Golden Bear Peak (13,010′) | CO Rank: 634/637
Front Range | White River National Forest | Silverthorne, CO
08/08/19 | 6.93 miles | 1,950′ gain | Class 2
Golden Bear has been on my list for a day when I needed a quick & easy peak. And today was that day. There is no route listed on 14ers.com (the website I usually use for 14er/13er hikes), so I had to do a little more research than normal. I lucked out when I found the Upper Straight Creek Trail that would take me most of the way to the summit.
This trail starts from the strangest trailhead I’ve ever been to. Heading west from Denver on I-70, after you exit the Eisenhower Tunnel, take an immediate right into the “Brake Check Area”. There is no parking lot or signage indicating a trailhead, but it’s legal to park alongside the truck area. The Upper Straight Creek Trail starts right off I-70.
Follow the side road north into the basin, where it eventually turns into a trail.
The wildflowers in this basin were UNREAL and I stopped often to take picture after picture.
For the most part, the trail is gradual. It slowly switchbacks up the ridge, eventually tops out on the Continental Divide, and continues down the other side.
When we reached the Divide, we turned off trail and headed north along the ridge to Golden Bear. It would be very easy to turn off sooner, saving a bit of mileage.
I think the t-posts were just marking the ski area boundary, but they were easy to follow all the way to the summit. There was even a faint trail through them.
On the way down, we cut back to the trail sooner on slightly steeper terrain, which saved us maybe 1/4 mile or so. Golden Bear is a quick & easy summit that would be great for a beginner!
11 thoughts on “Golden Bear Peak (13,010′) | Colorado | 08/08/19”
I’ve never been to a hilly or mountainous region before, but seeing photos like this really makes me want to plan hiking trip somewhere that looks like that! 😀
Aww, that’s awesome! I hope one day you’re able to visit mountains. I’m sure you’d enjoy it!
Looks like a great hike! I’ll have to check it out next summer. I think I have only hiked a couple of 13ers, so this is great info. and it looks like there is a nice trail!
There’s a trail most of the way, but the route finding after that is pretty easy. It was really beautiful and pretty easy as far as 13ers go!
This looks like a great trail and your dog is adorable!
Thanks Laci! 🙂
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I am envious, Chelsea. Even though I lived in Silverthorne for a number of years, I failed to hike this trail. It would be worth it for the wildflowers alone!
The flowers were AMAZING!!! Probably the best I’ve ever seen.
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This looks amazing! Thanks to your blog post, we are going to try for it this weekend. I know it’s been a year, but can you recall how much of the hike was class 1 verses class 2? Your photos make it seem like it’s just a class 1 most of the way! I want to take my 3-legged dog but want to be cautious. Thank you so much for all this helpful beta, it’s impossible to find much info on this hike!
Hi Brittany! The route I took is a Class 1 trail all the way to the ridge, then mostly Class 1 grass (off-trail) all the way to the summit. There is very minimal Class 2, just a few small sections of easy talus. Hope this helps, and that you have a great hike!