South Boulder Peak Trail

HARD 136 reviews
#11 of 24 trails in

South Boulder Peak Trail is a 7.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Eldorado Springs, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
7.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2936 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

up a wooded canyon to top of a mountain peak, strenuous hike. This hike starts in the plains of the foothills along townee trail. It then connects to shadow canyon trail and enters a cool wooded canyon. At the top of the canyon a short trail takes you to the top of South Boulder Peak. This peak does not have many visitors, as compared to the other nearby peaks.

21 days ago

I'm a little late getting my review up. I went on 3/20/18, and it was great. A few snowy patches leading up to the canyon, but once I got into the canyon there was still snow on everything but it had snowed the day before so I was expecting it, even with the snow the trail was relatively easy to follow. There was only 2 other sets of footprints in front of me so I followed those till one got off trail, thankfully she found her way back and we made it to the top together. I'm glad she was there, from the saddle up was 6in.+ of untouched snow so we plowed through that doing our best to follow the blazes, i only wish i brought my gaiters, i brought micro spikes hoping to use them but my boots had enough tread i didn't need them. Made it like 10ft from the highest rocks on South Boulder Peak and started hearing thunder, got to the top and looked west to see some pretty ominous clouds, took some pictures then high tailed it outta there.
If the other woman wasn't there I wouldn't have made it all the way, she ended up saying the same thing as we were headed down. Proud of us. hah
It was a great hike, I just wish I could've spent more time enjoying the summit.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! Once I summited South Boulder Peak, I decided to check out Bear Peak, which was an easy add once your up there if your legs are still feeling good. I started this hike around 8:40am and on my decent the sun/warm weather had already put in work on the snow from yesterday! Extra traction (as of today) is a “nice to have” over a “need to have”.

hiking
2 months ago

Need traction once you hit Shadow Canyon. Awesome hike!!

hiking
2 months ago

Great climb- did it on Saturday, lots of snow- which resulted in less high steps and knee bending.
Most of the snow is after the 2nd shack on shadow canyon.

4 months ago

Challenging hike, awesome hike. First 2 miles are a nice warm up but expect a steep ascent after. Almost harder on the way down! Great views from the top - overall, preferred the summit of Green Mountain. Love the views of Devil’s Thumb.

hiking
4 months ago

Great and tough hike just outside of Boulder starting through the rolling open prairie foothills into the flatirons forests and then a sharp change to steep incline like climbing lots of stairs to get up top where the trail splits and you can go to South Boulder peak or bear peak or both. Beautiful views from up top especially looking west at the snow capped mountains. Pretty windy up top. Good option for a strenuous hike and incline without snow up top like other similar gain hikes farther into the mountains that are already too icy and snowy.

hiking
4 months ago

This is always a humbling hike. Shadow Canyon will test your fitness for sure. This hike gains close to 3K feet so you see a wide variety of terrain and eco-systems. If your lucky, at the top you will be buzzed by Golden Eagles or the occasional glider. Keep an eye out for wildlife, we saw a Ptarmigan in Shadow Canyon last time out.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike, however I brought the dog along with me on South Boulder Canyon trail and he was struggling on the last 1.5 up due to the rocks, so I turned around. I would not recommend bringing dogs if you want to make it to the peak.

7 months ago

Hard trail. Steep incline over last mile and a half. Lots of bouldering. Imagine there are stunning views at the top but we weren't able to see much given the forest fires. Take plenty of food and water.

trail running
7 months ago

Always love this trail. Keep in mind that the South Mesa Trail-head and most of the Shadow Canyon and Mesa trails are currently closed on weekdays until Mid-November. The only access would be via the Bluestem trail which will be a very long hike.

7 months ago

Solid hike....challenging last 1.5 but what awesome hike isn't! Views are great and don't be afraid to hit bear peak on your journey as well

hiking
8 months ago

Took us about 5 hours roundtrip. The descent was much harder than the ascent because of the rocky terrain. It was particularly hard on the knees and ankles. Highly recommend hiking poles.
Spotted a bear during the descent about a mile from trailhead.

hiking
8 months ago

Challenging due to last 1.5m - steep and rocky.
It took me 1:40 up, and about 1 hour down (neadless to say, most of downhill was running).
Make sure to have good shoes with rough soles - the rocks are always slippery.

hiking
9 months ago

This trail was beautiful and challenging. The panoramic view from the top is amazing. Most of the elevation gain is in the last mile and a half or so. I stopped a few times to rest and fuel up and I reached the summit in about 3 hours. I got back down in about 2 hours. I was very thankful to have my poles on the way down. There is a lot of loose rock and things get slippery.

hiking
10 months ago

Great all-around trail. Starts off on nice gravel trails which lead to some nice Rocky inclines toward the top. Great views. Great hike.

hiking
10 months ago

Excellent little hike. My friend and I did the South Boulder + Bear Peak and it was great! Don't let the easy first portion deceive you, this sucker climbs altitude quickly at the end!

