Walker Ranch Loop is a 13.2 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail located near Boulder, Colorado that features a river 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.

Length13.2 kmElevation gain499 mRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashHikingMountain bikingNature tripsBird watchingRunningForestRiverViewsWildflowersWildlife
Description
Waypoints (13)
Facilities
Contact

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 hikers 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.

Trailhead parking with toilet no water

Boulder County Open Space http://bouldercountyopenspace.org

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (1,396)
Photos (1,737)
Activities (983)
Completed (3,241)
View user's profile page
Todd Pearson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 12, 2021
Hiking

Nice hike. Few people out on a Monday. Waterfall and creek are beautiful and some great views. But I’m not crazy about long sections of utility roads. Also, as of 4/12 no snow or ice on the complete loop

View Todd's activity
View user's profile page
Jeff Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 11, 2021
Hiking

Great! Trail is dry.

View Jeff's activity
View user's profile page
Taylor Derrick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 11, 2021
HikingIcyMuddyRocky

Lots of gravel/lose dirt on the trail which made it slick in spots. The river was nice, but the elevation gain is far more than shown on the summary above. My AllTrails recording put total elevation gain at closer to 3,200' --- this is because you go up and down twice. While a lot of reviews mention this hike is easy or moderate, don't underestimate it if you are newer to hiking. Still a very doable hike with lots of neat scenery, but be prepared for a more intense elevation gain than described. Also, if you go clockwise, the last mile is all uphill and you are also going up the wooden staircase near the midpoint of the hike vs. going down.

View user's profile page
Shaun S
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 11, 2021
Hiking

The trail was dry for the most part. A few muddy spots. Overall it was pretty easy. The only issue was the boulder elite. They didnt like non masked hikers. Boulder removed the mask requirement this week.

View user's profile page
Christina Lopez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 10, 2021
HikingGreat!

Amazing trail, lots of variety and change of scenery. The river was beautiful. Highly recommend

View user's profile page
Jake Pescaia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 8, 2021
Hiking

Excellent trail, I highly recommend it. Great views, lots of changes of scenery, beautiful river. Not crowded at all, the mud has mostly dried up.

View Jake's activity
View user's profile page
Jianna Puchalski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 5, 2021
HikingIcyMuddy

Hiked on Easter Sunday! Trail was empty on comparison to normal. Some ice, snow, and mud down by the water still, but nothing too extreme. I did it in Chacos and was fine but would suggest boots or shoes for the mud. One of our favorites, the water is rushing as the snow starts to melt!

View user's profile page
Paige Bouvier Brinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 4, 2021
HikingGreat!IcyMuddySnow

Absolutely loved this hike. Gorgeous views, nice variety of incline throughout. Got to the trail at 7:30am, I was the fourth car there. Didn’t use microspikes (but probably should have, but I did fine). Bring at least 2L of water with you! Took a little over three hours.

View user's profile page
Tuck Weyland
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 3, 2021
HikingMuddySnow

Loved this hike! Either way you start, east or west, starts off with very little cover and works into the forests. Today it was very hot, sunny and totally dry in the more open areas. In the forests there were areas still full of slush and ice, or mud: spikes definitely helped. I went counterclockwise, and there was one steep ascent in particular involving stairs where there was a spot totally iced over right near the edge where the railing ended. Acrophobic me had to crawl up that with spikes on. Just a heads up to anyone else afraid of heights, took me a while to stop feeling dizzy! But the views right before that, near the stream with the massive rocks overhead, beautiful.

View user's profile page
Lydia Sturgis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 1, 2021
HikingIcyMuddySnow

Beautiful trail! Definitely needed micro spikes. Lost a little bit of the trail 3ish miles in but was able to pop back on it. Took us just under three hours. Bring at least two water bottles with you!

View user's profile page
Jeff Foster
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 28, 2021
Hiking

Perfect day. Icy steps, but I did the whole loop without spikes and had no issues at all.

View user's profile page
Jeff Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 28, 2021
Hiking

Mostly snow packed, some thin mud. Steps were mostly buried in snow. Saw about 75 people over four hours.

View Jeff's activity
View user's profile page
Matthew Pizzorusso
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMarch 27, 2021
HikingIcyMuddySnow

Hiked counterclockwise starting at about 8:30 am. Most of the trail (80% or so) was firm packed snow with mud in sunnier spots. The staircase was VERY ICY. I wore spikes the whole loop.

View user's profile page
Steph Carpenter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 25, 2021

Incredible views! The stairs are snowpack and slippery. We wore spikes almost the entire time.

View user's profile page
Adam Bernstein
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 23, 2021
HikingIcyMuddySnow

overall, solid trail. definitely need spikes and high top boots for this. the trail was well marked, but buried in 2 feet of snow. I should note that if you take the trail counter clockwise, about 3.5 miles in, the trail will hit a road. it was not well marked, but you when you see a metal boom just before the road, turn left. the trail does NOT continue past the road.

View user's profile page
Jenna Staffaroni
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 22, 2021
HikingIcy

The stairs were pretty icy, but there was beautiful views throughout! It was a little more difficult than we thought it was going to be, took us about 4 hours (ice and snow slowed us down at times) however still very enjoyable!

View user's profile page
Teri Burks
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 9, 2021
HikingGreat!

Hope March brings some much-needed snow and/or rain! Beautiful day but very dry. A few icy and muddy patches but doable in sneakers.

Showing results 1 - 17 of 1396