Mallory Cave

MODERATE 436 reviews
#7 of 84 trails in

Mallory Cave is a 2.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Boulder, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
2.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
803 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

A short walk, a final 100 ft climb and a cave. This hike starts at the NCAR parking lot. Head west to the Mesa trail and cross it by the information sign. There are lots of offshoot trails, be sure to follow the signs to the final 100 ft rock climb. If there is no ice or snow proceed up to the cave. NOTE: The cave is seasonally CLOSED from April 1 to October 1 for roosting bats.

hiking
18 hours ago

Very nice!

2 days ago

Nice hike, great views at the top!!

hiking
22 days ago

Good trail for a quick hike! With minimal stopping it took about 35-40 minutes to get up. Since the area at the top is closed, I didn’t go all the way to the cave. Hardly anyone was on the trail once I got past the intersection with the Table Mesa trail (probably due to the fact that the cave is closed for the summer). The trail leading up to that intersection has several offshoots but they seem to all lead back to the main route or they dead-end quickly so you know to turn around. After the intersection the Mallory Cave trail is well marked. Just keep an eye out for the markers. There is a marker where you turn up the hill to get to the final stretch. I saw a couple of hikers turn early, so just a warning- keep going till you see the sign! I’ll probably try trail running this one next time around.

1 month ago

Cave was closed for the bats but worth the views and hike anyways. We went from Mesa trail then followed the cave signs

hiking
1 month ago

I think this is a moderate/hard hike. The last stretch of the hike was hard but we managed it and my 6 year old did as well. Once you get back about a mile, it gets quieter and has beautiful views. We will hike this trail again.

1 month ago

We were looking for a moderate hike that wouldn't take all day. This fit the bill perfectly. Very close to town with awesome views!

2 months ago

The view is amazing

2 months ago

I am out of shape and was able to survive most of this trail. I wish that I would’ve brought my trekking poles to save my knees on the way down. There was no way I was climbing up that big, steep rock at the end to get to the cave. It was supposedly closed anyway. I did get a little “lost” a few times on the way down.

2 months ago

The actual cave is closed for the summer to protect the local bat population. However it’s a very casual hike with decent views. Starting from NCAR helps avoid the Chautauqua park crowds.

hiking
2 months ago

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

hiking
3 months 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!

hiking
3 months ago

The hike was pretty doable in a short time from the NCAR building. Pretty well trafficked and sadly the cave isn’t open. Still great views!

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike! No issues with the trail when I went Saturday but they put up a fence so you cannot reach the summit anymore. You can still climb up the rock to a ledge to see out, but it’s not as great of a view with the trees out there. Lots of spaces to climb though if you’re interested. I’ll come back again when the fence is down and the cave is open.

4 months ago

Best when you don’t have hours to spend but still want good hike.

Lots of kids on this trail. Starts a ncarr, not to challenging, lots of uphill at the end, to see the cave have to climb up some rocks.

hiking
4 months ago

Great short hike! Easy rise to the bottom of the final climb (it’s a climb for sure). Beautiful view from the top! The cave is closed for the season, but still worth the hike/climb. Under 2 hours out and back.

hiking
4 months ago

Moderately trafficked and just barely muddy this Saturday afternoon. Slow and steady start with a good elevation increase at the end. There is a rock wall before the gated off caves so you will need to use hands to climb. Saw some dads struggling to help their children up/down the wall. Saw a few adults of all ages that wouldn’t climb the wall (fraidy cats). The best views are at the top so don’t chicken out. All in all, quick and easy hike. Wouldn’t do it again for exercise, but would bring friends here for sweet views of the flat lands.

4 months ago

I loved this trail but the climb at the end was a CLIMB. For someone who likes to stay on my feet and not use hands I didn’t do the last part. Sorta upset I didn’t get to see the cave but the hike otherwise was awesome!

hiking
5 months ago

Awesome hike! Great views, great workout !

5 months ago

Hiked up about two weeks ago, fun hike. It was pretty icy attempting to climb up to the cave but still doable. Once you get to the top the cave is fenced but you can look inside.

hiking
6 months ago

So much variety in the beauty of the land

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked up here two days ago amazing views saw some whitetail later in the day! The trail was a little muddy and icy which was expected! Great hike!

Really fast and easy trail. Pretty but as with many trails go early before the trail gets crowded.

hiking
7 months ago

Really nice hike with a short climb up to the cave! Lots of trails around that area, so could be a fun place to spend the day and hike around and explore.

hiking
7 months ago

Not the greatest destination. It a hike in the woods is always good!

7 months ago

The joy is in the journey; beautiful forested trail failry steep and rovky. Cave is gated off and last little climb to discover this was a crabwalk scramble with some ice.

hiking
7 months ago

What you would expect from a hike in Boulder. I would go on a sunny day as the view is already not very spectacular when you reach the cave.

It’s a great hike if you want something short, but it’s not very memorable.

hiking
7 months ago

Good hike anti-climactic

hiking
7 months ago

Nice short Hike. Beautiful view of the Foothills!!

8 months ago

This hike and climb at the top are amazing.

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