Mount Sanitas and Sanitas Valley Loop Trail

HARD 1437 reviews
#2 of 106 trails in

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, trail running, and horses 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

horseback riding

trail running

forest

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.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 day ago

Gorgeous, difficult hike with satisfying elevation gain. Cool day with some rain. Jo, my pup, did great with the steep rocky scramble up and the slippery smooth rock slope down. Would be difficult to follow the trail and descend with snow. We hiked up Mt Sanitas trail, down East Ridge trail, and back to the car on Mt Sanitas Valley trail. Lots of wild flowers and a couple deer. No river for dog to drink from - bring water. Almost 2 hours exactly (a few mins under).

hiking
rocky
scramble
3 days ago

This trail is rocky with very steep steps. We hiked it with our dog on lead. There were lots of dogs OFF lead without the Boulder voice command tags. My dog was attacked three times. Once to the point of bleeding and the owner and dog didn't even stop. Never again.

Awesome hike! We parked at the Centennial Trail Head parking lot, followed the trail to cross the street of Sunset Canyon Drive to catch the Sanitas connection to the spur trail which took us to the Sanitas Valley Trail. We took that to the summit of Mt. Sanitas and followed the loop back down to the Mount Sanitas Trail. Be in for a good work out definitely take your time if you aren’t quite physically fit for this trail. It wasn’t a difficult or “hard” hike but definitely strenuous, I’m an avid hiker, runner, biker, etc, you name it and it will get you sucking for wind as you go up the trail. There are some very steep ascents towards the summit. We noticed everyone taking the Sanitas trail and back down the Valley trail. Well we realized we should have done the same. If doing the loop, approximately 3.6 miles, best to head up the Mountain trail instead of the Valley trail because coming down the Mountain trail was very steep as I would have rather gone up that way and came down the Valley Trail because the majority of the Valley Trail is very easy coming down. Otherwise great hike and nice little workout!

hiking
10 days ago

Great trail to hike with the pupper! Little scrambly, but fairly empty on a Friday early afternoon.

hiking
rocky
scramble
12 days ago

Very fun hike for the experienced hiker.

hiking
rocky
scramble
12 days ago

Awesome trail. Beautiful sites of boulder and Denver from afar. We felt the trail wasn’t clearly marked as we missed the sign to follow the path to the flat path trail and did the scramble part instead. Super sandy part where you slide a lot.

hiking
13 days ago

Well known to Boulder hikers; out-of-towners might be a bit taken aback both by the challenge of parking and just how rough this trail can be. If you go up Mount Sanitas Trail you'll hit a lot of trail stairs, not to mention somewhat steep rocky sections. Watch for the logs placed to guide you along the trail; sometimes the obvious route isn't the trail. But going up this way gives you a fair bit of shade and views back to the Continental Divide. If you come up the Sanitas Valley Trail, all is different: an unshaded, wide old road until it nearly hits a subdivision--to then reach the summit you turn west up the East Ridge trail. East Ridge is the roughest part of the loop no matter which way you go with some steeper rocky stretches and a couple spots where it is easy to say "where did the trail go?" If you aren't sure you are on the trail, you might wait a minute for somebody going the other way to clue you in. An alternative to the Sanitas Valley trail is the Dakota Ridge Trail, just to the east, which is better shaded and a single track trail, not a road. If you come down on Dakota Ridge, just be sure to make that last hairpin right turn just as it crosses the ridgeline to get back to the trailhead. Finally a note on getting on the trails: there are a lot of feeder trails from the south--watch for signs and, if in doubt, ask somebody (there will always be somebody coming by). And if you don't like dogs on your hike, try coming up Lions Lair on the backside (dogs not allowed there). Probably 50% of hikers have a dog along. As of today, trail all dry and hillsides are green with patches of flowers.

hiking
rocky
scramble
14 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

I love this trail and hike it often but I am getting really sick of all the dog owners who disrespect the trail by leaving dog poop bags everywhere and leave their dogs off leash when it is clearly marked as a requirement to have them on a leash. Passed a man this Sunday with THREE off leash dogs who just barreled down the path and nearly knocked people over. Just is rude and disrespectful. If your dog bit someone or got into a fight with another dog just because you didn’t feel like leashing it, what would you do? You never know how dogs interpret other humans or animals.

hiking
rocky
14 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

The trail is not so hard especially for counter-clockwise direction. I made a youtube. Please check it out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ij3kixPogs8

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful hike, a little more advanced than we were ready for. Lost a Lake Tahoe hat on the trail... if anyone finds it my son would be very great full. Ahess22@hotmail.com

hiking
16 days ago

We started following signs for mount sanitas and the climb was definitely rocky and intense, but nothing too out of hand. Expect shaky legs at the top. We followed the valley on the way down. At one point, it seemed like the trail ended at a massive rock, but it continued just make sure to go around the rock and you’ll see signs for the trail. The way down was rocky at first, but then was a very gradual trail. The valley trail will spit you out on a road where you’ll take a right to get back to the parking lot. We parked on the street because the lot was full, so it ended up spitting us out right by our car. I’d definitely recommended this hike if you want to break a sweat.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
20 days ago

Lots of rocks and steps!

hiking
no shade
20 days ago

no shade at all and TONS of people on a Tuesday morning

Nice view of Boulder on the way up and at the summit. Went with a couple friends who aren’t super experienced hikers so getting to the summit was a bit slow but everyone made it to the top!

hiking
rocky
scramble
21 days ago

hiking
bugs
rocky
22 days ago

This is an awesome trail to hike alone, went today and it probably took me an hour and a half for the loop. I did the Red Rocks trail as a warm up (maybe went the wrong way), it rained a bit but it was so nice. Beautiful open scenery and pretty wildflowers. Easy to park. I went counterclockwise and was happy with my choice but either way would be fine.

hiking
22 days ago

It rained and the trees shielded me and it was just so amazing. I’m from Colorado and had never done this trail. I don’t recommend going down sanitas on the rocky side unless your experienced but I did and it was a struggle but worth it completely. So beautiful, I love me some Colorado. May I suggest you take your struggles up there and leave them there buy the time I came home my struggles mended themselves and someone I had a misunderstanding with had called me and we made up. Find your space

hiking
23 days ago

This trail had a huge incline and was a great workout! The views of boulder from the top were gorgeous. Would recommend this hike to anyone looking for a tough uphill climb and an easy downhill walk.

Highly recommend if you only have a few hours in Boulder. Amazing view of the city and a fun scramble to the top. Dog friendly trail with shade along the way.

hiking
rocky
24 days ago

rocky
25 days ago

nearby but the trail isn't much of a trail in some parts. good workout

Easy trail with great access to some class 3 and 4 scrambling as well as some easier bouldering problems. Some of the most sweeping views east of Boulder from the summit.

hiking
27 days ago

first time doing this trail, counter clockwise sense like the better approach to me. you'll have a steep incline first, enjoy the top soon, and have a relaxing cool down through the meadow on the hike back. Views at the to are very nice, but not spectacular.

hiking
rocky
scramble
28 days ago

Encountered a hail thunderstorm! A great loop and a good workout

Great quick Boulder hike. We hiked clockwise and had some nice uphill climb cardio on the way up. Not too muddy on the way down. Awesome views of Boulder Res from the top!

hiking
28 days ago

Great hike for a sunrise over Boulder. Took us approx an hour and 20min with a few water breaks and a 15min wait for sunrise at the top.

trail running
1 month ago

Nice and muddy! AKA not too many people

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