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Walker Ranch Loop Trail

HARD 663 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

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.

Distance: 8.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,650 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

river

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.

hiking
rocky
snow
3 days ago

Hiked clockwise today (12/2). It's clearing up but would definitely recommend snowshoes for 70% of this loop. Didn't see a single person out there - Incredible. The step section was challenging with the snow but super rewarding.

snowshoeing
snow
6 days ago

We walked or counterclockwise on 11/30. I would recommend snowshoes, there are sections with deep snow drifts. Only encountered one other human on the 8 mile loop. A variety of different views from boulder creek to eldorado canyon with a plains peek-a-boo

hiking
rocky
15 days ago

my first hard trail on alltrails! yay

hiking
18 days ago

Visited on a Monday afternoon; only ran into a few other groups out there. Fun, changing terrain with gorgeous views on all parts of the trail. I went clockwise, which started off with a lot of downhill and easy terrain with small ups and downs (it was a little deceiving) then hit the more challenging parts the next few miles. Great hike, saw a good amount of wildlife too! A bit windy at parts.

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
scramble
snow
18 days ago

Great trail, some tough inclines for first timers like myself and boyfriend. Amazing views especially at some of the little rest stops with the benches. Those were great for breaks. We went 11/04/19 and there was still a lot of ice an snow on the trail. One part where the steps are going down were extremely icy and super sketchy but we got down one step at a time. All in all it was fun an a great adventure for us.

hiking
muddy
19 days ago

Great way to spend a few hours! minimal crowds and some awesome wildlife tracks in the mud. very windy.

hiking
muddy
25 days ago

Really great, pretty, long nice trail with river peak views. I would consider this a moderate trail. Long, but gradual inclines (especially if you go counterclockwise). Would be a great trail to come back and run. Strict dog leash rule enforced.

great hike, not too muddy and not much ice!

hiking
26 days ago

Great hike! Got there around 7:15am on Sunday and was the second car in the parking lot. Did counter clockwise and would probably do the same direction next time. Didn’t need crampons and probably 70% is shaded. Took me 3hrs exactly which included stopping to take pictures every half mile or so. Definitely recommend. When I got back to the parking lot it was completely full.

hiking
27 days ago

started at 8 and the parking lot was empty. only used microspikes for a tenth of a mile, almost all the snow has melted off the trail.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Completed in less than 3 hours on 11.3.19 starting at 7AM. Beautiful views. Recommend having microspikes as there as spots on the trail that have a lot of ice and snow. Great hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike overall. Nice elevation profile to keep things interesting. Scenic and sunny. Gotta watch out for cyclists. Went a few days after the snow so it was a bit snowy/muddy in the shade.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked Tuesday 12pm. Front spot parking. Great loop. Go Counter-Clockwise for an enjoyable 7.9miles within 3hrs (breaks included). Clockwise for more challenge and a good stair climb up.

hiking
1 month ago

Ran the clockwise loop. The creek was really beautiful! The last one mile was tough for me because of the climb and also since I hadn’t acclimated to the CO altitude.

hiking
1 month ago

A very good trail. Clockwise makes it largely a gradual uphill, good work out. I enjoyed the creek very much.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

The “Hard” rating for this one seems a little overblown. There were a couple of more technical and steep climbs, but otherwise this was a really nice, beautiful trail to hike. We showed up around 7:15am and were the first car in the parking lot. It ended up taking us about 3 hours or so to finish. I’ll definitely be back!

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent loop..very nicely marked..river is beautiful

hiking
2 months ago

4 61+ year olds in active but not top top hiking shape were worried by all the previous reviews calling this hike difficult and/or strenuous. we decided to go for the challenge and were not disappointed. while it did challenge us at times, it was mostly because of the length. we found most of the trail to be moderate in difficulty and absolutely beautiful. We loved that the terrain varied often, giving us shade and sun intermittently, gorgeous vistas, the river, a small and pretty set of falls/rapids, and only one tricky, technical section of cleverly designed stone stairs leading up and away from the river. we felt fortunate that we opted for a Monday morning hike, as we encountered only 6 or 8 other hikers and 1 biker, leaving us to feel like we had the entire place to ourselves. we highly recommend doing the loop clockwise so that that you tackle the staircase up, not down. Also recommended is an early start because the last upward mile is in full sun. Charming picnic area down by the river is perfect for a relaxing lunch 7 miles in.

running
2 months ago

Really great trail run! Did this close to 9am on a Sunday (9-29-19) and the parking lot was less than half full on arrival. When I left around 10:30 it was still not full. I ran into few people on the trail, and it was very peaceful. Counter-clockwise was very enjoyable running with lots vertical gain and loss. A most flat trail that is not too technical, except for a few spots. It is quite runnable. There is one section, after the Crescent trailhead, where single track goes right and double track goes left. It was unclear to me which way to go (right), until I checked the map.

hiking
2 months ago

Really great trail, so many scenic views along the way. Trail is pretty lightly trafficked, I went several miles without seeing anyone else. I would suggest hiking counterclockwise to avoid having to go up the stairs by the falls between markers 4 and 5 (definitely something to consider for bikers and riders). Really great trail with various terrain, good for a workout!

hiking
2 months ago

Had time for a 2.5 - 3 hour walk/hike/run and this fit the bill. Did the clockwise loop that started with an open landscape but eventually I got to some shade about 1/4 of the way through. Finished at 2:38 after taking a few short stops to enjoy the view along the way. Running along the river was awesome.

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