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

I did this hike on my own, on May 4th, it was a gorgeous day, it was a little hot and the trail is quite strenuous so make sure to bring a lot of water. South Boulder Peak is accessed from the Shadow Canyon Trail, which can be difficult to find. Start on the Mesa Trail, which is just a fireroad, follow it for about a mile, mile and a half until you come to fork (there should be a trail marker) be sure to take the left fork towards Shadow Canyon otherwise you'll ended up just continuing on the Mesa Trail. Once you're in the Canyon, the trail gets steep, rocky and strenuous. Be careful on some of the larger boulders because they can be quite slippery due to wear from people hiking on them. The trail through the canyon is beautiful, it's shaded almost all day so you'll get a reprieve from the sun although it can get a bit chilly if there's wind. Once you get out of the canyon you'll find yourself in the saddle between Bear Peak to your right, and South Boulder to your left, from there it's about 600m to the top. The view from the top is gorgeous! To the east you look out over parts of Boulder and Highway 93; and to the west you look out over a valley onto Nederland and Eldora Ski Area, and onto the Continental Divide and Longs Peak; it's a very cathartic experience, especially being alone there. The view is incredible and totally worth it. Try and go on weekday, if you can it can get busy in the weekends, I had the whole trail and summit to myself it was wonderful.

Amazing views! A little slick with snow but worth it.

Fun and challenging hike. First 1/3rd of the hike is the roughest but after that is a breeze. Fantastic views and even saw a few Golden Eagles.

Great hike, very steep to start and there was a lot of loose rock but once you gain the elevation it levels out and is very beautiful.

Fun trail to hike! Beautiful views all the way up. Steady incline from the get go but easy hike overall.

Absolutely beautiful hike with all types of terrain! Great workout too!

We did this hike on May 5, 2018 and had a beautiful day for it. I've got to say it is very hard, but when you reach the top what an accomplishment! I'm a 49 year old woman of average fitness level and if I can do it, you can too. I would suggest paying close attention to the trail map so you don't add extra miles on the hike through the canyon. We took the Mesa Trail and connected to the Shadow Canyon Trail and that added several miles. Believe me, you do not need to add anymore miles to this hike! The steep ascent begins just after you see a little cabin next to a brook. from here on up to the top it is all uphill climbing up big rocks. We took lots of breaks to catch our breath. When you finally reach the saddle you can go right for Bear Peak or left for South Boulder Peak. From here it is a short scramble to the peak where you are rewarded with amazing views. At the very top there are chipmunks and lots and lots of gnats! I suggest you bring a lot of water. I had 2 liters and it was all gone just for the climb up. The climb down is equally challenging and if you have bad knees you will feel it here. All in all though, it was an amazing hike. You will really feel like you did something with your day. Don't be scared off by the hard rating. If I can do it. You can too!

Beautiful hike in the summer.

love this hike as it is a quick getaway with beautiful views, steady Incline but surprised it is rated as moderate I would call this easy.

hiking
17 days ago

Wild mix of elements. We saw 6-8” of snowing heading out and most of it melted away by the end. Made for some slick spots with snow falling and then melting so quickly. Awesome views!

Great trail for the family, not too intense. The trail gives you great scenery of el dorado canyon.

Amazing day hiking to bear peak and South boulder peak!!!!

Beautiful trail. Still pretty dry but I’m looking forward to going back this summer. Didn’t go all the way to the creek because we weren’t really up for the steep climb back, but there is a very pretty overlook just before heading into the canyon. You can see the snow capped peaks and it’s very beautiful.

Beautiful place and great hike. Went after a snowfall so it was a bit wet and slippery but well
Worth it. Would go again

hiking
28 days ago

Wildflowers are beginning to come out

$8 per car so bring friends. Beautiful hike. The top part of this trail is closed until July 15, 2018 but you can still hike to the continental divide view.

Did this hike 04/20/2018. Before getting to the entrance of the park, you drive very slowly through unpaved dirt road not leveled at all. The entrance to the park is $8 per vehicle. Once you enter the park the bathrooms are right at the entrance, no more bathrooms after that. The park is breathtaking. The hike is through canyons, steady incline going up, no climbing over rocks or difficult obstacles. I would rate this easy if you get tired just take more breaks. There is also a trail called Fowler Trail you can do after this hike. Fowler is a super easy trail, the views are amazing, plenty of places for pictures.

