Walker Ranch Loop Trail

HARD 403 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

Walker Ranch Loop Trail is a 11.7 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail located near Boulder, 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 but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
11.7 km
ELEVATION GAIN
537 m
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Walker Ranch is a fantastic loop, that can be taken both clockwise and counter. Going counter clockwise starts you off on a fantastic downhill, just be careful for walkers and dogs. Once at the bottom, you will start a moderate but tiring climb that eventually opens up at the top into an area with a parking lot, which is where the real fun starts! From this point you will experience what some would argue is 2 miles of the best downhill you will ever ride. This is followed by a short portage down some very steep steps, followed by another moderate climb back to the trail head. If you still need more, just turn around and start again, going the opposite direction, because by now you know the climb you did through the forest.

2 days ago

love this loop and have done it with my dog multiple times. My only concern would be that I don't believe it's only 7.3 miles. my fitbit eve time has put it closer to 8.5-9, just a heads up!

trail running
15 days ago

This trail has so many ecological features and a real diversity of landscapes. You get everything from meadows, to forests, to waterfalls. There are even some spots that look like they have good bouldering potential! Great medium-hard trail run/hike. I ran the parts I could (flat or slightly downhill sections) and finished in a little less than 2.5 hours.

hiking
17 days ago

Love this trail! It has ups, downs, rushing water, sun, shade, views, birds, wildlife, flowers, trees, and amazing rock formations. Went solo on a cool sunny Saturday morning and saw fewer than a dozen others on the trail, mostly going the opposite way. I went clockwise and a young man running past told me to watch out for the bear near the switchbacks, which made me that much more mindful and appreciative of the beautiful terrain as I kept my eyes peeled (didn’t see the bear after all). I took lots of photo breaks and finished the loop in about 3.25 hours. Would love to bring a bike next time! Downhills would be a blast, but I would definitely allot plenty of time for the uphill parts.

21 days ago

its a great trail to bring less than in shape visitors to hike.

mountain biking
24 days ago

Just got finished with my first loop here. I made 3 mistakes. First, I didn't read the description in advance and followed some other people clockwise. This resulted in hike-a-bike UP the staircase vs. down. Second, I assumed 2L of water in my camelbak would be sufficient. It would have been if I had conserved a little better but next time I'd bring a bottle too (I ran out with about 1 heavily exposed mile left). Lastly, this was my first ride in 6 or so years, on a new bike to boot. In hindsight, that was a tad ambitious considering the climbs but go big or go home! Great trail anyhow, the staircase is a bit inconvenient for MTB but the downhill is fantastic and there are some decently technical sections scattered about.

1 month ago

Awesome hike. We started early at 6 and finished around 10:30 - parking lot was packed with line of cars waiting for a spot.

hiking
1 month ago

I did it last September and it was pretty hot, I took my time and I made it in about 4 hours. The waterfalls and the view in certain points are really nice! I suggest to bring a lot of water!

hiking
1 month ago

We did this yesterday and mixed trail running with hiking. Did it counter clockwise and would recommend that direction. We also started early (prior to 7:00) which helped mitigate the numbers that we interacted with. We kicked it out in 2:14, with a mix between running and quick hiking. Great vistas and ample shade if done counter clockwise. Great wild flowers right now.

1 month ago

good place its always packed on the weekends though which sucks.

1 month ago

Don't underestimate the length of the loop.
I started from trailhead around 2pm and got down to the eldorado canyon trail marker. Never made it to the river or waterfalls. Turning back it was a pretty tough climb back up to make it before sunset. Next time will go opposite direction with more time. Looked fun for the mountain bikers. Great view of rocky flats through canyon gap at the top ridge.

hiking
1 month ago

Super pretty & green right now! Creek was rushing with cold water. Nice breaks in some shaded areas. Quintessential Colorado!
Did it in about 3-3.5 hrs!

