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Bear Peak

Surprise, surprise - we went hiking this weekend. But that's not actually a surprise if you know anything about us. With crazy winds in the high mountains (like last weekend), we opted to stay lower so we wouldn't freeze from the windchill. We ended up hiking in Boulder, which was still windy, but with mid-60s temperatures where the wind was refreshing.

The hike we chose, Bear Peak, was a tough hike that packed almost 3,000 feet of elevation gain in just a couple of miles. The steep section of the trail was facing North, which meant incredibly icy scrambling adding to the challenge. But we came prepared with our microspikes, unlike many hikers that we saw along the way. Considering the difficulty, the trail was fairly busy with many people on the trail. Typically we hike to get away from people, and usually, a difficult hike guarantees it, but not in Boulder with how accessible this trail is.

We haven't done a lot of hiking in Boulder because parking is always terrible. It's a city where everyone hikes, which means that parking lots fill up very quickly. Additionally, Boulder has a lot of paid parking lots for hiking which I'm not against, but they're doing it wrong. Some parking lots are a set fee, but most of them don't accept electronic forms of payment which neither Katie nor I carry (get with the times, Boulder...). Other parking lots are by the hour, which is not helpful for hiking since we never know how long a hike will last... But that's why we picked a hike that starts at NCAR which has a massive parking lot that's free for hikers. I've never seen that parking lot more than half-full, making it a stress-free choice to start a hike from.

This hike earned us a new achievement - the most elevation gain we've done together. We made our New Year's Resolution based on beating our all-time hiking stats for distance, time, and elevation gain by 15%. Our goal for elevation gain is set at 2,997ft for the year, but this hike fell short by just 103 feet, with an elevation gain of 2,874 feet. Of the 3 stats we have to beat, elevation gain will be the easiest, so I'm not too bummed about nearly beating that goal on this hike.

Trailhead Location
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6.51 mi 4.8 hrs 8,352 ft 2,874 ft
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Bear Peak
Nebel Horn
Indian Peaks
Summit Panorama
Katie and Longs
Longs Peak