Walker Ranch Loop Trail

HARD 316 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

Walker Ranch Loop Trail is a 7.3 mile 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
7.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1761 feet
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 & 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 at the end of the ride back is gonna be some great downhill.

6 hours 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
15 hours 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
23 hours 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
6 days 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.

7 days ago

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

18 days 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
29 days 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.

1 month 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 .

hiking
1 month ago

Did the trail counterclockwise on 3/10/18. Great trail, not too strenuous but you definitely work. The scenery is varied and gorgeous. Aside from the steps, which had a lot of slush on them, there were no issues with snow or ice.

hiking
1 month ago

Trail was beautiful and offered a variety of scenery. It is not marked well, though! There are a number of intersecting paths that are not marked and can be very confusing. We ended up doing a lot of extra miles because of this - which was a great workout but a tad stressful. I would still recommend this trail, though. Very pretty!

1 month ago

It was a gorgeous 55 degree day, a little windy and only a handful of other people on the trail. I did the trail counterclockwise, the changing landscape from the mountains to the river were beautiful! Traction was very helpful (I used my coiled walking yaks, crampons were not needed) in the shadier areas especially going down the very steep stairs.

1 month ago

Very difficult if you go clockwise. Whole loop took me 4 hours (with lunch break). Slipped at the bottom of the stairs so be careful! Other than that it is one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done! Also didn’t see a soul while hiking mid week.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a great hike top do in the winter, as it can get very crowded the rest of the year. Today was snowy and cold (8F) and we did not see another sole on the trail. This is a nice hike mostly through wooded areas with a couple of nice stretches along Boulder Creek. Not too strenuous. There is a steep section with stairs and if you go counter clock wise, the last mile is up. This is a good one if you are looking for something close to Denver that is no too demanding.

hiking
2 months ago

Just did this guy last week on Thursday, it was GORGEOUS. No need for spikes or snowshoes. We parked at the upper lot which added 2 miles to the hike, that was the only downside.

hiking
2 months ago

We hit this on a warm January day with just a little snow/mud on the trail. The parking lot was less than half full at noon on a Saturday and we only passed about two dozen people total on the full loop. Pretty good for this trail!

2 months ago

Fantastically beautiful and varied. Took me 4.5 hours with no breaks, but it’s been awhile since I’ve hiked. I’d love to go again.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice trail. We hiked clockwise. Started early and only saw a couple of trail runners until about a mile from the end. Lots of icy patches so trekking poles were appreciated but it's still doable without.

hiking
2 months ago

Sweet views, flowing water / frozen waterfalls... I definitely want to do this hike again (especially In different seasons). The trail had hard packed snow for 85% of the loop though I never felt the need to bust out my Yak Tracks. Very few people out there this morning (I started around 8:30am) and maybe only saw 11 folks total while hiking.

3 months ago

This trail was beautiful! But beware it is not marked well, we got turned around and hikes from eldorado springs park entry to crescent park trail entry had to get a ride back! But beautiful scenery!

hiking
3 months ago

This was one of my favorite hikes by far in the Boulder area. I would leave ample time to explore because you will see every archeological type, waterfalls, rivers, cliffs, forests, mountain views- and you will want to really soak it up. I would recommend doing the entire loop. A truly great day.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike near Boulder, water follows the trail a lot of the way.

mountain biking
4 months ago

This is one of the best rides on the Front Range. A true classic. Not an easy ride as there are a few hike-a-bike sections but you will see a great variety of ecosystems and landscapes here. Put this on your bucket list.

4 months ago

I'm gonna be the odd man out and say the high end moderate/hard rating is pretty accurate unless your in amazing shape.Some of the inclines are pretty tough and there are several.And the hike is loooong.Great scenery as others have said.This one kicked my butt.But overall a very rewarding hike ...bring plenty of water.You'll need it.Cheers.

4 months ago

Great hike. FYI this ends up being a 10 mile hike if you leave from the Walker Ranch trailhead across the street. Ooo my aching legs ;).

4 months ago

Great early summer and fall trail

hiking
4 months ago

The trail is easy to moderate. I think the most challenging part is the distance. There were some pretty views of the mountains.

5 months ago

Not sure why this is rated hard. It’s moderate at best. Maybe because of the length of the trail? Maybe the one short steep section? It’s definitely suited for trail running and biking, but hiking it was cool too. There’s a lot of gradual rolling hills with tree covered areas, sun exposed areas, a rushing river, good views of the back of Eldorado Canyon...lots of variety and scenery here.

I went counter clockwise, and it was pretty downhill from there. There’s a long gradual incline at about mile 6 to the end. The trail is well marked and easy to follow. After mile 4, there’s a parking lot. No need to go to the parking lot, just take the 2nd trail on the right, back to the original parking lot.

hiking
5 months ago

I would recommend this place as best suited for trail-running. Multiple inclines and declines are nice to keep up the pace. I went counter-clockwise on the loop in the early morning which meant there were quite a few icy spots in the first couple of miles. This trail does connect down to El Dorado Canyon if you want to do a longer lollipop route. Overall, no spectacular views or technical aspects of the trail. Good for exercise, but that’s about it.

hiking
5 months ago

We have walked this trail quite a few times and really enjoy the diversity of the scenery. Rocks, creeks and wildlife. Just a short drive from Denver.

hiking
6 months ago

Some snow and ice in the woodsy area and on the top portion of the "stairs" coming up from the creek, but otherwise clear and dry. Hiked on a Weds. October morning...only 1 other person there when I arrived. A peaceful hike.

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