Explore the most popular birding trails near Boulder with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

on Super Betasso

23 hours ago

Lots of intermittent shade. Good on a hot day. Bikes.

It’s a very nice trail !!

"Stairmaster Sanitas" is a great place to get a very real workout in. We are in decent shape and climbed up Sanitas and went back around the valley loop trail within 2.5 hours. I would categorize this as "moderate to hard" given a few of the rocks you have to scramble over and how steep it is. While you can carry a child on a backpack up an down, it's not the greatest one to choose for that since you might have to shuffle a bit over rocks, etc.

hiking
1 day ago

Ended up here randomly after the line at Mitchel Lake was at least 30 deep and not moving to pay $10 to be crowded on that trail...

This was the first trail parking lot on the road to Rainbow lakes so I stopped around 2pm. This is a heavily forested hike that snakes upwards through several different layers of trees. I made it just past the 3.9 mark on the map before i turned around at 5pm. This was not a "Hard" hike by any means unless they were speaking of the length of the trail itself. This was the 23rd hike i did this season and I found this to be more "moderate." There were very few actual views through the trees and there is a site with ruins of some sort up by the environmental testing site. Lots of wood piles and old rusted metal cans and glass.

Minimal activity along trail. Secluded most of the hike.

Again seeing people just leave their bags of dog crap right along side the trail multiple times. Does someone come and pick this s-it up because it didn't seem like it. Why do people leave trash on the trail? Leave no trace? Disrespectful. Don't bring a dog if you can't clean up after your mess.

Was a good endurance hike. Would have gone further if i had started earlier. Gave it 3 stars because of the limited views and dog waste.

hiking
2 days ago

Definitely a challenging trail. I’m in good shape but being from a lower elevation, I felt pretty winded at times. With breaks I still took about 4 hours with a half hour break at the peak. The view was worth it for sure. Highly recommend getting an early start since the trail is in the full sun at the beginning.

Incredible trail with great views. Took a little over 7 hours but wasn’t really hurrying to get through the trail. Would definitely do again. Be sure to bring enough water.

This hike borders on moderate to hard. A fairly mild incline with a few steeper sections. We have run into a large bear on this trail so be alert and be prepared for what to do. We had to turn around the last time when the big guy would not back off and grant us passage.

Nice urban walk with lots of options to extend on adjacent paths. Definitely worth a visit when you are in town with a little time to kill.

Easy trail with amazing views of the Flatirons.

loved this trail. lake and mountain views all around.

I started up the Sanitas Valley Loop first. Beautiful views of urban Boulder and a smattering of homes in the hills. The moderate valley trail gives way to some steep inclines as it connects with the East Ridge trail. I was visiting from Atlanta so I had to catch my breath and steady my footing as the trail ascended. Had to get used to the change in altitude. Plan to take your time navigating the rocky, sometimes not well marked East Ridge trail if your new to it and out there alone. I got out early in the am and had a few hikers help me find the trail but I can see that this trail gets very well populated after mid morning. At the top of Ridge Trail I met some nice folks who directed me to Lion’s Lair trail just beyond the summit for a good trail run. This trail was pretty smooth and the decline makes for a steady tempo run. Don’t get too comfortable because the switchbacks will keep you on your game. Overall a fun trail to test your trail speed. The locals pointed directed me on how to go from the Lion’s Lair trail to a narrow barely there trail that runs parallel to Sunshine Canyon Dr. This trail led to me the Centennial Trailhead parking lot. Overall awesome experience for a trail runner who wants to mix it up with a hike and run.

The cows made my day! Nice views otherwise.

this incline is no joke! my poor pups paws were shredded after hiking these rocks. I ended up having to carry her 2 miles to the end. It was scenic but not as great as everyone makes it out to be.

hiking
7 days ago

This is a fun trail to go on with kids. No climbing involved and is very easy relaxed hike. We found wild garlic growing and this trail is awesome if you start at the North Boulder Recreation Center and circle all the way back. There are places to dip your toes in the water but we need to come when the sun is up otherwise it can get cold

hell yes

Potty your dog before coming or be prepared to carry poop! There aren’t any trash cans along the way. The hike was challenging at the end but doable with rest and worth it with the view. Hang in there and reap the rewards!

