With warmer weather, trails aplenty in Boulder and surrounding areas
For a town that considers hiking to be a sport, there are enough trails in Boulder to make your head spin. Here at The Campus Press, we sifted through numerous guidebooks and compiled a list of three favorite hikes. Consider these hikes next time you need to take a break from studying.
This trail, known for incredible views of Boulder, offers a quick, heart-racing hike. Watch out for training endurance runners and be sure to look for people bouldering alongside the trail. An afternoon on this trail offers a glimpse of active Boulder life at its best.
-Access: Mt. Sanitas Trailhead on Mapleton Avenue just west of Boulder Community Hospital Mapleton Center at 4th Street and Mapleton Avenue.
-Length: 3.2 miles
-Elevation gain: 1400 feet
-Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
-Trail Description: Start at the trailhead, staying to the left on the Mount Sanitas Trail. You can either turn around at the summit, or continue in a loop, heading north on the East Ridge Trail into the Sanitas Valley.
There are many places to start the Mesa Trail, which runs from Chautauqua Park to Eldorado Springs. Begin your hike at NCAR to avoid some elevation gain.
-Elevation gain: 1400 feet to Mallory Caves
-Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
-Trail Description: From the parking lot, head west on the Walter Orr Roberts Nature Trail to the intersection of the Mesa trail. Here, turn south, heading on the Mesa Trail for as long as you are comfortable. If you are feeling adventurous, continue on to the Mallory Caves.
First Flatiron Trail
Climbers often brag about climbing the Flatirons. The hike between the 1st and 2nd Flatirons offers the same bragging rights and a lot less expensive equipment. At the top, beautiful views of Longs Peak and the Indian Peaks Wilderness area await. Be sure to bring a camera to capture the views and a good attitude and endurance for the steep elevation gain.
– Access: Chautauqua Park at 900 Baseline Road.
– Length: 4.7 miles round-trip
– Elevation gain: 2700 feet
– Skill Level: Difficult
– Trail Description: Hike begins on the Chautauqua Trail. Continue on this trail until the intersection with Bluebird Mesa Trail, following until a sign to the First Flatiron. Continue over many switchbacks, following the trail, staying to the right. Keep hiking to crest over a hill to a false summit between the first and second flatiron. Pass a left-hand turn for Saddle Rock and continue to the true summit and beautiful views.
These are just a few of the many trails in Boulder. Start exploring and you’ll be sure to find hikes that are your personal favorites. Before heading out, be sure to pick up a trail map of the area. Always check the weather and bring sufficient clothing, food and water. Weather can change quickly in Boulder, so be prepared.
Contact Campus Press staff writer Kathleen Straney at firstname.lastname@example.org.