Bear Creek Trail
This is a difficult one way trail in Uncompahgre National Forest. There is lots of exposure above the initial switchbacks. The trail is wider than singletrack through here there is a large drop to the south side. Once through the exposed and rocky section you will travel on an easy trail up the bear creek drainage. This trail continues well past the mines into the upper basin. Once in the upper basin you can connect to Engineer, Horsethief, or ridge stock. These extensions allow for excellent loops. You will pass mining relics, fields of wildflowers and large peaks.
Park just south of the natural rock tunnel on HWY 550. The trail starts on the south side of the tunnel and switchbacks up through some rocks. Then onto the relatively flat but exposed section by the first mine. Then the trail eases up quite a bit all the way out the basin. There may be a section above the mines where the trail is hard to find due to overgrown wildflowers.
Children will love the views and the mines but maybe not enjoy the climb up the switchbacks. Keep them close in the exposed section.
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