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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Pike and San Isabel National Forests > South Platte Ranger District

Quick Facts

Bear Creek Motorized Trail

Beginning Elevation: 7,360 Feet (2294.3 Meters) intersection with Russell Gulch Trail
Difficulty: Extremely Difficult
Elevation Gain: 640 Feet (199.5 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 7,360 Feet (2294.3 Meters)
High Point: 8,000 Feet (2493.8 Meters)
Length, Round Trip: 7 Miles (11.67 Kilometers)
Other Maps: Trails Illustrated 135, Pike National Forest
Recommended Season: Summer
Trail Number: 693
Usage: Light
USGS Maps: Quads: Deckers, Platte Canyon

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Bear Creek Motorized Trail, 692, forms a loop that can be accessed from the Russell Gulch Motorized Trail, 693. Bear Creek Trail is about 7 miles long and rated very difficult. Because of this rating few riders use it. The northern section of this trail is also part of the Colorado Trail. Backpackers, hikers and mountain bikers frequent this segment so extra caution is needed from OHV users.

The trail begins at 7,360' where it intersects with Russell Gulch Trail. From there it steadily climbs to 7,600' then levels within the first mile. During the second mile the trail begins to descend reaching 6,400' by the middle of the loop. From this point the trail climbs to 8,000' within 1.5 miles.

The National Forest Service challenges all off-highway vehicle (OHV) users to TREAD LIGHTLY on public lands. The Tread Lightly program educates and informs forest users on how to enjoy recreation opportunities without damaging resources or negatively affecting others enjoyment of public lands. Potential damage to our natural environment is intensified due to increasing popularity of OHVs. (This category of vehicles includes 4 WD, ATVs, dirt bikes, mountain bikes and snowmobiles.) TREAD LIGHTLY was created to curb damage to soil, water, wildlife, visual and solitude components on the forest. For more information contact any Ranger District Office.

Directions from South Platte: Bear Trail is located 2 miles east of Highway 97on trail 693. To reach 693 drive south 1.5 miles on Highway 97 from South Platte. The trail begins on the eastern side of the road.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: May through October .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Patrick (Pueblo West) (Pueblo West, CO)
Time of Day: 12 noon
Length of Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Not Recommended
Report: Today my Brother, wife and I went to run this trail. We ended up running Russel Gulch up to the trail head. We had spoken to a group of motorcyclists at the parking area who spoke very highly of this trail and its difficulty. We were shocked that when we got to where it appeared that where Bear Creek trail intersected Russel Gulch the trail was closed. There were national forest signs stating it had been closed,but with no name to the trail. The entire trail is now blocked by hundreds of trees being cut down making it impossible to pass even on foot. I hiked it 100 yards or so and it does appear this use to be the trail.All the trees were freshly cut, and still green. So this had just occured. Before taking a trip, check with Forest Service as it appears we have lost yet another trail. If we have not, and I was in the wrong area please let us know, as we were VERY excited to run this trail. If so, please also post so others dont get up there to be disappointed. When we got back to parking area the motorcyclists were there, and they were also shocked to hear the trail was closed, and the confirmed we were in the right area from our description.
Conditions: It was wet today. Cooler temps, and yes, trees across trail is an understatment as it appears the forest service cut 100s of trees down to make trail un usable even by foot.
Water Availability: No safe water in the area. We brought our own. We had quads so multiple sources brought in.
Recommended Clothing: Warm clothes today. It was cold.

Time of Day: Morning
Length of Time: 3 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Tried this on an atv. Made it to the Colorado Trail bars in the road. too tight to continue from there. Turned around and went back up the rock stairs. through the deep rut and tried to run it the other direction. According to gps, we got about a mile from the colorado trail again, but the trail got too tight again. 2 wheels would be a blast.

Filed By: Chris (Littleton, CO)
Time of Day: Noon to 2pm
Length of Time: Up- Hour and a half or so, Down-40-50 minutes.
Difficulty: Hard
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Its the hardest section in the Rampart Range area and I do not recomend it for begining riders. Do not ride this alone unless you are experienced as it is very technical. Do not ride this unless you enjoy technical riding because there is a lot of it. The key to this trail is which direction you go. My brother and I rode it once going up and have ridden it 6 or 7 times going down. You really need two people to ride it going up unless you have a thumper as there are several nasty sections where you have to literaly hoist your bikes up and over sections of the trail that have been washed out next to trees and rocks. It's not gonna be a picnic on a thumper either but at least you will have that climbing power. Now, going down is the fun part. Just stay to left when you come up on the trailhead and you will run the loop backwards and come "down" the nasty section. This is a blast as it is extremely technical and no hoisting is involved. Be wary though as it is VERY steep and there are many tight, steep, switchbacks.
Conditions: Steep, Rocky, Fallen Trees, Narrow Trails, Ravines, Ruts, Switchbacks, Tree-roots, Step-Ups, Boulders, in other words, Major Fun!
Suggested Accessories: Make sure you wear all your safty equipment on this one!

Filed By: Travis McCarthy
Time of Day: late morning
Length of Time: 2 hrs
Difficulty: Hard
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: When they say extremely difficult, believe it! This trail was quite the challenge. Tight switchbacks, BIG rocks, and a set of 'stairs' made out of stone. A real workout. NOT for beginers. Make sure you are in shape and very familiar with your bike before attempting this trail!

Difficulty: Hard
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: Aug.'99 Very hard. I turned around half way into loop cause I figured I had better odds of making it back alive than to try and finish the loop.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Hiking & Walking Bear Creek Motorized Trail
ICON Mountain Biking Bear Creek Motorized Trail
ICON ATV Riding Bear Creek Motorized Trail
ICON Motorcycle Riding Bear Creek Motorized Trail

Related Activities
Indian Creek Campground - The Indian Creek Campground consists of 11 individual family campsites that each include a table, fire ring, and parking spur. The extensive network of motorized trails attracts many visitors to this sight.

Russell Gulch Motorized Trail - The Russell Gulch Trail, #693, leads north 6.5 miles from Sprucewood. It passes over Bear Mountain and through Russell Gulch to County Road 97 and the Platte River.


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