10 months ago

Great Trail with alot of shade...

hiking
Monday, April 17, 2017

The first 2.5 miles of this are really pleasant and easy, but the last 1.5 miles of the trail is very difficult. It's not necessarily the incline (which is very steep), but the quality of the trail is low in that it is mostly rocks, which makes coming down difficult.

The views on this hike are spectacular though, and the hike itself brings you through about 4 different ecosystems, which was really neat. There were some trail runners on this trail to my surprise given the quality of the last section.

Monday, April 17, 2017

beautiful views at the top, definitely worth the hike

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Nice work out and super close to Boulder. Pretty decent incline in the last section

hiking
Sunday, April 02, 2017

Perfect hiking trail. Great mix of simple, wide, gravel-paved trail, and narrow, step-like hiking trail through the trees, boulders, and across streams, and more boulders. SUCH an enjoyable hike!!!
I even did this after it had snowed some, and while there were thick clouds hanging out on top of the mountain; Never did it feel too unsafe to climb, but for a few spots on the decent where there was snow packed down already. The snow made it so beautiful though!!! And the "fog" at the top made it wonderfully secluded, and left me full of awe and wonder!! Thank you Jesus for such a good hike! :D

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Great hike. Toughest one in boulder I've done I'd say, but well worth it once you reach the top. Awesome views along the way as well.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Highly recommended! Less crowded than other Boulder trails. It's worth making the trek up to Bear Peak while you're up at the saddle. Makes for a 9 mile RT and 3200 elevation gain.

hiking
Monday, September 12, 2016

Hit both peaks, 9:00 start and we got the last spot at Mesa trailhead. It's about 2.5 miles of easy terrain to get to Shadow Canyon, which is pretty crazy steep for over a mile to the saddle. Lost the trail to Bear in the scree, which meant we had to free climb from the south ridge through some involved exposed patches. Took the nice trail on the way back to the saddle (still a bit of a scramble from the top) and saw where we went wrong-- there's a sign for the raptor area you can make out if you peek around a bit.

South Boulder was easier, less crowded, with superior views. Doing both in a day makes for a long day on this route (Fern trail looked less intense). It's a long way back down Shadow Canyon, as the incline and rocks make for a pretty slow descent, and once you're out of the canyon it's still 2.5 miles back to the trailhead. Overall long, with technical options, and a decent challenge for within city limits.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Fantastic day out

hiking
Sunday, August 07, 2016

Very challenging. Incredible views at the top, but you'll have to earn it. Trail isn't always clear - it's mostly climbing up rocks for the last 2 miles.

hiking
Thursday, June 23, 2016

Highest peak in Boulder open space. Very challenging. I wanted to make it Bear peak as well, but didn't make it. There's 3 places you can start this hike at. Google the name of this hike and you'll find more information. I found the hike to be longer than advertised. Besides the view at the end of the hike on my favorite parts were the black pines near the top. Great spot for photos. Go early it can take awhile.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Best of Boulder trails in my opinion. Take this and continue to bear peak for a challenging day.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Started from Cragmoor Drive in Boulder. Takes a bit of time to get to Shadow Canyon from Mesa Trail. Great hike, but be prepared for lots of gnats at the top. Also be prepared for exposure to weather on the saddle between South Boulder Peak and Bear Peak since a fire burned down most of the trees in that area.

hiking
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Pretty tough hike. It is closer to 9-10 miles round trip or roughly 4-5 hours at a leisurely pace. I think I would have rather gone to Colorado Springs and climbed the Incline because at least you know what your getting yourself into with that trail. This is a reasonable hike until you reach the upper part of Shadow Canyon Trail where it is 2 miles of stone "steps" up to the peak. Don't think I will return to this one because there are more enjoyable hikes in the area. Be prepared to be sore and tired following this trail. Parking costs $5 and finding a spot on the weekend is not easy to do because this is a popular hiking area.

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