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Mallory Cave is a 2.4 mile heavily 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 November until March. 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

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

bird watching

running

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

NOTE: The cave itself is permanently CLOSED. There are SEASONAL buffer zone closures including many rock climbing routes from April 1 to October 1 for roosting bats. The permanent closure of the cave itself is to reduce human contamination that can cause white-nose syndrome in bats. 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.

hiking
20 hours ago

Great trail, lots of dogs and lots of people. Narrow at times, about half shaded. Most people wore masks while passing.

hiking
rocky
1 day ago

hiking
3 days ago

Nice trail, bat closure at the top. LOTS of people by 8am - most of which wore masks but there was not a lot of social distancing. Pretty trail, though, with lots of birds and wildlife!

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
4 days ago

hiking
no shade
off trail
over grown
rocky
5 days ago

This was a great family hike. Up towards the caves at the top (they are closed but the view is fantastic) it got a little bit rocky, but nothing our 5 year old couldnt handle. My wife completed the hike with out 5 month old on her back. There are some parts that get kind of narrow, but it is not terrible. I would highly recommend this trail to families that want to hike.

hiking
5 days ago

Very rocky! But worth the hike! Beautiful views! Pretty easy I did it with my 5 month old on my back and a 5 year old. 5 year old did great!

7 days ago

Fun, beautiful, moderate hike that had great views of Boulder. Glad there was a ton of shade for the majority of the hike. Not too crowded, but it was early Monday evening. Most people had masks.

This is a great little trail if you're looking for something fast and close to Boulder. Decent views that make you feel removed from the city happen pretty quickly after you leave the parking lot at NCAR. Great area to bring someone from out of town or who is new to hiking!

hiking
rocky
12 days ago

hiking
13 days ago

Heavily trafficked, but clean. Cave is closed at the top.

hiking
rocky
19 days ago

Not sure where the waterfalls were that people posted pics of, we scrambled all over the place to look for them. Fairly easy, but mostly moderately. Climbing over some rocks at parts. Heavily populated and dogs not on leashes.

hiking
rocky
19 days ago

Gorgeous trail. Very easy to get to and although it is very rocky in some parts, it was still easy to navigate with my 3 year old lab. The cave is closed through October, but it would be pretty difficult to get to with little to no climbing experience. I recommend for those who might not have as much hiking experience and looking for a “harder” hike.

hiking
bugs
rocky
24 days ago

Great easy trail with my puppy of 10 months. It is a heavy traffic trail but still nice and simple.

hiking
25 days ago

Overall a great hike! The hike starts in the parking lot of NCAR, you walk up a hill and follow the trail head signs. There were a couple areas with decent elevation gain and switchbacks, but other than that it was a pretty easy hike. No mud, dry trails, and lots of cool rocks to see and climb on in order to get great pictures. The main cave is closed, but there are several smaller caves on the trail that you can check out too. Beautiful mountain views off in the distance. One of my favorites so far!

hiking
rocky
27 days ago

Great and beautiful hike. Kids stuck with us the whole way! Our youngest is 7.5 Loved it. Came up from COS to enjoy.

hiking
30 days ago

Crowded. Lots of folks on trail not wearing masks nor following etiquette.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Beautiful trail. no access to the cave at the end, which was a letdown.

hiking
1 month ago

Very beautiful trails behind NCAR. The “cave” itself is closed but you are lead through beautiful dense pine forest to an overlook of NCAR and boulder.

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
scramble
snow
1 month ago

This is a moderate trail with some steep scrambles. Slushy snow makes for some hairy spots on the way out. Beautiful views, especially at the beginning. Mallory cave is permanently closed to the public, and the final quarter mile of the trail fenced off due to bats, making the climb up somewhat anti climactic. Our small breed dog was shivering by the time we neared the top. Spikes or trekking poles are probably a great help in the early spring or following a snow. Deep thick mud. Be sure to leave extra socks and shoes back in the car.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Started at NCAR and proceeded to Mallory cave via Mesa trail. Perfect day for the trail, no snow or mud at all. Great terrain heading up, Rocky with mini scrambles .. completed in under an hour taking my time.

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