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Mount Falcon and Lair O' the Bear Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.7 (69) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A physically challenging but technically moderate loop.


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Map Key

19.8

Miles

31.9

KM

35%

Singletrack

7,751' 2,363 m

High

5,790' 1,765 m

Low

2,572' 784 m

Up

2,574' 785 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

27%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Allowed

Features -none-

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.

Overview

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

Shared By:

Mark Eller

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 69 votes

#169

Overall
  3.7 from 69 votes
5 Star
20%
4 Star
48%
3 Star
22%
2 Star
6%
1 Star
4%
Recommended Route Rankings

#63

in Colorado

#169

Overall
817 Views Last Month
37,379 Since May 14, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
33%
2%
63%
2%

Photos

Lisa rides down the first rocky section on Lair O' the Bear.
Mar 27, 2017 near Kittredge, CO
One of the ride's many techy corners
Jul 8, 2013 near Kittredge, CO
Fatties are fun at LOB!
Mar 18, 2016 near Kittredge, CO
Sunny day but still icy
Dec 20, 2019 near Genesee, CO
Near the Top of Castle Trail after climbing up the technical singletrack.
May 15, 2015 near Indian…, CO
Fun technical stuff at Lair O' the Bear
Sep 29, 2014 near Kittredge, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 4 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jun 24, 2020
Clark Smitherman
Jun 23, 2020
Jakob Koons
Jun 1, 2020
Mike Carver
Up and back w/Eric 8mi — 1h 30m
Apr 6, 2020
Clark Smitherman
19.8mi
Mar 26, 2020
Chadley Wallace
Nov 16, 2019
Bruce F
Lair is muddy and slick in spots
Sep 21, 2019
Arv Tor
Sep 2, 2019
Ryan Edwards