Mount Falcon and Lair O' the Bear Loop

 25 votes

19.3 Miles 31.0 Kilometers

35%

Singletrack

2,655' 809 m

Ascent

-2,660' -811 m

Descent

7,755' 2,364 m

High

5,788' 1,764 m

Low

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

26%

Max Grade (14°)

All Clear

7,755' 2,364 m

High

5,788' 1,764 m

Low

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

26%

Max Grade (14°)

A physically challenging but technically moderate loop.

Building Map
Loading Map Data
Map Settings
Featured Ride
Trail

Overview

These trails are occasionally closed if they're muddy. Some segments are popular with hikers and Jefferson County rangers have been known to ticket riders who exceed 15 MPH or ride aggressively.
A combination of grindy climbing, more than a bit of road riding, shout-out-loud singletrack descending and even a touch of intermediate-level gnar. Finish up with beverages in Morrison and you've got a demanding, varied ride that anyone can feel good about accomplishing.

Need To Know

The Mt. Falcon climb offers almost no tree shade and positively bakes on warm days. It's also extremely popular with hikers, and the same can be said for most of the Bear Creek singletrack. Do this one on a weekday morning for maximum enjoyment.

Description

From the Mt. Falcon parking lot, you'll get a minimal warmup before the long grind on the Castle Rock trail begins. The grade isn't too steep but there are enough of water bars, tight switchbacks and rock fields to make this a demanding climb.

About halfway up, a hard lefthand turn (with just a touch of tree shade) offers a brief respite before the climbing kicks in again. Then it's more grinding in small gears to the top. It's challenging to stay on the bike the entire time not because the technical challenge is super high but simply because of the relentless climbing and moderate obstacles that just keep coming.

A fit rider keeping the hammer down will need about 30 minutes (give or take) to reach the stone shelter. Ride at a conversational pace or take a few breaks and you might be looking at an hour-long effort but fear not because you've put nearly all the hard work behind you.

Atop Mt. Falcon there's an opportunity to extend this ride and add more singletrack by exploring the Parmalee Trail and a few other options. If you're content to ride just the loop you'll skip those trails and exit the park for a road descent.

Keep an eye peeled for the easy-to-miss left turn onto gravelly Picutis Road. Follow that to the paved Parmalee Gulch Road and climb a moderate grade, following it through the small town of Indian Hills.

Keep following Parmalee Gulch Road. You'll pass Pence Park on your left, then get ready to hit the singletrack again. Look for the Bear Creek Trail on the right, just past the yellow hiker sign.

Clear your throat and prepare for some whooping and hollering. The Bear Creek descent is mostly flowy singletrack, with a few small climbs and some very fun rock features. Almost all of the technical bits offer an intermediate line, though you could miss it if you charge into the drops with too much speed.

A final descent at the end of the singetrack is followed by a hard righthander onto a flat, wide segment of the Bear Creek trail following the river to Little Park.

Once you reach the Little Park parking lot, it's time to get your roadie on again. Fortunately, the paved descent on Route 74 is quite fun as far as that kind of thing goes. Swooping bends and a mostly adequate shoulder brings you to Morrison.

If you've got a speedster in your group, pitch her the car keys and ask her to retrieve the car from the Mt. Falcon parking lot while the rest of your group gets the first drink order started. There's another 10-20 minutes of climbing to reach the car.

Contacts

Rate Featured Ride


   Clear

3.7 from 25 votes


Get On-Trail Navigation

Send to Phone
Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Sep 28, 2016
Justin Loera
only did up and back. 5.5mi — 1h 31m
Sep 18, 2016
Robert Slingsby
Aug 21, 2016
Mark Stewart
With Denton 12.4mi
Jul 31, 2016
David Santel
18.8mi — 2h 13m
Jul 20, 2016
Barry Croker
First time riding loop in 3 years. Climb was much smoother i.e. fewer rocks. Descent was fast. Surprising number of riders going up lair
Jun 28, 2016
Ryan Schaeffer
One helluva climb at the beginning — 2h 29m
Jun 19, 2016
Jesse Thompson
Jun 3, 2016
Josh Friedman
3h 00m

Stewarded By


Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 25 votes

#1

in Morrison

#250

Overall
  3.7 from 25 votes
1 Star
0%
2 Star
4%
3 Star
40%
4 Star
40%
5 Star
16%
Rankings

#1

in Morrison

#57

in Colorado

#250

Overall
572 Views Last Month
12,765 Since May 14, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
50%
50%
0%
0%

Conditions


All Clear on Jul 28, 2016

Photos

Comments

MTB Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Mountain Bike

MTB Project is supported by

Support Your Local IMBA Chapter