Sunshine Canyon Trail

moderate 84 reviews
#72 of 109 trails in

Sunshine Canyon Trail is a 2.3 mile moderately 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 April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 2.3 miles Elevation Gain: 334 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
icy
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Very icy

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
3 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Some great spots for hammocks, especially higher up. Great views to sit and eat lunch while watching!

hiking
bugs
over grown
7 months ago

This trail is VERY easy and short. Most of it was very narrow and that was slightly annoying when I was trying to walk next to my dog. A lot of bushes and overgrown plants hit us while hiking. The traffic noise can be distracting at times too, but not the worst. Honestly, this trail is "meh".

hiking
8 months ago

Easy hike with pretty wildflowers. The trails itself is in excellent condition. It also follows Sunshine Canyon Dr, which means plenty of road noise. Lots of people seem to walk their dog off leash here.

8 months ago

grassy and narrow trail beautiful meadow a lot of exposure easy hike pretty meadow views

hiking
8 months ago

Connector trail along the canyon road to get to lions lair and up to sanitas from the back side or back down to the red rocks area

hiking
9 months ago

It pretty much just follows the road up the valley. Probably a lot more appealing when the wildflowers are in bloom but otherwise, meh.

hiking
10 months ago

Trail leads to an unnamed summit. Nice views of green mountain and red rocks. Trail has some extremely steep section interspersed with gradual slopes. I completed it in 2hrs. Recommend trekking poles if you have knee issues.

hiking
10 months ago

This short easy trail is one of the best wildflower and wildlife trails in Boulder. I was really bummed out yesterday when I walked this trail looking for early wildflowers to see how much trail braiding has happened this year. I walked this trail one month ago at peak mud and ice and never left the trail. Why? I wear boots and bring spikes. Yes, it is slow going but that is what this sport is sometimes. My recommendations are if you can't hike the trail easily, then go back home and get the correct gear. Native plants grab a toe hold trail side to implant and grow. This way they do not have to compete with the grasses. Going off trail to avoid mud and ice is lazy and destructive. Please have respect for this designated Wildlife Sanctuary. Here is what trail braiding is in case you do not know: "When hiking, stick to the trail. It might be tempting to veer off for a closer look at something, but doing so can start a “social trail” created by people walking randomly rather than sticking to the trail. Trails are thoughtfully designed with regard to impacts on vegetation, wild-animal paths and natural drainage. Switchbacks might seem like a pain, but they’re there for a reason. A steep trail washes away quickly, leaving a deep trench. Switchbacks allow for a less-vertical trail that’s not as susceptible to erosion. Cutting trails kills plants, as well. Tundra plants take years, even decades, to mature; it doesn’t take many steps to destroy them. Shoes are made to get dirty! Heading off a trail to sidestep mud only widens the trail, creating more space for larger mud pools. If rocks or branches are blocking a trail entrance, don’t follow it, as this means the trail is being restored. The rocks and branches are there to deter you." from Leave No Trace - Boulder

hiking
closed
muddy
snow
11 months ago

This was one of the worst trails I’ve ever hiked. It’s alongside a road most of the time was covered in ice and mud, totally in the shade unlike the name suggests and the loop isn’t supposed to be a loop! The looping back part is blocked off and the trail is hard to find. Don’t waste your time on this one. There are tons of other beautiful trails around here

hiking
muddy
Mon Feb 04 2019

Sun Feb 03 2019

rating this well because it's a great way to get to the lions lair trailhead which is the best way to go up mt sanitas. consider it a mile walk to warm up. you park at same trail head for sanitas and red rocks. so head up the red rocks trail for 100ft and then turn right to go up sunshine canyon. not bad for running a 2 mile loop if you want to park and run.

hiking
snow
Wed Jan 30 2019

Extremely snowpacked and slippery, would definitely wear spikes.

running
Sun May 27 2018

Like the rest I accidentally traveled this instead of Santais.. it's a nice trail honestly to walk or run on. There is a little pond at the end. Some wildflowers growing.

hiking
Sun Apr 22 2018

Probably great for kids or the elderly. Accidentally went on this instead of Sanitas. You basically travel along the highway.

Wed Apr 18 2018

Boring and too much traffic. Accidentally went here instead of Sanitas and was highly disappointed. Don't waste your time.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

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