Explore the most popular horseback riding trails in Boulder Open Space with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Challenging hike! I did this with my husband last week and it was great. Climbed a lot more than I expected. I definitely would not take my 6 and 4 year olds on this trail. It wasn’t too crowded during the week which was nice. Gets your blood pumping!

Gorgeous views from the top and it definitely got our hearts pumping!

Challenging but beautiful

Beautiful hike. Made a wrong turn and ended up doing the canyon hike up to the next trail head and then on to Green Bear connecting to the Green Mtn trail. So glad it happened was an amazing views and the trail was a steady climb up to the trail head. Truly a hidden gem and worth the time.

Good hike. Decent workout, especially on the incline. Don’t take the reviews commenting on stairs being a challenge lightly. I would definitely not take my four year old on this one as the footing is really tough in many spots. Felt like scrambling at times, where I felt better using my hands on the rocks to keep my balance.

Not marked well near the top, which takes away from it when you are scrambling over rocks. Slippery at first when coming back down the valley side of the trail.

Beautiful hike so close and accessable from downtown Boulder. Very little shade along the way but great views of Boulder and beyond.

June 2, 2018: just finished this trail. I usually love just about any trail but found myself frustrated for most of this trail. This trail has tons of runners & many of them are pretty rude. They come barreling down those very narrow trails & give hikers dirty looks like we're in their way. I wasn't running this trail but I run trails about 3 times a week & hope I'm not such a jerk. Many of the people were pretty rude. Refusing to move to the side if they were slow hikers ect. The signs were sometimes confusing & we found ourselves going the wrong way at times. We ran into a runner who had no idea where he was so we weren't the only one's having a hard time with directions. There were 2 tailheads welcoming you to the mesa trail. The first was about 1/2 mile from the parking lot. We parked at the NCAR & appearently that is the NCAR trailhead but that's where this app took us. Over a mile from the 1st Mesa trail trailhead was the 2nd Mesa trail trail head welcoming you 2 the trail. It felt like we had 2 hike 2 miles just 2 get to the trail. We never made it 2 the end of this trail. The app distance didn't seem accurate & the trail seemed 2 go on and on. My kids 17 & 10 were getting frustrated. At each trail marker the app kept telling us .4 miles 2 go. When we got back 2 our car the fitbit said we went 9 miles. The trail itself wasn't difficult. Can definitely see why people say not to use it when it's rained. There are parts that are pleasant & some good views. I don't want to do it again.

9 days ago

Wonderful trail so close to Denver, Boulder. The rolling river in Spring on South Mesa is worth the visit.

Fairly steep for a moderate trail.

Decent views from up top. Easy to access from Boulder. Short enough for a quick day hike.

Beautiful hike! I found it a little harder than Royal arch. We took the valley trail to east ridge to Mt sanitas trail. Near the top, the trail is a little confusing but we found it (we are flat landers hah) The view from the summit was gorgeous and totally worth it!

Incredible hike! If you start with the west trail, be prepared for high incline stair climbing. The middle trail that connects the two is steep going down, and the third trail is pretty flat and easy.

Awesome hike! Views of the snow-capped Rockies heading up the trail. Pretty difficult heading up with lots of "rock stairs". Bring lots of water if it's a warm day and start early! We went up the Sanitas trail and then came back down the same way, skipping the Valley trail on the way back.

walking
18 days ago

It got beautiful scenery and lovely animals!

My go to hike. Comfortable, just a little challenging and beautiful views!

This trail was pretty hard to follow at times; it has pretty bad erosion and not a lot of markings. We went up the Mt. Sanitas side and came down the East Ridge/ sanitas valley loop, so on the way to the top it was pretty much all climbing a rocky incline, but on the way down, once you are past the rocks and confusing trail, was pretty straightforward and quite easy. Over all a pretty nice hike, with some really gorgeous views, but I'm not sure if I'll do it again for a little while.

Really awesome trail with amazing views. I would suggest doing the Sanitas Valley Trail going up, and the Sanitas trail going down.

Great little trail for a quick hike with a nice bit of scrambling near the top. Taking the Lions Lair trail towards the top adds a bit to the experience minus being by the road for a section. It can get pretty busy on weekends but that’s all of Boulder at this point.

Did the hike with our 7 and 3 year old boys. They were total troopers and managed great, but it’s not for the novice hiking parent. Suspect that the advertised “kid friendly” portion is just the valley loop, rather than the top of Mt. Sanitas. Had a great day!

Towards the top there is a lot of rock scrambles. If you're not use to this either wear proper shoes or bring poles to hold your grip. I saw a few people slide while going down. Take your time. This is sorta steep. Take the Mount trail then go down the valley trail.

I would do this again. Beautiful!
Some scrambling, not a beginning hike.
A great moderate hike.

hiking
25 days ago

never go there if its wet or rainy

I read a few reviews that said this was a great beginner trail and I disagree. This trail, on both sides of the mountain, has a lot of climbing and scrambling on rocks and I'm glad I wore decent hiking boots. The trail was a bit crowded in parts and definitely a workout but some of the views were nice.

My favorite cardio trail. But very populated.

Nice quick hike, pretty rocky with some steeper sections. Decent view at the top, though it was cloudy so it might be better when it’s clear. Lots of people and dogs were out on a Sunday morning.

Trail was packed with people as expected. This hike is okay for a starter hike to season but not my favorite. Did this on 5/7/18. It always seems harder than expected too.

Loved the view on top and the wildflowers on the way up. Not too crowded. Good workout for sure.

Beautiful view of the city and great for trail running if you hike counter-clockwise!

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