Walker Ranch Loop Trail

HARD 269 reviews
#1 of 2 trails in

Walker Ranch Loop Trail is a 7.5 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
7.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1738 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.

mountain biking
15 hours 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.

7 days 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.

14 days 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 ;).

18 days ago

Great early summer and fall trail

hiking
21 days ago

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

27 days 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
2 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.

trail running
2 months ago

The views are so beautiful! Be sure to wear shoes with lots of ankle support if you’re going running, the trail is rated properly as Hard. The doggo loved it too!

2 months ago

good trail for hiking and trail running, but I wouldn't bike it unless you are prepared to carry your bike on a few sections of it.

hiking
3 months ago

This is more of an easy nature walk, by no means strenuous. Gradual hills, pretty scenery. I was disappointed due to lack of difficulty so rated less but it's scenic and pleasant. Should be rated easy or very low moderate though. I went clockwise, took about 2 hrs.

hiking
3 months ago

My map my run app had this closer to 9.2 miles from the Ethel Harrold trailhead. Fun and a little challenging hike. Pretty good views as well

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful scenery at every stage of this trail. I hiked counterclockwise. Mile one was down hill with Mile two being a good ascent. Three and Four were breathtaking and rigorous. The stairs in mile five were a beautiful decent to the river bed. Climbing it was tough but perseverance and a steady pace pays off. Bring plenty of water.

3 months ago

First time Colorado hiker. Flat lander, 54 years old.
I did it counter clockwise as suggested. With a few wrong turns, I was over 8 miles in 4:44.44 on s sunny 88 degree day.
Bring more water. I ran out half way.
Bring treking poles. Those hills, old knees, and the 500' staircase require them.
Also hard bottom hiking shoes, not soft tennis. There are lots of rocks.
That said... if you are in good health, the weather is good, by all means do this trail.

hiking
4 months ago

Very strenuous trail but still enjoyable.

hiking
4 months ago

flatlander perspective: this is a hard path. hiked counter-clockwise as advised. by mid-day even the gradual climbs were killing us. incredible scenery, worth the trip, but if you're not from Colorado be sure to bring an extra water and fuel bars.

4 months ago

I decided to go in this trail based on reviews I read. The trail didn’t disappoint! It was an awesome hike, would highly recommend.

4 months ago

Love this sweet loop bordered by water and wildflowers. A new favorite since the Mesa trail is closed for repairs this summer.

hiking
4 months ago

This is my new favorite hike. It has good distance without being too long. I have done this trail both ways, and I do think it's a little harder going clockwise but both ways are nice. I like that it connects with Eldorado Canyon, and plan to hike in from there next time. Lots of diversity in the scenery but go early, like all hikes near Boulder it gets crowded.

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