Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

15 hours ago

Hiked on 5/20. It was a cloudy day so we didn’t get any views, but it was still fun! The trail was muddy but passable. Not a fly in sight. Met lots and lots of friendly puppers!

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.

19 hours ago

This trail kicked my butt. Bear canyon trail was really scenic. The nats or flies were terrible. I couldn’t even get a photo at the top they were so bad. I hiked the West ridge and came back down the same way. Fourth hike of the season I just wasn’t prepared. I could barely walk by the time I reached my car. I have done bear peak from fern canyon before. It seemed much easier than coming in from the West. All in all it was a good hike and am glad I did it. 5/17/18

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.

23 hours ago

Great casual hike. Not too hard and not many steep inclines.

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!

3 days ago

My friend and I did this hike today and we thought it would be useful to give a few tips.
1) make sure to bring an adequate amount of water
2) mentally prepare for a long, a very long, hike
3) an early start is ideal
4) when it gets hard, keep going!
After we completed the hike, it was a huge accomplishment. It’s well worth doing it (the view is awesome towards the top). However, we didn’t make it to the very top because we literally were attacked by flies; I think some died in my hair, if I’m being honest.

It was steeper with more boulders than I anticipated. Good day. Good hike. A lot of people on the trail.

3 days ago

Beautiful trail showcasing all the beautiful life spring in Colorado has to offer. Great workout and views, my dog loved it!

I did this hike on my own, on May 4th, it was a gorgeous day, it was a little hot and the trail is quite strenuous so make sure to bring a lot of water. South Boulder Peak is accessed from the Shadow Canyon Trail, which can be difficult to find. Start on the Mesa Trail, which is just a fireroad, follow it for about a mile, mile and a half until you come to fork (there should be a trail marker) be sure to take the left fork towards Shadow Canyon otherwise you'll ended up just continuing on the Mesa Trail. Once you're in the Canyon, the trail gets steep, rocky and strenuous. Be careful on some of the larger boulders because they can be quite slippery due to wear from people hiking on them. The trail through the canyon is beautiful, it's shaded almost all day so you'll get a reprieve from the sun although it can get a bit chilly if there's wind. Once you get out of the canyon you'll find yourself in the saddle between Bear Peak to your right, and South Boulder to your left, from there it's about 600m to the top. The view from the top is gorgeous! To the east you look out over parts of Boulder and Highway 93; and to the west you look out over a valley onto Nederland and Eldora Ski Area, and onto the Continental Divide and Longs Peak; it's a very cathartic experience, especially being alone there. The view is incredible and totally worth it. Try and go on weekday, if you can it can get busy in the weekends, I had the whole trail and summit to myself it was wonderful.

6 days ago

Beautiful hike. Definitely not for beginners. The Mesa loop was very muddy.

7 days ago

Went yesterday with two friends and the dogs. It is a really beautiful trail even through our view from the peak was non-existent because it was a foggy/rainy day. The beginning is relatively gentle steady incline and then as soon as you hit shadow canyon trail, the climb up becomes more intense and is pretty consistently difficult until you get to the fork that takes you either to south boulder peak or bear peak. there is a pretty simple section of scrambling up to bear peak. Coming back down was almost as much of a leg workout as going up was a cardio workout. Really lush and beautiful.

Hike up to Mount Sanitas first to get your heart rate elevated, then loop down through Sanitas Valley as a cool down. I hiked it while it was overcast and rainy, and I didn’t mind the rain at all, in fact it made the hike more fun. Some of the trail was muddy, but still easy to traverse.

It’s a beautiful hike but the NCAR trail part was super muddy and slippery

I have hiked this many times... easy access, good views, several options to branch off.

10 days ago

Completed this hike yesterday with a friend. Starts out pretty easy, but quickly becomes advanced or as my friend put it, “It’s relentless.” This is definitely a glute, ham & thigh burner. Once you get to the top, you are rewarded with beautiful views. However, at the summit you have to fight off swarms of black flies! While the flies likely won’t last long, there was no stopping for a snack or meditation as the flies were aggressive. Instead of coming down the way we came, we decided to go down the north side via Fern Trail (I think). This was a MUCH steeper and sketchier hike down. Wish we were the wiser and went back the way we came. My knees haven’t forgiven me yet! This hike will challenge you both physically and mentally, but it is well worth it and prepare appropriately! Happy trails!

10 days ago

VERY difficult hike. Did yesterday, 5/9, started about 4:15 and was back down around 9:10. No joke of a hike. Had to take my time going both up and down because of the steep incline. Views are amazing. Will take me a few days to say it was worth it (my knees and legs are definitely feeling it right now). I think everyone should give it a try!

10 days ago

Fucking rad hike. Gorgeous views with lots of landscape diversity.

The hike itself is remarkable. A nice incline and a good day challenge. Not the biggest fan of the city overlook at the peak, but the trails leading up make up for it.

Beautiful wildflowers!

Only giving one star because I wanted to let people know that it’s closed today 5/9/18 for parking lot work. I’m sure it’s a lovely trail just a heads up!

12 days ago

This is no beginners hike. Very steep. I had to take multiple breaks. However the views are worth it but if you have bad knees don’t do this hike! Very heavy inclines.

Starts to get wild after the creek, dogs will drink water here. The dogs get thirsty

Took UTE to Boy Scout ... love this area !!

Excellent loop. 3 mike round trip - well maintained hike. Bring your dogs, water, and friends. Be careful of where to park as they hand tickets out like crazy. Hiking shoes or trail runners, you will fine. Steep, rocky, fun.

Great hike! Definitely moderate, great incline for a nice workout. I recommend taking the sanitas route first (go right at the starting junction). Gorgeous views the whole way, will definitely be back. No snow— perfect spring hiking conditions.

15 days ago

have done this hike several times. it's a fun quick that isn't too strenuous. beautiful views from many points, but the best is from the cave entrance.

a couple of notes:

1. from Feb through July there is a chain fence halfway up the rock wall. you can't get to the cave entrance during that time. Had I known that, I wouldn't have made the hike.

2. from the NCAR trail drop, down to Mesa trail, during spring it is common to see rattlesnakes on the trail. Be careful, step well over rocks and don't approach any snake!

We did this hike on May 5, 2018 and had a beautiful day for it. I've got to say it is very hard, but when you reach the top what an accomplishment! I'm a 49 year old woman of average fitness level and if I can do it, you can too. I would suggest paying close attention to the trail map so you don't add extra miles on the hike through the canyon. We took the Mesa Trail and connected to the Shadow Canyon Trail and that added several miles. Believe me, you do not need to add anymore miles to this hike! The steep ascent begins just after you see a little cabin next to a brook. from here on up to the top it is all uphill climbing up big rocks. We took lots of breaks to catch our breath. When you finally reach the saddle you can go right for Bear Peak or left for South Boulder Peak. From here it is a short scramble to the peak where you are rewarded with amazing views. At the very top there are chipmunks and lots and lots of gnats! I suggest you bring a lot of water. I had 2 liters and it was all gone just for the climb up. The climb down is equally challenging and if you have bad knees you will feel it here. All in all though, it was an amazing hike. You will really feel like you did something with your day. Don't be scared off by the hard rating. If I can do it. You can too!

I like the hike, the view was good if you like looking at Boulder. Made me realize I dont want to hike to see a city :(

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