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Best trails in Boulder

48,743 Reviews
Looking for a great trail near Boulder, Colorado? AllTrails has 177 great hiking trails, trail running trails, mountain biking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. If you're looking for the best trails in Rocky Mountain National Park, we've got you covered. You'll also find some great local park options, like Boulder Open Space or Genesee Park. Just looking to take a quick stroll? We've got 73 easy trails in Boulder ranging from 0.6 to 20.1 miles and from 5,114 to 9,183 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
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Map of trails in Boulder
Top trails (177)
#1 - Royal Arch Trail
Boulder Open Space
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(4928)
Length: 4 mi • Est. 2 h 37 m
Start on Chautauqua Trail by the ranger station. After crossing a grassy meadow, you enter a pine forest. Start paying attention to signs for Royal Arch as a number of other trails branch off. You know you're going the right way when you get to the flagstone staircase. This trail offers many rewards! The destination, Royal Arch, is a local favorite. Many, many stairs to the top for this geological wonder! Great views of the jagged, rugged, Flat Irons & the open valley of Boulder, CO. Highlights include wild flowers, rock formations, steep inclines, birds of prey, and an initial well-packed baked earth entry trail.Show more
#2 - Mount Sanitas and Sanitas Valley Loop Trail
Boulder Open Space
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(2218)
Length: 3.2 mi • Est. 2 h 8 m
While parts of this hike are dog friendly, dogs are not allowed on the Lions Lair section of the trail. A wonderful "desert like" hike with great rock formations, vistas of Boulder CO, and rock scrambling if desired. The terrain varies from open meadows and wild flowers, to rugged boulders and projected rock outcrops. If parking lot is full, roadside is allowed. Show more
#3 - Chautauqua Trail
Boulder Open Space
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1790)
Length: 1.2 mi • Est. 46 m
This trail basically serves as the first "in-trail" that leads to many other popular hikes in the park such as the Flat Irons and Royal Arch. It is wide, well traveled, and slightly inclined, with valley (Boulder CO) vistas, wild flowers, and great upward views of the jagged Flat Irons. Show more
#4 - First and Second Flatirons Loop
Boulder Open Space
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1489)
Length: 2.5 mi • Est. 1 h 59 m
Note: As of November, 2020, the 1st/2nd Flatiron Trail will be closed from 8 am to 4:30 pm every Monday through Thursday into the fall while repair work is completed. Climbers may access the First Flatiron and then climb down through the project area, with delays possible. For more information, please see https://bouldercolorado.gov/osmp/temporary-closures#:~:text=1st%2F2nd%20Flatiron%20Trail%20work,project%20area%2C%20with%20delays%20possible. The flatirons are striking, tilted, sandstone rock slabs that form Boulder's beautiful backdrop. There are five distinct flatirons on the western side of Boulder. The route on this page takes you to two of the most popular. This seamless transition from urban to wilderness is why people love Colorado. The mountains of the Boulder Open Space loom over Boulder inviting people to come explore. There are two trailheads for this route. The route shown on this page has the hiker starting at the Chautauqua Trailhead. A little to the east is the Enchanted Mesa Trailhead. This trail can be quite rocky, and there is some scrambling involved. In the winter, this route is much more difficult requiring spikes and route-finding experience.Show more
#5 - Green Mountain West Trail
Boulder Open Space
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1585)
Length: 4 mi • Est. 1 h 38 m
Please note: The Sacred Cliffs at 7,978 feet are closed until August 1st due to nesting raptors.Show more
#6 - Mallory Cave
Boulder Open Space
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1107)
Length: 2.4 mi • Est. 1 h 31 m
NOTE: The cave itself is permanently closed to reduce human contamination that can cause white-nose syndrome in bats. This hike starts at the NCAR parking lot. Head west to the Mesa trail and cross it by the information sign. There are lots of offshoot trails, be sure to follow the signs to the final 100 ft rock climb. If there is no ice or snow proceed up to the cave.Show more
#7 - Walker Ranch Loop
Walker Ranch Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1054)
Length: 8.2 mi • Est. 4 h 19 m
NOTE: As of October 2020, there may be trail closures due to local wildfire activity. 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.Show more
#8 - Bear Peak via the Shadow Canyon Trail
Boulder Open Space
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(866)
Length: 8.1 mi • Est. 4 h 17 m
The trail starts out very easy with well maintained walking trails. As you progress deeper and higher the terrain increases in difficulty; to the point of being slightly technical. The trail gets fairly challenging on the last mile or so before summit. Beautiful scenery from start to end. Vast meadows sprawling with wild flowers to forests with towering evergreens to rocky boulders of great size. There is a $5 fee for parking.Show more
#9 - Gregory Canyon, Range View and Flagstaff Trail Loop
Boulder Open Space
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1077)
Length: 3.6 mi • Est. 2 h 16 m
This is a great moderately challenging loop with excellent views throughout. The trail is steep but generally well-shaded through the Flatirons. Most of it consists of single-track trail, except for a brief stretch along an old roadbed near the top of Gregory Canyon Trail. There are rocky steps on both the Flagstaff and Gregory Canyon portions of the trail. Trails in the area are open to dogs but closed to bikes. Note: Parking adjacent to the loop requires a fee unless your vehicle is registered in Boulder County. Parking is free on the weekdays. Offline map is recommended. It can be easy to take a wrong turn onto the wrong trail.Show more
#10 - Green Mountain Loop
Chautauqua Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(768)
Length: 7.2 mi • Est. 4 h 11 m
Note: There are no dogs allowed on the last mile **of the clockwise route**. If you want to take your dog to the summit ascend via the counterclockwise route or go clockwise and then use the E.M. Greenman Trail to cut across to the counterclockwise limb and ascend to the summit that way. A popular peak hike providing views of the Indian Peaks and Boulder. From Chautauqua take the Meadow Trail to the bridge at the Gregory Canyon Trailhead. (Parking Fees apply on weekends and holidays in the summer). From here either way is fun. Clockwise is a little steeper, but the uphill part is more in the shade and the views are refreshing on the way up. Go up Amphitheater, then upper Saddlerock, then EM Greenman to the peak. Enjoy the views on a clear day and head down the West Ridge Trail, to Ranger, to Gregory Canyon Trail, back to the bridge, then back Baseline Trail to Chautauqua. For an extra workout, go back on Bluebell-Baird, otherwise head down the baseline trail to the trailhead.Show more
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