I'd Hike That

There are SO many options when it comes to hiking in Boulder.  We are suckers for the hikes that are a bit shorter (2-4 miles), won't kill you but still provide a good workout, and have awesome mountain and city views.  Here are our top picks for the summer! 

Sanitas

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Parking: There is a parking lot at the Centennial Trailhead. If you can't find a space there, there's some street parking available if you head east on Mapleton. 

Location of trailhead: On Mapleton Avenue, a half mile west of 4th St (right side of the street). From the Parking lot, take the trail which crosses the street and keep left at the fork to follow the Mount Sanitas Trail. 

Distance: 2.2 miles If you take the Mount Sanitas Trail out and back or 3.1 miles if you do the loop (Mount Sanitas trail up and East Ridge trail to Sanitas Valley trail down)

Difficulty rating: Moderate to difficult: We describe this one as the "stair stepper" because it's a pretty consistent climb and burns the whole way up.  The Sanitas Valley trail down is a bit easier on the knees than the out and back option.  

Why we love it: It's a great workout, dog friendly, and has fabulous views of Boulder from any direction. Beware that most of the trail is exposed, while this makes the hike more aesthetically pleasing, it also makes for bad sunburns.  Bring sunscreen!

Royal Arch

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Parking: you can park at Chautauqua Park and there are also surrounding neighborhoods where you can park on the street 

Location of trailhead: Chautauqua Park Trailhead. Start by walking towards the Flatirons on the Chautauqua trail and then follow signs to Royal Arch. 

Distance: 3.4 mile out and back trail

Difficulty rating: Moderate to difficult: A lot of this trail is rock stairs, which can be difficult for those with shorter legs.  It's relatively steep for the majority of the trail.

Why we love it: Beautiful views of the flatirons during the hike up and a panoramic view of Boulder at the top! Plus, there are usually plenty of people around to take a photo for you at this iconic rock formation.

Green Mountain

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Parking: There is only street parking, but plenty of it. You will see people parallel parked on Flagstaff near the trailhead. 

Location of trailhead: Flagstaff Rd, Boulder, CO 80302. It's just past Lost Gulch Overlook and Artist's Point. It will be on your left hand side and can be easy to miss, as there is no parking lot. 

Distance: 2.7 miles out and back trail

Difficulty rating: Moderate: It's a steady ascent from the start to the middle, with a rocky steep section to the top of the trail-- also, for the best photo-op you have to climb a "boulder" of sorts (pictured here).  

Why we love it: This trail is mostly shaded and has lots of wildflowers. The ascent is quick and you get a 360 view (including the city and the Continental Divide).

Anemone Hill

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Parking: Try the Settlers Park lot at the intersection of Canyon and Pearl St.  Take Canyon west and the turn off to Pearl is on the right side.  The lot is tucked behind some trees on the west side of the street.  If the lot is full, you can park anywhere in the surrounding neighborhoods-- just be sure to check the street signs for any parking restriction.

Location of trailhead: The trailhead can be found if you follow the cement pathway from the parking lot through the trees towards the mountain.  Follow the signs to Anemone Trail (it connects with Red Rock Trail).

Distance: 2.4 miles out and back trail

Difficulty rating: Easy to Moderate: This trail is flat to start and gains elevation slowly.  The very last section to the top is rocky and more steep, but there are places along the way to stop and take pictures or rest.  

Why we love it: It's a pretty easy ascent for the majority of the trail, with lots of open space and views throughout. The "summit" has a 360 view of Boulder and the Rockies.  Also, it's a little less populated than a lot of other trails in Boulder!


Comment below with your favorite trails in Boulder (or surrounding areas)... We'd love to hear from you!

Morgan WilsonComment