Very challenging, beautiful hike! Once you’re at the top there’s an option to hike down towards Sanitas Valley Trail via East Ridge Trail. There was a point along East Ridge Trail that we felt did not have ample signage as we ended up going down the mountain off the trail. Other than that this trail was awesome!

hiking
8 days ago

Very popular trail with runners running up and down, including a bare-footed guy! Love the red rocky path. Great view of Boulder along the path up and at the summit. It was a very clear day and we could see all the way to Denver.

Good views, well maintained, well trafficked but not crowded. Bicycle and hiking coexisting, runners and hikers, traverse s perimeters of hills rather than steep climbs. Often shaded/ tree lined trail. I plan to do this hike again. If lived closer it would be a staple.

A Boulder go-to. An easy and gradual climb to the top with the occasional short-lived steep sections. I keep returning to this trail because you largely avoid the crowds that flock to other trails in the Boulder area (Chautauqua, NCAR, Mt. Sanitas trailheads just to name a few). This trail can be a little more trafficked during the weekends but even at its most crowded, it's not unbearable.

It was so beautiful!! Near the end we saw the cows drinking from a pond close to the trail. It’s free for people who live in Boulder. If you don’t, you’ll have to pay a $5 fee. Just make sure you bring some cash. I didn’t but luckily my friend did.

“Not the size that counts but the motion of the ocean” lmao...ok ok but its perfect for this trail. Super short but alot of motion. Bout an hour drive from denver w construction traffic so bring lunch and enjoy it with the misty roar from the falls.

hiking
9 days ago

This is a great hike. I would call this the long slog to the top. We took Mesa via Towhee to Shadow Canyon to Bear Peak. Really beautiful views at all levels of the hike. Ran into rain/hail going up and waited it out. it cleared for a bit and by the time we reached the saddle more fronts we coming in. The Summit scramble was quick and we got pounded again with hail/rain coming back down to the Saddle. Overall...it was an awesome hike with wonderful view. took us 7.5 hours round trip. Most of that was due to several breaks and a couple good pauses for sheltering from the hail.

Don’t make the dummy mistake that I did and pay an entrance fee! Half the “trail” is a back dirt road, with little to no shoulder to walk on, the other half is trail, with lots of smaller trails that allow you to wander. Worth a visit, definitely a decent distance walk. Lots of prairie dogs and wild flowers along the way!

Steepness was a bit more than expected. Id suggest going up the east ridge as it seems like it would be a bit treacherous to go down. Note that there are large steps that may make it hard for people who have any soreness in their knees. Great views at top!

hiking
9 days ago

Drive ~
Not worth the far drive up unless you are going to camp and stay overnight. Drive is windy and nauseating... very slow going. Dirt road to get to trail is terrible! Must have AWD or 4x4 to traverse. Single lane only in most places = treacherous and dangerous.

Trails ~
This was a moderate to hard hike. VERY rough and rocky. We went with kids and dogs and had a few stumbles and falls. Yikes.

Trail markings not really clear between off-roaders/4x4 and hikers. We were nearly run over several times because we were on an incorrect pathway.

No bathrooms or public use areas which I had read in another review there was some. The one area that looks like you can access is actually private property and says no trespassing.

Regardless of these concerns, the scenery was nice and the pines smelled lovely. We did have a fine time, dogs had fun and being in the trees was cool - lots of cover and shade. Probably wouldn’t go again just because of the drive time and treacherous nature of the off-roads.

Tags ~ kid-friendly, kids, dog-friendly, dogs, dogs on leash, hike, hiking, trees, nature

A lot harder than expected. I would rate this as moderate to hard. I hiked this on a sunny day, which probably made it a bit more difficult. Regardless, I would do this again but counterclockwise next time.

Great walk

One of my go-to faves, especially when preparing for the next 14er.

off road driving
10 days ago

First off-road in our newly acquired Jeep. Pretty easy overall and a good introduction to off-roading.

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