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is truly amazing. Conquered it with a cat and a dog. I came from Denver so I parked at the Crescent City parking lot to save 20 minutes and not have to drive through Boulder. I’m not a very fit person and I was able to accomplish this trail, with a few breaks every so often lol. I also took the trail clockwise, for a bit of a challenge. I saw lots of chipmunks! You have 360 views nearly the entire hike. The trail conditions are good, there are a few steep parts where the sand/pebbles are really slippery so wear shoes with good traction or bring a pole. I didn’t have any falls but my buddy slipped a couple times. Definitely worth the drive! Perfect for a day hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Fabulous hike with amazing views. The diversity of views and terrain is well worthwhile. I would not classify this as “hard”, however.

2 months ago

Great hike with lots to see! we went counterclockwise and still had a hard time. I'll blame that on my lack of hydration and the 6 pack of beer I drank the night before. Even my poor Anatolian Shepard had to take a rest in the creek halfway through. It took us 3hrs to complete even with rest periods. Overall, an awesome hike for experienced, in shape people ;)

2 months ago

Hike offering a little bit of everything. Tough at times but truly satisfying.

hiking
2 months ago

A lovely hike, with a little bit of everything. Starts out in a burn area with lots of rock formations, meets up with the South Boulder Creek, intersects with the Eldorado Canyon Trail, and ends with some beautiful forest scenery. We hiked on a Monday mid-morning, and aside from a few mountain bikers, it wasn't too crowded. I imagine it's more crowded on weekends.

2 months ago

Such a journey, every time!

hiking
2 months ago

Difficult hike but beautiful.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked on May 4th, started at 9am. Weather was cool in the morning and warmed up by noon.Awesome hike will great views! Lots of running water (just after rainfall) and a good amount of tree canopy. Hiked on a Friday, and it wasn't crowded at all.

We an Uber to Walker Ranch Loop trail head, but had no reception once we got there. Either make sure you can get a ride back to town or drive your own car. We ended up hiking the loop to Eldorado canyon trail and finishing in Eldorado springs, where we had enough reception to call an Uber home.

2 months ago

This was a challenging but gorgeous hike. We went clockwise to have groomed trails, but up hill at the end. . Wildflowers emerging everywhere’and both crossings of South Boulder Creek were stunning. Highly recommended if you are looking for a challenge

2 months ago

Really hard but worth it. Absolutely gorgeous terrain.

2 months ago

Hikes this on April 29, 2018. It was a gorgeous trail. Beautiful views especially along the river. Not crowded at all.

2 months ago

Love this hike! Beautiful mountain and creek views. Challenging, but awesome if you are looking for a long hike. Well maintained and not crowded.

mountain biking
2 months ago

Awesome trail. Great for when other trails are wet. This one seems to stay dry when others are not. Quick 7 ish mile ride. Takes under 1.5 hours on a mountain bike. Some challenging spots when climbing. Amazing downhills. Beautiful scenery.

hiking
2 months ago

One of the most beautiful trails I’ve been on yet. 7.5 miles is very doable even for the most reluctant rookie hiker. Trials are in good shape and there are very few muddy spots. Active trial for hikers and bikers alike.

hiking
3 months ago

Only a few muddy spots on the trail today (4/16/18)
I hiked the loop counterclockwise.
I found this one through...
https://dayhikesneardenver.com/eldorado-falls-walker-ranch-boulder/
The “Eldorado Falls” are not well marked. :(
I will definitely do this hike again and spend more time by South Boulder Creek.

3 months ago

Outstanding trail. Rushing creek, expansive prairie, winding woodsy paths. It’s great, and tiring! Worth it.

3 months ago

This was a beautiful and fairly difficult hike. Lots of wildlife and great streams. no snow on the ground and I went 4/3. I would recommend this to anyone that is in good shape.

mountain biking
3 months ago

One of the more variable MTB rides in the Boulder area, Walker has long been one of my favorite trails. Challenging, beautiful, and technically interesting.

3 months ago

Love this hike. But beware of mountain lion have seen fresh paw prints in the snow last two times I went . Also have seen one at Meyers Homestead Trail down the road . Have also seen a Lynx on the way up Flagstaff Rd in a meadowy area on the side of the road. It’s usually a good local hike that I don’t have to get up too early for . Have only gone counter clockwise which has Alot of uphill can be tough .

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