MTB Project Logo

blueBlack Mount Falcon and Lair O' the Bear Loop

  3.7 ( 59 ) Favorite

Trail

19.8 mile 31.9 kilometer loop
35% Singletrack
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 2,572' 784 m
Descent: -2,574' -785 m
High: 7,751' 2,363 m
Low: 5,790' 1,765 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)

Dogs

Leashed
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Mark Eller

A physically challenging but technically moderate loop.

Mark Eller

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

Rate This Featured Ride

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Ride

Check In

Check-Ins

Jun 14, 2019
Chris Danca
7mi — 2h 00m
Jun 13, 2019
Rowan Hill
let's see how it goes! — 5h 10m
May 6, 2019
Matt Rettmer
All dry ..but damn, there was a lot of people on the trail for a Monday! 20mi — 2h 15m
Apr 22, 2019
Thomas Charles
Dec 15, 2018
Bruce F
Windy, patches of ice. The bear was stupid fun. 19.8mi
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

Stewarded By


Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 59 votes

#179

Overall
  3.7 from 59 votes
5 Star
19%
4 Star
49%
3 Star
24%
2 Star
5%
1 Star
3%
Rankings

#62

in Colorado

#179

Overall
534 Views Last Month
33,061 Since May 14, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
5%
24%
54%
15%
2%

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