Go to rt. 170 off of Highway 36, or rt. 93. Take 170 in the direction of El Dorado Springs. From the 93 junction, it is two miles to the Mesa Trail parking lot on the right. Take a short trail, and follow signs to the Mesa trail. The trail winds around, with adequate signs for a couple miles. At the top of the first steep hill there is a fork. One way goes to S. Mesa trail, if you turn right. You need to go straight, and you will curve around and pass a cabin, and then a stream. You are now at the bottom of Shadow Canyon, where the real steep hiking begins.
The two peaks are separated by Shadow Canyon; an almost 2,000' steep climb between the mountains. The Mesa Trail takes you to the start of this steep approach.
From Shadow Canyon, you hike up a well marked trail, while ascending about 2,000 feet in less than a mile and a half. At the top of the canyon, you reach a saddle. The sign says S. Boulder Peak left, Bear Peak right. Take your pick. S. Boulder Peak is less than 1/2 mile away, goes through mostly forest, and is higher (8,549'). Bear Peak (8,461') is more than 1/2 mile away, and is mostly on rocks. S. Boulder Peak is a semi-steep hike to the summit. At the summit, you have a little class 2 boulder hopping to do to get to the real summit. GREAT VIEWS!
Mesa Trail portion: ~2.6 miles (easy gradient hike)
Shadow Canyon to ridge: ~1.3 miles (steep hike)
Ridge to Summit: ~.4 miles (hike, climb on rocks, class 1 and class 2)
ROUND TRIP DISTANCE: 8.5 miles
Elevation Gain: ~3100 feet
Good hiking shoes. The worst you'll get is class 2. It can get icy in winter, so be careful for those climbs. You might need an ice ax during icy conditions.
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