Hiking in Boulder, Colorado

Completely surrounded by dedicated open space, Boulder, Colorado is a hiking paradise. No matter what type of hiker you are, you'll find the perfect trail within easy reach. To the west are the Foothills of the Rocky Mountains with wooded trails and winding paths. To the east are the plains of Colorado with smooth trails and open vistas. From the paved Boulder Creek Path to the rough & tumble Walker Ranch trail, you'll find a path for relaxing and another to challenge even the most ardent outdoorsman. Boulder is a fitness mecca, and its trail system is sure to please all levels of hikers.
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Boulder Creek Path with a loop
Boulder Creek Path with a loop
Boulder, Colorado, United States (2.5 miles away)
Easy: 7.1 miles, 1-3 hours
Enjoy America's #1 recreation town by bike. This path starts in the plains, goes through town and ends in the mountains.

In a town that loves its trails and alternative forms of transportation, the Boulder Creek Path is the perfect defining landmark. This trail also symbolizes the state of Colorado since it start in the plains and ends in the mountains; it also runs through both rural and urban landscapes. This trail is also commonly known as the Boulder Bike Path...
Meyers Homestead Trail
Meyers Homestead Trail
Boulder, Colorado, United States (5.3 miles away)
Moderate: 5.2 miles, 1-3 hours
This trail is part of the Walker Ranch Open Space area southwest of Boulder, Colorado.

The Meyers Homestead Trail is located nine miles southwest of Boulder, Colorado. To reach the trail from Boulder, you will drive west on Baseline Road until you get to Chautauqua Park. You will continue on this road, but the name changes to Flagstaff Road and it begins to climb quite steeply. Once you reach the top of Flagstaff Road and begin downhill,...
Dirty Bismarck Loop
Dirty Bismarck Loop
Superior, Colorado, United States (7.0 miles away)
Moderate: 12.1 miles, 1-3 hours
This mountain bike version of the famous Morgul-Bismarck bike race course, is a great loop trail near Superior, Colorado

Also known as the "Happy Meal Loop," the Bismarck Dirty Loop was completed in 2011 with the addition of the Meadowlark Trail section. This trail is easily accessible by Colorado Front Range trail users and is an especially enjoyable mountain bike trail. Although challenging in a couple short sections, in general the Bismarck Dirty Loop is not a very...
Hall Ranch Trails including Bitterbrush Trail and Nelson Loop Trail
Hall Ranch Trails including Bitterbrush Trail and Nelson Loop Trail
Lyons, Colorado, United States (13.6 miles away)
Difficult: 5.9 miles, 1-3 hours
The Bitterbrush and Nelson Loop Trails are fairly difficult mountain bike routes that form a lasso trail near Lyons, CO.

Unlike many of my other trail guides, this one is definitely a little more strenuous and technical. If you are riding a bike, prepare for steep climbs and rapid descents. There are some tricky corners and numerous rocks and roots in the trail. There is also great scenery, lots of wildlife, and a heck of a roller-coaster ride. Although this trail is...
Blue Lake
Blue Lake
Ward, Colorado, United States (17.1 miles away)
Moderate: 5.3 miles, Half day
A hike within the Roosevelt National Forest

There are a couple of Blue Lakes in the Colorado front range. This one is located in the Roosevelt National Forest north of Nederland, near the small community of Ward. It is a fabulous hike in which you will encounter two major lakes (Mitchell and Blu) and several other streams and small ponds. Ther is abundant wildlife and flowers that offer some...
Devil's Thumb Pass
Devil's Thumb Pass
Nederland, Colorado, United States (17.7 miles away)
Moderate: 13.3 miles, Full day
Devil's Thumb Pass from the Hessie Trailhead

The hike to Devil's Thumb Pass is a wonderful hike for those who are able to make the journey. Although there are other, much shorter routes to the pass, none offer the scenery that you will encounter on this particular route. It is rated as moderate due to the length of the hike and the fact that you will ascend approx. 2400 feet (add another 800ft...
South Boulder Creek Trail
South Boulder Creek Trail
Boulder, Colorado, United States (3.1 miles away)
Easy: 3.2 miles, 1-3 hours
Follow the beautiful South Boulder Creek past grazing cattle and spot wildlife of all kinds on this marvelous trail.

It's not easy being a trail on the edge of America's most fit community. You get a lot of use. But it's not just humans that make this trail popular. Critters of all sorts populate South Boulder Creek and its companion trail. It's not unusual to see deer, coyote, dogs, cows, geese, and many smaller birds. On this particular trip, the author of this...
Heil Ranch
Heil Ranch
Boulder, Colorado, United States (9.4 miles away)
Moderate: 7.6 miles, 1-3 hours
Enjoy biking, hiking, or horseback riding on the Wapiti and Ponderosa Loop Trails at Heil Ranch northwest of Boulder.

Boulder has not been voted America's #1 Outdoor City for nothing. Heil Valley Ranch Open Space is one of the many reasons for Boulder's worldwide reputation. Although the name of this guide is Heil Ranch, the two trails featured here are the Wapiti Trail and the Ponderosa Loop trail. Together, they form what is known as a lasso trail. This trail...
Walker Ranch Mountain Bike Ride
Crescent, Colorado, United States (6.9 miles away)
Classic ride west of Boulder, CO

This is a classic ride west of Boulder, CO. It is mostly intermediate with some advanced sections. Follow Flagstaff Road for about 7.5 miles from Boulder and you will come to the Walker Ranch Loop Trailhead. But since I am based in Denver, I will describe the directions from the Crescent Meadows Trailhead off of Gross Dam Road. To get to the trailhead...
Broomfield/Louisville Loop Trail
Broomfield/Louisville Loop Trail
Louisville, Colorado, United States (7.8 miles away)
Moderate: 11.7 miles, 1-3 hours
Enjoy this loop trail that meanders along creeks, beside a pond, through pumpkin fields and over Colorado hills.

