Adventure Projects is hiring a web engineer to join us in Boulder, CO
MTB Project Logo

Mount Falcon and Lair O' the Bear Loop

 3.7 (57)

19.8 Miles 31.9 Kilometers


35%

Singletrack

2,572' 784 m

Ascent

-2,574' -785 m

Descent

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

27%

Max Grade (15°)

7,751' 2,363 m

High

5,790' 1,765 m

Low

Shared By Mark Eller

Conditions


Minor Issues 14 days ago
Some Mud - About 30% is wet and muddy, but the rest is bore dry. No more snow. (10/30 storm) History

Getting forecast...

A physically challenging but technically moderate loop.

Mark Eller

Dogs Leashed

Features eMTB allowed

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

You & This Featured Ride


Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Ride

Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Sep 23, 2018
Nathan Beauchamp
20.2mi — 2h 28m
Aug 26, 2018
Patrick Csongei
a little too much road riding for my liking. brutal climb, fun singletrack 19.5mi
Aug 25, 2018
Chris Douillard
Jul 29, 2018
Alex Carrera
19.7mi
Jul 23, 2018
Ryan Collison
Soil was perfect, slightly tacky felt great. Added on the bonus route of Old Ute and Devils Elbow then took Parmalee Gulch to get and extra few miles. 22.6mi
Jul 1, 2018
Rob S
20mi
Jun 26, 2018
Jeff Berschling
20.8mi

Stewarded By


Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 57 votes

#168

Overall
  3.7 from 57 votes
5 Star
19%
4 Star
47%
3 Star
25%
2 Star
5%
1 Star
4%
Rankings

#61

in Colorado

#168

Overall
581 Views Last Month
30,929 Since May 14, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
5%
21%
56%
15%
3%

Photos

I rode this today from Lair o the Bear park, so did the road downhill then the climb, and then back to the park. That way it doesnt feel like you lose so much at the end going back to Morrison. Jun 12, 2016

 
I rode this yesterday, parked at east falcon access lot and then took 74 back down the hill to morrison and take a right onto highway 8 headed south toward 285 once you see the museum you can go behind it and there is a little gravel nature trail behind the museum back to the lot. Saves about 15 minutes of riding hgwy 8 back to the lot. Aug 29, 2016
A bit more road riding than I would prefer, but the trail sections (and Lair 'O the Bair in particular) make up for it. The climb up Mount Falcon can feel relentless for those first three miles. Nothing incredibly hard, but lots of water bars and rocks mean you've got to be "on" for the entire climb. Once up top, a Castle Trail widens out to a dirt road before finally dumping you into the car parking lot for your first road section. The route on the MTB app is a bit off--we had to divert onto a side street to get to the next trail section. If you can read a basic map, you'll be fine. Lair 'O the Bair is a rockstar trail with tons of speed, thrills, and a few great alternative line jumps. Just be on the lookout for hikers / runners as this is a popular trail on the weekend. Best to get out early before it become over populated. We left at 7am from Falcon, and when we got back at around 9:30 the lot was full with cars parked all the way up the street. I prefer loops to riding out-and-backs or lollipops, so and the road riding allows for exactly that. Sep 24, 2018

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