ElevationAscent: 831' 253 m
Descent: -831' -253 m
High: 6,504' 1,982 m
Low: 5,672' 1,729 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 22% (13°)
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“A straightforward hike on some of the best trail Boulder has to offer.”— Tom Robson
North Fork Shanahan Trail ascends steeply, not contouring at all. Pass Shanahan Connector on your left and continue straight. Eventually, after the steepest portion, this trail terminates at the Mesa Trail.
Turn right onto the Mesa Trail, which is nestled between Bear Mountain and Shanahan Ridge. After ~.4mi, turn right to head up the Mesa Trail - Shanahan Ridge to get some sweet views, or turn left to stay on the Mesa Trail. Shortly after staying on the Mesa Trail, you'll pass Fern Canyon on your left. Continue down Mesa as it switchbacks steeply past the Bear Canyon Trail.
Finally, you'll come to a fork. Take a right here to take the NCAR - Bear Canyon Trail. Follow this wide singletrack as it winds past the NCAR - Bear Connector trail on your left and follows Bear Canyon Creek on your right. Once you're past the connector, you're almost to the trailhead!
After some quick downhill hiking, you'll approach an obvious intersection with Bear Canyon Trailhead, a small connector trail joining the canyon to Bear Mountain Drive. This short trail crosses a stream and may include some mud, so stay on your toes!
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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Flora & Fauna, History & Background
Land Manager: City of Boulder, Colorado - Parks and Recreation