Mount Sanitas via Lion's Lair and Mount Sanitas Trail Loop

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Boulder Open Space

Mount Sanitas via Lion's Lair and Mount Sanitas Trail Loop is a 8.0 kilometer 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, walking, running, and nature trips.

Distance: 8.0 km Elevation Gain: 454 m Route Type: Loop

hiking

nature trips

walking

running

forest

partially paved

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

no dogs

rocky
12 days ago

Just moved to the area and took this route along with the Lion's Lair back route. note that if you left from Settler's Park, upon finishing Lion's Lair, you will have to hike another mile back to Red Rocks Loop. Overall, the climb up Mount Sanitas requires hiking experience and I would strongly suggest bring used to the elevation in Colorado before doing this. the top is near 7000' and it is uphill and rocky for a majority of the trail. On the bright side, you are greeted with great panoramic views and a nice downward hike on Lion's Lair. I suggest doing it this way so you don't hurt your knees or ankles going down Sanitas.

hiking
12 days ago

Excellent trail. The first thing that surprised me was the natural green grassiness— a rarity in Colorado to my knowledge. Nice wide trail on the bottom part. Trail gets smaller and trickier as one goes up— but not too tricky. My boyfriend did the trail in flip flops and he was fine BUT he has exquisite balance and walking skill so I’m not sure I would recommend that but I want the people to know it’s possible. There were many the CU-Boulder students at the top— I would definitely recommend holding your breath there and continuing walking to other points. There are just as good of views without the risk of infection. SkoBuffs? Came across some wildflowers. Eye candy. Saw many dogs and most seemed to be struggling. Would only recommend to dogs who are active members of #fitfams. If you have to drag your dog up a trail, he doesn’t want to be there... Overall, hiking this trail enhanced my day 777%. Thank you Boulder County!

hiking
26 days ago

Finally gave this loop a shot after having done the standard Sanitas route numerous times. It’s a much longer route but not nearly as steep, probably the easiest route to the summit if you’re patient enough for it. Way less traffic than the other routes too, and much better shaded (you’re in the woods most of the hike). Worth trying at least once for the Sunshine Canyon views

hiking
rocky
scramble
28 days ago

Really fun trail. Definitely do the steep part first (to avoid the impact on your knees). Was very crowded, even on a weekday morning. Less people wearing masks than many other trails. Probably a better choice for post-Coronavirus hikes.

hiking
muddy
private property
snow
1 month ago

My Strava logged 5.65 miles. I completed the loop going clockwise, and the first mile or so of the trail off Sunshine Canyon Dr was annoyingly muddy and slushy. You then hit private property and have to cross the main road to get to the Lion's Lair trail. I didn't find the trail to be very challenging, IMO. I would probably mark it as moderate taking the route I did. However, on the way down on the East side of the mountain, it seemed much more steep, so I'd imagine that taking the loop starting counter-clockwise will probably be more difficult! If I do the hike again, I will definitely start on the East side.

hiking
1 month ago

Went last weekend perfect weather pretty view did get busy however about 11ish am on our way down a good hike close to the city

4 months ago

Trail in great condition. Intermittent ice along sunshine canyon trail, but was able to run most of it with just running shoes without a problem.

hiking
6 months ago

MISSING DOG. all black with a few white spots. she’s a border collie mix last seen on the sanitas trailhead. she’s very nervous so please don’t chase her but if you crouched/sat down and said hi ellie in a calm sweet voice and allow her to approach you she might come over. call 9544821750 with any information.

Great fairly easy climb through fir forest followed by a challenging rocky decent. Overall very nice 2-3 hour hike.

A LOT OF PEOPLE which was annoying, go super super early. Parking is also impossible by 10am.

hiking
9 months ago

Followed everyone’s advice to go up the Mt. Sanitas side first. It’s very steep but this allows the way down lion’s liar to be a breeze, which is a much better way to end a hike in my opinion. We went Saturday at 11 and it was hot as there’s not much shade. There’s vast views of the city but the mountain view is blocked.

We went up Sanitas mountain trail with lots of steps and small boulder stairs.

hiking
9 months ago

Nice slow incline hike!

hiking
9 months ago

Great sunrise hike! Good incline, not too difficult! Smooth sailing all the way down.

hiking
9 months ago

Went counterclockwise- up Mount Sanitas and down Lion’s Lair and Sunshine Canyon. Best decision to go that route - good short but hard burn to the top, lots of stepping but a fun challenge. On the way down to the parking lot, I ran the trail, about 4 miles. Was so fun, not too steep and great for running even without trail running shoes (I was in Nike running). Definitely wear sunscreen and bring water, most of it is in the sun. I would recommend going in the morning

hiking
9 months ago

We did it counterclockwise which was nice as all the uphill was the first mile or so of the trip. Coming down Lions Lair and Sunshine Canyon was a nice break from the all-uphill rock climbing to the top of Mt. Sanitas. Started early and had decent shade on the way up and most all of Lions Lair.

hiking
rocky
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

Start early! It gets crowded the later it gets.

10 months ago

Beautiful morning for a hike, saw deers and turkeys.

hiking
10 months ago

Absolute classic! Perfect sunset hike that took approx 2 hours - walking at a leisurely pace

hiking
11 months ago

Started on the Sanitas side and came down Lion's Lair - First mile is a steady incline, trail is clear and nothing too difficult (I'd rate this trail as moderate) - Going down Lion's Lair on the backside is very easy on the knees, great to trail run or stead walk Overall ~1.5 hrs

11 months ago

gorgeous challenging beginning beautiful at summit 6/7/19

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