I loved all the different colors and scenery on this hike. Lots of different plants and flowers. The beginning of the trail was probably the hardest and strongest incline, after that it's fairly flat. There was some snow when I went and certain areas were kinda slippery so be mindful of the weather. Beautiful trail.

We ended up on this trail a little bit by accident. The parking lots at our first choice trail (Doudy Draw), just east of El Dorado Springs, were completely full. We arrived at the park around 10:30 am and parking was already tough. Remember to go all the way up to (or close to) the Visitor Center to start this hike. It’s very steep for the first mile and was annoyingly crowded, but the views get amazing quickly! We went up about two miles and the second mile was much more pleasant than the first. Definitely be careful on the way down as the gravel is very loose and I totally bit it. No snow, ice, or mud on the trail. It’s a great hike if you are in decent shape and the views are worth it but I wish we went earlier to avoid the crowds.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy walk with kids in tow and nowhere to go. Turned into a random scoot with pulsatilla, a falling down building, large irrigation pipes, climbing on boulders and eventual picnic at the end. Very pretty

Good gradual incline! Great views and not very heavy traffic!

Crowded today. Steady hike up to the ruins. The views were good. I guess one can easily be spoiled by Colorado's other scenic vistas, but neat none the less if this is your first time. Patches of snow and ice on the trail; quickly melted by the afternoon.

Wonderful hike great views along the way. Very dry not muddy at all! Enjoy

This review is on the trail done counter-clockwise. Beautiful scenery and small books perfect for a break or lunch (as we did). There were only small spots where the trail was muddy to the point of moving a few feet to the side of the marked trail. The highest point (where the climb to Bear Peak starts) has one of the best views. Then the best view upward is where you are halfway down Mesa and you finish the small switchbacks. Stop and look back. Beware it is extremely popular. We went on Easter Sunday mid morning and the parking lot was jam packed. We had about 10 runners and about 40-50 dogs...you do the math. Enjoy the views and the comradely.

I was just glad to see the trail was open this time of year. A lot of places in this area are closed due to the mud. Some of this trail was closed off due to the season, but it was still worth going. We liked that there was snow sporadically along the trail which made it a little more challenging with just sneakers on. I read reviews talking about the limited parking, but the gate keeper said that they let people know when it’s full which was comforting. We got lucky and got to park by the trail we wanted to go on, but you may not get as lucky as we did. Overall, we will definitely will be doing this one again to experience the entire trail during season.

Fantastic hike! Challenging and fun hike! Trail is in great shape!

trail running
1 month ago

Great trail to run. Starts and ends steep, more hiking then running. Wasn’t that muddy, only a few snowy parts after the snow fall. Really nice overlook of the Denver skyline 2 miles in or so.

I'm a little late getting my review up. I went on 3/20/18, and it was great. A few snowy patches leading up to the canyon, but once I got into the canyon there was still snow on everything but it had snowed the day before so I was expecting it, even with the snow the trail was relatively easy to follow. There was only 2 other sets of footprints in front of me so I followed those till one got off trail, thankfully she found her way back and we made it to the top together. I'm glad she was there, from the saddle up was 6in.+ of untouched snow so we plowed through that doing our best to follow the blazes, i only wish i brought my gaiters, i brought micro spikes hoping to use them but my boots had enough tread i didn't need them. Made it like 10ft from the highest rocks on South Boulder Peak and started hearing thunder, got to the top and looked west to see some pretty ominous clouds, took some pictures then high tailed it outta there.
If the other woman wasn't there I wouldn't have made it all the way, she ended up saying the same thing as we were headed down. Proud of us. hah
It was a great hike, I just wish I could've spent more time enjoying the summit.

We went to the right to start the loop and went counter clockwise. The views we're great, and there is a bit of hard hiking on Shadow Canyon portion. The trail was extremely muddy in parts, enough to nearly pull my shoes off. There is a creek at the top of the canyon, which was a great break for the pup after walking thru a lot of sun.

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