Bear Peak, Boulder, CO, May 8th, 2005

After a day of snowboarding and hiking the Pawnee Buttes, Wendy and I still felt up for a hike on Sunday. I had visited my Uncle Gary in Boulder a couple weeks ago, and thought the nearby foothills to be very impressive, and worthy of a hike.

This pic was taken Apr 24th, at my uncle's softball practice field. Bear Peak is the right most peak, and "Devil's Thumb" is the jutting rock on the left. I planned a hike that would take us from the south, past the Thumb, up to Bear Peak.

The weather forecast for Sunday was questionable, so it was a last minute decision to go, and turned out to be a good decision.

Trail stats:
distance: 6.75 miles roundtrip
starting elevation: 5700'
summit elevation: 8450'
Online info

We started the hike at 10:18, on the Townee Trail that took us through a meadow under cloudy skies. The Thumb and Bear Peak are on the right side of the ridge, 2829' higher.

There were some interestingly shaped rocks sticking up along the trail.

The path connected to Shadow Canyon trail, which led to a wooden canyon filled with lots of boulders. Here's a shot looking up under the Thumb.

Some of the boulders were spaceship sized.

Wendy looks like she was born to pose on this rock, with Pikes peak (hard to see) in the background, along with the Denver skyline to the left (out of picture, so use your imagination). This was the first grand view from the trail.

Eventually the trail reached a saddle, and we took the Bear Peak trail, which led on the west side of the mounatin along a rocky spree.

All of a sudden, we turned the corner, and we were at the peak! I scrambled up along the jagged rocks to the summit, and turned around to see a hesitant Wendy peeking up towards the summit

She was a little uneasy climbing to the summit, as she hadn't hiked much before, but she's a hardcore adventurer deep down, and made her way along the slanty rocks.

I waited patiently for her to join me (and take this picture) on the south side of the summit.

She left her pack at the base of the summit, so I took the opportunity to do some more scrambling across this incredible peak to go retrieve it.

Our lunch spot.

I took that last picture from here. This was supposed to be the picture to scare my mom, but it didn't come out too scary. But mom, it really was more dangerous than it looks! :-)

Wendy meanwhile, entertained herself with the chipmunks that hung out at the summit to eat food from hikers.

Feeding the chipmunks from her shoe helped distract her from her fear of heights.

I relaxed and enjoyed the views from this amazing summit.

The city of Boulder is pretty big.

The sun made it's way out eventually, and after almost an hour on the peak, it was time to head back. Here are some pics we took on the way down to the trail.

The skies turned bluer as we went back across the rock spree

Once again we passed under the Thumb.

We took the Homestead trail back to the car, and looked back to see the Thumb and Bear's Peak in the distance.

It took us 5.5 hours to do the whole hike, at my watch measured ~3500' accumulated elevation gain. After the hike we tried a short bike ride in Boulder, and made a quick stop at my uncle's house to say hi. Had to rush back home to be sure to call my mom on Mother's Day. Certainly an action packed weekend!

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