Top 5 Best Hikes in Boulder

20170917_105254This is a list of my top 5 favorite hikes in Boulder with descriptions and directions, ranked from 1 to 5. Some of the hikes include both a short and a long hike or an alternative easy hike depending on your preference.


1. Walker Ranch Loop Trail EL: +1737’ Driving directions to Ethel Harrold trailhead Trail Map

Description: Water falls, wildflowers, creek, beautiful rock formations, overlooks
Notes: Free parking

  • Short Trip (2.5 miles): From Ethel Harrold trailhead, head south until you reach Eldorado Falls and return to Ethel Harrold trailhead
  • Longer Trip (7.7 miles): Do full Walker Ranch Loop
  • Alternative Easy Trip w/ similar scenery (5.4 miles): Meyers Homestead Trail

2. Green Mountain Trail EL: +2500′ Directions for bus or car to Gregory Canyon Trail Map

Description: Fields, wildflowers, beautiful rock formations and cliff wall, overlooks
Notes: $5/car parking fee

  • To hike Green mountain loop (5.5 miles) from Gregory canyon trailhead, take Gregory canyon trail, to Ranger trail, to continue on Ranger trail, to E.M. Greenman trail, to saddle rock trail to return to Gregory Canyon trailhead.
  • Alternative Easy Trip w/ similar scenery (2.6 miles): From Realization Point go North on Range view trail, then stay left to stay on the boy scout trail. Make sure to look out at Artist’s point at .8 miles. The continue east for .5 miles to flagstaff summit east. Return the way you came or cut south west across the parking lot to take the Ute trail back.

3. Bear Peak Trail EL: +3018’ Directions for car or bus to NCAR trailhead Trail Map

20170917_105254Description: beautiful jagged rock formations, overlooks, wildflowers
Notes: Free Parking

  • (7.7 miles) from NCAR, take the Walter Orr Roberts trail to its end, then take the trail down the hill to where the trails branch, where you can take:
    • Bear Canyon -> Bear Peak W Ridge -> summit (4 mi one-way)
    • Fern Canyon -> summit (3 mi one-way)
  • Alternative Easy Trip w/ similar scenery (2.7 miles): Mallory Cave Trail

4. Mount Sanitas Trail EL: +1348’ Directions for bus or car to Centennial trailhead Trail Map

Description: beautiful rock formations, overlooks
Notes: Free roadside parking

  • Short Trip (3.3 miles): From Centennial trailhead, take Mount Sanitas trail to east ridge trail to Sanitias valley trail
  • Longer Trip (5 miles): From Centennial trailhead, take sunshine canyon trail to lion’s layer trail to Sanitas valley trail

5. Royal Arch Trail EL: +1400′ Directions for bus or car to Chautauqua Trail Map

Description: beautiful rock formations and arches, overlooks, creek, waterfall
Notes: Free Parking

  • Short Trip (3.5 miles): From Chautauqua trailhead, take bluebell road to royal arch trail head and return
  • Longer Trip (4.1 miles): From Chautauqua trailhead, take Chautauqua main trail to 1st and 2nd flat irons then visit flatirons and return then take connecting trail to royal arch and return to Chautauqua trailhead.
  • Alternative Easy Trip w/ similar scenery (2.5 miles): 1st & 2nd flat irons trail

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