Coalton Trail

Superior, Colorado 80027

Coalton Trail

Coalton Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This trailhead, established in 2011, offers several options for hiking on the high prairie near the town of Superior."

Coalton Trail Reviews

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10/1/2009
Hiked this on my way to visit my son at CSU. Mystical day, with the peak shrouded in fog. My wife and I had done this trail the back way in the summer and I wanted to try it front side--nature's stairclimber. Ben the Dog and I set out from the lab (no pun intended), crossed the drainage, and started the slog. It seemed never-ending and it was kicking our butts (OK, my butt) but we didn't stop until the summit. Recommend Kahtoolas or similar in winter season cuz the top gets very hairy even with a pole for traction. I mean we're talking down on all fours when you're descending to keep from doing an endo. Due to proximity with Boulder, this trail gets a lot of travel by young folk who don't realize how much harder the trail is when you're in your 50's. Lots of testosterone but also good people watching for being not that heavily traveled compared to the other Flatiron trails. Highly recommend that back way if you're looking for a longer, more mellow day and enjoy a little stream ambiance along the way.
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8/16/2009
I took Bear Canyon to the West Ridge to the peak. I took my time expecting this to be a hard one, but thought this was an easy hike, and a good view at the top. I went down Fern to complete the loop. It would be much more strenuous that way. Given the time of year, and no snow - also probably also made it much easier.
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11/1/2008
This trail is not for the weary... even a bit of bouldering was required at the top but SO worth it. You can see all of Boulder- and I mean ALL of Boulder- from the top.
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3/9/2008
Well I have read a few reviews on this hike and it sounded like a challenge. I took Shadow canyon up from the Mesa trail head parking lot. The trail is great until you get to shadow it's very steep and snow packed in areas and longer than expected (I was doing my first hike with a pack for conditioning for the year). I reached the trail marker at the top of shadow and never saw another person since being on the Mesa trail. From there to the peak was dangerous .5 miles of 12"-18" trail with slick melting snow pack and pretty step drop. The views were worth every step at the peak, though the trip down was slow going until out of the icy and snowy areas(most of shadow). There was a plethora of wild flowers in bloom lots of columbine on the trail. Highly recommended ( a few weeks later in the year).
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1/6/2008
Very strenous hike. We came from the West Ridge trail down Green Bear and then up Bear Peak. The snow was about 18" deep with crusted surface. The trail was about 12" wide compacted snow. We could not have made it without Stabilicers on our hiking boots. It took us almost 8-hours to go to the peak and back.
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3/18/2007
As a lowlander from NJ I never have enough time to allow my body to adjust to the higher elevations in the Rockies. So my choice is usually to the trails at relatively lower elevations, and Bear Peak was a very good choice, topping out about 8,400'. Taking the loop counterclockwise from NCAR was the better way, since it's a more gradual climb to the top (that last section down from the peak is very steep and still snow covered this time of year). After the low sections near NCAR, where everyone seems to be walking their dogs, the trail thins out, but remains well marked. There were very few people on a beautiful Sunday in mid March from the Bear Canyon Trail up to the summit. Local Boulder hikers though tend to use the Fern Canyon Trail that's very steep as a popular 1/2 day hike. This loop trail is highly recommended to get a flavor of the Rockies where time doesn't allow proper acclimatization to challenge any of the 'teeners.
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2/20/2007
This trail kicked my butt but i think it was more so because of the conditions. I am writing this review for anyone crazy enough to attempt this trail in the deep snow and 60 mph winds. With that being said, i am sure it is a wonderful "regular" hike with striking views and great rock formations, plenty of water etc. but as a winter hike it was perilous at times (ice everywhere since most of the loop is in a canyon) and tedious at others (slogging through slushy snow and post-holing unexpectedly) The wind was mercilous and after i reached the trail marking bear peak, i scrambled around (forget "steps" - snow obliterated 90% of the trail) and decided to head back the way i came - i was afraid i'd kill myself going down Fern Canyon assuming it was as completely iced and snowed over as Bear Canyon. So - winter hikers - take caution! I cant wait to do it fully in the summer!
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11/26/2006
This area is quite lovely and also astoundingly convenient. I didn't find it crowded on this particular Sunday, though I'm sure it is more so on warmer days. Be sure to hike it east to west if you would like a more gradual ascent. If you want a hard, demonic ascent, climb it from the Fern Canyon trail. Either way it's strenuous on the knees - bring trekking poles. Tons of opportunity for rock scrambling along the way, lots of nice places for a picnic. Excellent.
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5/28/2006
Very good workout and excellent views from the peak. Pay close attention to the directions as there are many places to take the wrong turn. Also, beware near the top if you are afraid of heights. The trail is very rocky, narrow, and steep here. Other than that, enjoy!
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4/10/2006
This is a great loop. There are a lot of people hiking it though. It was challenging and fun. I did this with my 1 and 1/2 year old black lab. He came home and slept like a puppy! I take that as a great sighn that this was a great hike!
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Coalton Trail Photos

Trail Information

Superior
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
5.8
Distance
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
2 to 3 hours
Duration
Year-round; can be snow-packed in the winter months
Season
Boulder County Open Space Coalton Trailhead map
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018