Distance: 7.4 miles round trip
Elevation: 9,590' - 10,767'
Bathroom at Trailhead: No
Trail open to: Hikers, Horses, Bicycles
Dogs: Allowed on leash
Date Hiked: 27 Sept 2015
Overview: Burning Bear #601 East TH is an easy hike close to Denver off of Guanella Pass. Trail condition is excellent with very few ruts, rocks, or roots and would be excellent for trail running. The views are limited so this trail is more suitable for mtn biking or skiing. Although at the peak of the fall colors, I encountered only one other couple along this trail.
The FS website is out of date and does not reflect the improvements to the Guanella Pass Road (Park County Rd 62). The TH is now located across the road from the parking area for both Burning Bear and Abyss Trail at approximately Mile 5 on Guanella Pass from Grant.
I ran this trail from the East entrance to the West entrance at Camp Hale years ago as part of the Colorado Relay. This time I returned to get a peak at the fall colors along Guanella Pass and to also do a reconnaissance to see if Burning Bear would be a suitable ski tour.
The improved parking lot is located at approx. Mile 5 on Guanella Pass Rd from Grant. The Burning Bear TH is on the left side of the road (North).
The trail starts out as level along a meadow following Geneva Creek, then enters a lodgepole pine forest.
Geneva Creek is clear, cold and wide, and even in September the water was pumping. I recommend using all bridge crossings.
The Burning Bear trail is well marked, suitable for a winter ski tour
The majority of the Burning Bear trail is through lodgepole forest
At mile 2.5 there is remnants of a cabin. I recommend turning back here if on skis. After this the trail climbs to the ridge summit.
From the cabin at mile 2.5 to the summit at mile 3.7 is the majority of the elevation gain. Not terribly steep, approximately 700 ft gained in 1.2 miles.
The high point of the trail at mile 3.7 is marked with a blue diamond. We descended the west side for about 1/2 mile looking for a second cabin which we didn't find.
This trail recap features the Honey Bee Soap seen here near Geneva Creek. A honey scented soap swirled in a delicate pattern, topped with soap frosting and golden bees - this is sure to brighten anyone's day! This cheerful soap can be purchased below.
And be sure to check out the store here for more commemorative summit soaps!
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