After a long, Harry Potter filled 14 hour drive from Chicago to Boulder, we spent our day in Boulder with two good friends Matt and Kate, and their pup, Riley.

They suggested hiking Bear Peak, and the hike kicked our butts, or at least mine.

We hiked Bear Peak in the morning via the Fern Canyon Trail. It’s a 8.30 mile round trip, 4.15 up and down the same trail, with an elevation gain of 2,751 feet. According to Kate, Bear Peak is not the highest point in Boulder – it’s the second highest Peak, ending at 8,461′ above sea level. So yes, we felt the altitude, and we felt the strain.

The trail starts fairly easy, with a view to the peak ahead of you.

Then, the trail starts to become more of a climb. Your heart starts racing and you’re short of breath. This is what hiking in high altitude feels like. My suggestion? A whole lot of stopping and chugging water. PS, Riley definitely kicked all of our butts.

About halfway up, we got our first view, and it was absolutely stunning. You can start to see the snow capped Rockies in the background, and the Flat Irons to the right. And, this was a great place to take another break!

And we kept on. The trail kept getting steeper and steeper, turning from high steps to climbing. And eventually, we made it to the top, some of us (aka me) took a little longer than others (aka everyone else, especially the pup).

And this view made it all worth it. From here, you get a great view of the Rockies coming out of the land, with Boulder nestled into the foothills.

After this hike, we ended up biking into town for lunch. Turns out the Colorado altitude isn’t something to mess with, but nothing water and a nap couldn’t fix!

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