Mount Sanitas and Sanitas Valley Loop Trail

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Boulder Open Space

Mount Sanitas and Sanitas Valley Loop Trail is a 3.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Boulder, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and running and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 3.2 miles Elevation Gain: 1,256 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

running

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

no shade

While parts of this hike are dog friendly, dogs are not allowed on the Lions Lair section of the trail. A wonderful "desert like" hike with great rock formations, vistas of Boulder CO, and rock scrambling if desired. The terrain varies from open meadows and wild flowers, to rugged boulders and projected rock outcrops. If parking lot is full, roadside is allowed.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 day ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
2 days ago

Nice views of boulder. Feels refreshing on the top. You can see high rises of Denver as well. Started around 2.30 pm not a lot of people going up but saw a bunch of people while climbing down.Keep a lookout for snakes as we saw 2 snake on the descend.

This trail was awesome! It was a great sunrise hike and absolutely gorgeous. The trail is pretty rocky on the ascent and descent, but with good trail running shoes or hiking shoes, you shouldn’t have a problem.

hiking
rocky
scramble
5 days ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
6 days ago

no shade
rocky
12 days ago

Great hike but definitely a steep and “desert like” hike. Made the trek w wife and 2 daughters ages 14 & 10 who did great but were happy to get down. Agreed with other posts about starting with the left Mt. Sanitas trail (we should’ve have done that). East Ridge is challenging. Not much shade so morning is best time for sure. Beautiful Boulder views.

hiking
13 days ago

Great trail for a short but somewhat challenging hike. I took the Sanitas > eastern ridge > Sanitas Valley route. Steep incline on the way up and a more gradual descent on the way back. The views at the top are amazing and worth the trek.

hiking
13 days ago

I’ll second why many others have stated but going down the steps on the way out was brutal for the calves/quads. Next time I’ll definitely take the road to the right, both up and down. Great day hike! Went on a Monday and had most of the trail to ourselves.

running
no shade
14 days ago

Started around 1:45pm today, Wed. I started from Lion's Lair/ Sunshine Canyon Dr to get to Mt. Sanitas, took the East Ridge (which was nuts with just rocks for trails) down Sanitas Valley and back up Mt. Sanitas Trail to Lion's Lair. Incredible views! Mt. Saintas doesn't provide a ton of shade, but it was super windy today with temps in mid 80s, so it wasn't unbearably hot- even with a mask on. I ran a good portion of it until I got to East Ridge, and that made for a heart pumping adventure! I'm new to trail running and moved to CO in Feb from Chicago, so it's always a new adventure! Even with my beginner-ish trail running skills, this was doable and I had a blast.

hiking
scramble
14 days ago

Completed this hike on 5/07. Don’t go up Sanitas Valley- make sure you go down this side, it makes for a much more enjoyable time! Moderate hike but lots of stairs at the beginning. As always, awesome view of Boulder from the top!!

hiking
14 days ago

Kinda wish this was specified in the description but for the love of God do not start on Sanitas Valley and end up doing Mount Sanitas on the descent because it’s a friggin nightmare. Definitely start on Mount Sanitas. It’s a much more worthwhile climb. great hike regardless

hiking
rocky
17 days ago

Did this 5/17, got there at 530am and there were a few cars already there. Two groups passed us on the way up, a few at the top arrived after us. Everyone wore masks, was very impressed. Went down east ridge to the valley, and passed a few more groups that were headed up. When we got back to the parking lot at 730, it was completely full with people waiting for my spot. So id say get there early. Overall the hike was spectacular, especially at that time with the sun rising. Definitely difficult, but doable with breaks. Brought my 9 year old dog who had some trouble scrambling but he was able to do it all. And the valley is seriously heavenly. Can’t wait to do it again!

5/15 covid hike

hiking
18 days ago

Short, but challenging hike. The first portion of the trail is steep and rocky, but you’re quickly rewarded with great views of Boulder. The 2nd portion of the hike on the way down through the valley was very enjoyable. Wouldn’t recommend doing on a very hot day. Not a lot of shade.

hiking
rocky
21 days ago

This trail has great views of Boulder. It is up hill in the beginning and definitely takes a good pair of shoes to hike this one. I usually go Dakota to the top of Sanitas... we get usually over 10,000 steps if your counting. I never wrote a review on this hike but I do it 3-4 times a week. It’s pretty much a spiritual experience getting to the top!! Best hike!! I’ve done it in snow, hail, rain and in perfect weather. AND PLEASE WEAR MASKS TO RESPECT OTHER HIKERS!! ( It really sucks seeing others not wear a mask especially when it’s one of the few hikes open )

hiking
muddy
scramble
23 days ago

hiking
24 days ago

Arrived at the trail head at 7:30, trail had a bit of people but was not crowded and everyone really did their best to maintain a good distance. Trail was challenging but awesome views!

West side going up is stairs for 1.3mi so bring water, East side is heavenly open meadow. Balances out

hiking
26 days ago

It’s a nice hike! Very pretty!

hiking
27 days ago

Short but challenging trail.

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

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