive, head west on the Bear Canyon trail until it joins the Mesa Trail.
From the junction of the Bear Canyon and Mesa trails, continue west and ascend the south side of the canyon following the wide, service road. After a broad switchback, turn right on a rougher trail headed into Bear Canyon and pass a power line tower. Continue into the depths of the canyon passing the rock strata of Dinosaur Mountain on the other side of the creek.
Walk 100-200 feet past the first stream crossing past the last of the rock ridges. Turn right into a small clearing and follow a rough trail up a steep, sandy meadow. The trail quickly vanishes and you'll be left picking your own route up the broad ridge. The pinnacle of Dinosaur Mountain is plainly visible above you. Aim for this.
About 200' below the summit, there is a break in the sheer cliffs of the South Ridge (fourth stratum). You'll need to thread this gap and gain the sandy 'Bowling Alley' after which the going is obvious and easy.
Once you reach the summit saddle, head right to the summit of Dum marked with a large block, or the actual summit on the left. Both are 3rd class and I won't ruin the fun by describing the details here. Enjoy.