This trail wanders through the communities of Louisville, Broomfield, and Lafayette, Colorado. Most of the ride is on open space trails, but portions of it also utilize Dillon Road and S. 120th Street. There are three good trailheads from which to access this trail, and each trailhead is in a different one of the three communities mentioned above....
Miller Rock 4x4 Trail
Miller Rock 4x4 Trail
Raymond, Colorado, United States (13.8 miles away)
Difficult: 9.2 miles, Half day
Mix of easy and difficult terrain. Popular hiking area.

Lesser used area is entirely land locked by private property except where forest road enters between houses. Fun, challenging terrain. Great views from top of Miller Rock. Popular hiking area. Good for unlicensed vehicles except no place to park at start. Drive in 0.1 miles to small spot. Trail is open all year, weather permitting. You can exit through...
North Table Mountain Park Mountain Bike Guide
North Table Mountain Park Mountain Bike Guide
Golden, Colorado, United States (16.2 miles away)
Easy: 6.1 miles, 1-3 hours
Relatively new trail system near Golden. A good trail if you want something short and relatively easy.

This is a relatively new trail system just built north of downtown Golden. It is fairly short and nontechnical but does offer a climb and some singletrack. It's a good ride if you are short on time and want something easy. Directions to trailhead: From west Denver, drive 12 miles on 6th Avenue going west. At the intersection of 6th Ave, CO-58 and...
Centennial Cone - Early Season
Centennial Cone - Early Season
Rainbow Hills, Colorado, United States (17.3 miles away)
Mountain bike ride near Golden, CO

This is a description of the Centennial Cone trails minus the Elk Range trail (it is closed from Winter to mid June due to elk calving). For a full Centennial Cone ride description, please see my Centennial Cone guide. Drive 8 miles up Golden Gate Canyon Road. Turn left at the Centennial Cone sign, and go about 2 miles to the trailhead parking, north...
Centennial Cone Mountain Bike Guide
Golden, Colorado, United States (19.9 miles away)
Moderate: 16.4 miles, 1-3 hours
Mountain bike trail west of Golden, CO

This is a relatively new trail that opened several years ago. It is about 10 miles west of Golden yet seems to be far more remote than its proximity to Golden. It offers great views over Clear Creek Canyon. Although not a technically difficult trail, there are some steep drops off of the trail where you may get hurt if you aren't paying enough attention...
Sand Creek Regional Greenway
Sand Creek Regional Greenway
Denver, Colorado, United States (22 miles away)
Moderate: 13.5 miles, Half day
Ride the 14 mile long Sand Creek Regional Greenway trail.

The Sand Creek Regional Greenway is a jewel in the necklace of trails that has made the metro Denver area a national model for linked trail systems. This 14-mile public greenway connects the High Line Canal in Aurora with the South Platte River Greenway in Commerce City. Along the way, it passes through Denver and the new Stapleton community. The...
Longs Peak / Chasm Lake
Longs Peak / Chasm Lake
Meeker Park, Colorado, United States (23 miles away)
Difficult: 15.6 miles, Full day
15.6 mile trail near Meeker Park, Colorado

Longs Peak / Chasm Lake is about 15.6 miles long and located near Meeker Park, Colorado. The trail is great for hiking and normally takes a full day. Nice challenging, yet very rewarding hike! I started the hike at 5:05 A.M. and summited at 8:19 A.M. This is far from the recommended time frame that should be allowed to summit and return due to drastic...
starting hike! Photo
a little farther up... Photo
looking at flatiron Photo
pit stop #1 Photo
Devil's Thumb Big Loop Trail
by coloradojohnsons on Jun 19, 2011
Boulder, Colorado, United States
Hiking | 8.4 miles (3.2 miles away)
This is one of my favorite Boulder hikes ~ lots of elevation gain ~ at a fast pace this hike takes 5 to 6 hours ~ wonderful views ~ wildlife ~ lush healthy plant life ~ wildflowers everywhere! ~ a fantastic hike ~ advanced with technical spots
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Great Dog Friendly Hike
by coloradojohnsons on Aug 21, 2010
Boulder, Colorado, United States
Hiking | 2.8 miles (3.2 miles away)
A perfect hike for dog owners; completely dog friendly.  Fantastic views of the 'Flatirons' and 'Devils Thumb' from directly underneath it.  This is a portion of the Shananhan Ridge Trail; at average hiking pace this hike takes between 1.25 - 1.75 hour(s).
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Eldorado Canyon Trail, Colorado State Parks
by jimlarkey on May 17, 2011
Eldorado Springs, Colorado, United States
Hiking | 5.8 miles (5.9 miles away)
An easy hike, in a Colorado State Park.....Eldorado Canyon Trail.  Our goal to reach the Walker Ranch junction was cut short by distant thunder and lightning.  But we were rewarded with a trip to Agave Mexico Bistro & Tequila House in Boulder, and a stop at GoLite's warehouse sale.
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royal arch (Boulder, Colorado, United States) Photo
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royal arch in the snow
by tbregman on Apr 08, 2009
Boulder, Colorado, United States
Hiking | 4.9 miles (1.3 miles away)