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A friend and I made an impromptu hike here to close out our trip to CO. Absolutely beautiful and a solid workout, though probably not the best idea to go in unprepared (i.e. bring a snack and enough water!) We went up the mountain, which was fine but definitely required some breaks to catch a breather, them decendes into the valley. The way down from the peak was tricky having to find your footwork through the steep rocks, but once you're in the valley it is a total treat!

hiking
1 day ago

Went to the rocks for the first time today and it was a great hike. I just moved to the area so I’m still not quite use to the elevation. I got winded a few times but it wasn’t hard. It’s a great view from either side of the rocks. Highly recommended!

Good hike and close to Boulder. Start early - you can either do out and back (starting clockwise) or loop (starting counterclockwise). First .5 mile of counterclockwise is flat, wide, gravel. The rest of it is a lot of switchbacks and exposed, so wear sunscreen and start early.

I usually don't have to stop and I took a few breaks this time. Great workout and doesn't take too long. Start early!

Very hard when you do the loop clockwise. 1 mile of non stop steep climbing. Rest of loop is much easier. The view from the top is worth the effort.

Awesome trail!

Quite the incline for about half way, but worth the view once you hit the overlook point! Going back down is a breeze!

This was a great hike. Fair amount of people, yet not crowded. Still peaceful and fun. Dog-friendly, with friendliest trial I’ve ever been on. Steep hike up, rocky and often narrow, little protection from the cliff, but worth it. Take it easy, rest. It’s a great afternoon. View of Crag’s Hotel and Continental Divide is spectacular. Oh, and stop in the river once you’ve come down.

8 dollar parking.

Hit the trail at about 7am on a Saturday and it was great, not crowded but started to see more people in the way down, still not bad. Definitely strenuous, but I haven’t done many hikes lately so I’m not sure I’m the best judge. Pretty mellow first half until you climb between bear peak and south boulder peak, easy to hit both while you’re up there and each offers a little bit of a different view so definitely check both out (only adds like 20 minutes I’d say to the hike). Very pretty views and diverse vegetation from top to bottom which kept it interesting. My knees were shakin’ on the way down as there’s lots of rocks to go down but that’s only about 1/2 of the trail, as the first half is quite wide and gravelly. Would definitely do it again!

Excellent trail! we did the first leg to the peak about 3 miles. mostly open until you start the climb. Climb was challenging over rocks, right turns. Peak had amazing views. Took Lion's Lair trail back down and this leg was mostly paved but a long 5 miles or so. Overall a really nice park in Boulder with several interesting trails.

This is a short but challenging hike. Great views along the way and at the top. The hike up will get your heart going. The hike down seemed almost as hard, especially on the knees. There are lots of trails in this area. Pay careful attention to your route to the base of this trailhead as there are several that will bring you here.

This trail is rated difficult for a reason. Tons of large rocks and quick elevation gain. If you have balance issues or are afraid of heights I would say don’t do. The views at the end are fabulous though, great workout! Beware of small area that would almost qualify as rock climbing and not hiking although once you got up wasn’t that bad because of the hand and foot holds they added. Fairly heavily trafficked trail also..

hiking
4 days ago

Great hike. Offers a challenge but not too steep - it was fairly easy taking it slow. The trail has plenty of coverage and great views! Fairly busy but we were able to avoid most traffic by getting there in the morning. The loop is less busy than the main out & back trail. $8 to enter El Dorado park.

the rocks are SO cool!! fun hike, not super hard

Quintessential Boulder hike. Went clockwise today - I prefer to tackle the big “steps” on the ascent and come down through the valley. Always nice to have bathrooms (across the street from the trailhead.) Friendly faces and interesting terrain. A perennial favorite.

Well maintained trails that are surprisingly pretty busy. Definitely take some water with you and wear the right shoes, rocks can get a bit rough at some parts. Plenty of hills and the views are gorgeous but if you’re not used to the elevation, I’d recommend taking it slow at first. Only down side is it’s a state park so you have to pay to enter.

hiking
8 days ago

Nice, short trail for a quick nature getaway. It is quite steep if you enter from Settler’s Park, much more than expected. There are beautiful views of Boulder at the top. Bring lots of water and sunscreen as there’s not much shade.

hiking
8 days ago

This hike is great for a very easy hike with some awesome views. If you enter from Eldorado Springs you'll have to pay $8 to park your car, but you really see where that money goes while walk the well manicured trail with retaining walls on the side. If you park at the other end of the trail it's free (considered Boulder Open Space). The first half of the hike is very scenic, while the rest is pretty open and not as many views. I would suggest branching off to Spring Brook North Trail or Rattlesnake Gultch.

Busy trail, lots of dogs, but great views

"Stairmaster Sanitas" is a great place to get a very real workout in. We are in decent shape and climbed up Sanitas and went back around the valley loop trail within 2.5 hours. I would categorize this as "moderate to hard" given a few of the rocks you have to scramble over and how steep it is. While you can carry a child on a backpack up an down, it's not the greatest one to choose for that since you might have to shuffle a bit over rocks, etc.

hiking
10 days ago

Definitely a challenging trail. I’m in good shape but being from a lower elevation, I felt pretty winded at times. With breaks I still took about 4 hours with a half hour break at the peak. The view was worth it for sure. Highly recommend getting an early start since the trail is in the full sun at the beginning.

beautiful setting, steep uphill climb. had a 7 and 10 year old on the hike, we had to stop many times as it's a long uphill climb. overall we really enjoyed the hike and views.

11 days ago

This hike borders on moderate to hard. A fairly mild incline with a few steeper sections. We have run into a large bear on this trail so be alert and be prepared for what to do. We had to turn around the last time when the big guy would not back off and grant us passage.

hiking
13 days ago

Well maintained trail, nice views.

I started up the Sanitas Valley Loop first. Beautiful views of urban Boulder and a smattering of homes in the hills. The moderate valley trail gives way to some steep inclines as it connects with the East Ridge trail. I was visiting from Atlanta so I had to catch my breath and steady my footing as the trail ascended. Had to get used to the change in altitude. Plan to take your time navigating the rocky, sometimes not well marked East Ridge trail if your new to it and out there alone. I got out early in the am and had a few hikers help me find the trail but I can see that this trail gets very well populated after mid morning. At the top of Ridge Trail I met some nice folks who directed me to Lion’s Lair trail just beyond the summit for a good trail run. This trail was pretty smooth and the decline makes for a steady tempo run. Don’t get too comfortable because the switchbacks will keep you on your game. Overall a fun trail to test your trail speed. The locals pointed directed me on how to go from the Lion’s Lair trail to a narrow barely there trail that runs parallel to Sunshine Canyon Dr. This trail led to me the Centennial Trailhead parking lot. Overall awesome experience for a trail runner who wants to mix it up with a hike and run.

Gorgeous trail; good variety of strong incline, walking through forest, and climbing over some cool rock runs.

this incline is no joke! my poor pups paws were shredded after hiking these rocks. I ended up having to carry her 2 miles to the end. It was scenic but not as great as everyone makes it out to be.

A couple clarifications - this one seems to be a loop as opposed to another one on the list that’s just an out an back (confused me for a little bit as I was researching). Second the trails closed 8-4:30 Monday - Thursday but climbers are allowed to climb up the First and then take the trail down. Looked beautiful but unfortunately misread the climbing exception.

Very challenging, beautiful hike! Once you’re at the top there’s an option to hike down towards Sanitas Valley Trail via East Ridge Trail. There was a point along East Ridge Trail that we felt did not have ample signage as we ended up going down the mountain off the trail. Other than that this trail was awesome!

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