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Walker Ranch Loop Trail is a 8.3 mile 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.

Length 8.3 mi Elevation gain 1,650 ft Route type Loop
Dogs on leash Hiking Mountain biking Nature trips Bird watching Running Forest River Views Wild flowers Wildlife
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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
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Reviews (1002)
Photos (1180)
Recordings (693)
Completed (2557)
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Sa'Von Thompson
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Hiking
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Cindy Smith
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Hiking
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Mario Gil Castagnino
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 12, 2020
Hiking

Good trail! Easier than I thought. I would rate it moderate vs. hard (which is what All Trails rates it at)

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Jessica Craig
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Hiking
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Chris Wrobel
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Hiking

Yay was nice and dry goregous morning

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Debbi Warden
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 11, 2020
HikingGreat!

Started at the Crescent Meadows Trailhead--this saved us about 30 minutes from our drive from the south metro area--than if we started at the Walker Ranch Trailhead. We hiked counter clockwise as suggested and I enjoyed the varied terrain--some of it is in the open and some is in the forest. You come across the South Boulder Creek twice on the loop and it is magnificent! This will be a great hike for my angler husband to join me next time! There was some snow and a little mud (not much). We started at 7:15 and didn't see many folks. We recorded 8.57 miles with 1794 elevation gain and 4.5 hours to complete (with a snack break). The elevation gain is up and down--the trailhead parking lots are at the high points. I found a single pole helpful.

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Benji Morneau
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Hiking
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Alex Arnold
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 7, 2020
Hiking

Awesome trail! As most people say, start counter clockwise (right at the Walker Ranch Trail head) it’s a down up down up trail. No huge elevation gains but about 8 miles with a good mix of views

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Jennifer Maggio
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 5, 2020
HikingNo shade

good for a long trail walk or mountain biking, but not strenuous. goes up, then down, then up, etc, so the elevation doesn't feel like much

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Bajul Tamang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 4, 2020
Hiking

Sweet loop we hiked it, started at 4am lot was empty. towards the end lots of runners and MT bikes.

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Josh Groves
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Hiking
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Kevin Zhang
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Hiking

Awesome!!! Bring plenty of water

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Ashley Ray
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 29, 2020
Hiking

last mile is intense! good hike with great views at the end.

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Tara Schoenherr
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 25, 2020
Hiking

Gorgeous trail and a nice challenge at points. I agree with other reviewer's advice to travel counterclockwise (that's the way the trail is marked as well). If you travel the counterclockwise the last mile will take your breath away.

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Bill Pollak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 19, 2020
Hiking

Great trail but suggest an early start to avoid mid-day heat. No problem parking and only a few hikers/bikers on a Wednesday. Trail could be better marked, particularly when it reaches Crescent Meadows Parking Lot — go left before reaching the lot. Otherwise, a very enjoyable hike.

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Fred Pitzl
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 16, 2020
HikingGreat!

Well-maintained trail. Great section along South Boulder Creek. With the recent wildfires the mountains are hazy. Look similar to the Smoky Mountains. Be safe out there.

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Nicole Quintanar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2020
Bird WatchingBugsGreat!No shadeRockyScramble

Breathtaking views. Very little shade during a hot evening so I am thankful I opted for 2.5L as I almost used all of it.

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Mary Leonard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 10, 2020
HikingGreat!

Difficult hike on a hot day. As others have said, make sure to bring more water than you think you’ll need! I had a 2L camelbak and drank all of it, and could’ve used more! The trail is about 40% shade and 60% direct sun, so make sure to wear sunscreen. There’s only one section of steep incline and the others are more steady of a climb, but I would not recommend this trail for the out of shape folks. We saw an elderly man who was having a difficult time. Beautiful views of Eldorado Canyon, and two stops along the creek (great place to cool off). If you come prepared and are in good shape it is a great trail! I put 4 stars because the mileage signs were confusingly located and inaccurate.

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Issac Lopez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020
Mountain biking

Not for 1st year riders. some big rocks to ride over or come down depending on direction, and very slippery loose stuff on some of the hill had to lower tires pressure after sliding down with no traction on 2.3 inch tires.

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Jeanette Ryan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 9, 2020
HikingGreat!

Start by going right at the trailhead and do trail counterclockwise. This provides shade for the uphill return. The last mile is in full sun. There are three places for dogs to get water in South Boulder Creek, and they’ll need it!

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Elise Reina
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
Hiking

Not too tough if you hike counter clock wise. Couldn’t imagine hiking clock wise because we did a lot of downhill. Slightly seasoned hikers but it would be awesome to mountain bike!

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Kim P
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Hiking
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JC Peralta
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
HikingGreat!

Awesome trail. I completed it Friday, August 7, 2020. Starts off easy, beautiful water and picnic area. Once you start going up hill, thats where this trail will challenge you. Brings lots of water. You will need it! I had 2 big gatorades and one (1) liter bottle of water. I was able to complete the trail with just about half a cup left of fluid. *Note* When you approach the gross dam parking lot, the trail splits. Go right! After that 2nd decent towards the water, follow the trail back up, and then turn left. Thats the home stretch. Man was that brutal. Cooked me all the way till the end, but best 8 miles thus far.

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Cody Li
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2020
Hiking

Good trail and has a bit of everything. Went clockwise and felt pretty good about it, but hat last quarter mile or so can be a bit of a drag. They were working on the trail when I was there, more specifically the steep steps people are talking about. But the last stretch of hiking along the creek was really nice. There's a good amount of shade and a good amount of sun as well on the trail.

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Christine Billigmier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
Hiking

Such a beautiful hike. Flowers everywhere!!! brought the dog and made it to the lake. definitely would come back

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Kim Hoffman
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Hiking

https://www.dailycamera.com/2020/07/29/sheriff-hiker-sexually-assaulted-on-walker-loop-trail-in-boulder-county-suspect-not-identified/

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