Pushing toward the summit
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.
Net Elevation Gain:
Descending "Burning Bear Peak" Powder in the Trees
East from upper slopes East from opening
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.
Krumholz on upper reaches Sastrugi and Krumholz Punching through sastrugi
East from opening
• 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.
Sastrugi descent The Evans Group South Park Below
Constant views Moving through a clearing
• Trails Illustrated #104: Idaho Springs | Georgetown | Loveland Pass
• Outerwear appropriate to the season
• Flotation (snowshoes or skis) in snow season
High country views