Best Easy Day Hikes Boulder  by Tracy Salcedo-Chourre

Best Easy Day Hikes: Boulder Guide Book

by Tracy Salcedo-Chourre (Falcon Guides)
Best Easy Day Hikes Boulder  by Tracy Salcedo-Chourre
Best Easy Day Hikes Boulder includes concise descriptions and detailed maps for nineteen easy-to-follow hikes in and near Boulder, Colorado. Discover an abundance of trails in and within sight of the Flatirons, explore the high country to the west— from the red-rock cliffs of Eldorado Canyon to Flagstaff Mountain—and venture onto the prairie setting of the Sage and Eagle Trail Loop.

© 2011 Tracy Salcedo-Chourre/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Easy Day Hikes: Boulder" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 23.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 23.

Sparkling under a bower of stately cottonwoods, South Boulder Creek is the focus of this pleasant flatland hike. The Bobolink Nature Trail section of this easy romp along South Boulder Creek is named for an elusive songbird with distinctive male plumage that includes a yellow cap on the back of his head. While it’s not likely you’ll see the bird, hiking through its habitat of prairie grasses and riparian shrubs makes for a pleasant outing. Interpretive signs on the nature trail describe the diversity found along the route. With suburbia encroaching on all sides, the existence of rare plants and animals in this strip of wildland, and the robust health of the ecosystems it supports, has resulted in its designation as a protected natural area by the state of Colorado.
Boulder, CO - Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 2.6
This easy, partially wheelchair-accessible, well-maintained path circumnavigates the summit of landmark Flagstaff Mountain and showcases Boulder’s urban and wild sides.Looking east from Flagstaff Mountain, the high plains spread to the horizon, painted wi
Boulder, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.2
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When you think of Boulder, no doubt mountains spring to mind, but the fact of the matter is, the city lies mostly on the flats—flats that are every bit as beautiful as the highlands but in a very different way. Though civilization encroaches on portions of this hike, when you drop into the draw near the pond at the loop’s eastern end, you are embraced by unadulterated high prairie. The grasses wave gold or green, depending on the season, and are thick with wildflowers in late spring and early summer. Birds dip to drink or swim at the pond, and the rounded summits of the foothills line the western horizon. With a bit of luck you will find yourself alone here, and with a bit of imagination, you can transport yourself back to a time when, rather than sprawling suburbia, this was all there was along Colorado’s Front Range. The trail described here links the Sage and Eagle Trails in a relatively flat, easy loop. The path follows a well-maintained roadbed that is used by the rancher who still runs livestock on the property. In addition to domestic animals and prairie dogs, migratory waterfowl and other birds, including raptors, frequent the property.
Boulder, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.8
A nice trail system, including an interpretive boardwalk, rambles through a wildlife habitat built around ponds that were once gravel pits. In a world where it often seems that nature is losing out to development, the Walden Ponds Wildlife Habitat and nei
Boulder, CO - Fishing,Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 1.4
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This gentle loop encompasses tumbling South Boulder Creek, the historic Doudy-Debacker-Dunn House, and the interface of evergreen woodland and tallgrass prairie in lower Shadow Canyon.
Eldorado Springs, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.25
Awesome views and rugged terrain combine beautifully on one of the most challenging and rewarding day hikes in the Boulder area. Though not quite a mountaineering adventure, the challenging terrain of Gregory Canyon demands focus, and you’ll work hard to
Boulder, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.7
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Boulder’s famous Flatirons form the backdrop for this mesatop ramble, with open prairie views spreading east on the downhill side. A swath of high prairie just south of the Boulder basin buffers the mountain front and the signature Flatirons from development on the flatlands. A network of hiking and multi-use trails crisscross the grassland, including this lovely little loop. The trail names say it all.
Eldorado Springs, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 2.4
The Boulder Creek Greenway Path is Boulder’s busiest, most colorful recreational passageway. This short hike begins at the mouth of Boulder Canyon and ends downtown, looping back via a short jaunt along the Pearl Street Mall. If people on foot were consid
Boulder, CO - Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 2.6
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Rabbit Mountain whispers of the wild west. It is raw and scrubby and drenched in sunshine, inviting and aloof, plain and starkly beautiful. Once the winter refuge of Arapaho Indians, it now welcomes hikers and mountain bikers seeking a solitude that can only be found outside of the city—even an outdoorsy city like Boulder. The park straddles the interface between the high plains and the mountains, and while its steepness is born of the high country, the dry, high-desert scrub that dominates the flora along the Little Thompson Overlook Trail gives it more of a lowland feel. The overlook itself offers views down into the canyon carved by the Little Thompson River, and across the high plains to the north and east; on the return journey, the views are of the Front Range stretching away to the south, and occasional glimpses of the snowy peaks of the Continental Divide to the west. Watch for raptors overhead; the trails are subject to seasonal closures between February 1 and July 31 to protect nesting birds. Also, be aware that rattlesnakes are common here; they generally avoid contact with humans, and will only strike if cornered or threatened.
Boulder, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
Once the site of extensive coal mining activity, Marshall Mesa now harbors prairie grasses (and prairie dog colonies), wildflowers, a nice loop hike, and great Flatiron views.
Eldorado Springs, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 2.75
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Views from the windswept summit of this foothills peak sweep west to encompass the arc of the Continental Divide and east onto the high plains. The top of Sugarloaf Mountain is exhilaratingly exposed—a jumbled hump of talus that drops away precipitously o
Boulder, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 1.4
Views from the summit meadow of this short loop are among the best in Boulder’s backyard, ranging west to the Indian Peaks; south to the back side of Flagstaff Mountain and the Flatirons; and east to Boulder, Denver, and surrounding plains. With about hal
Boulder, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.1
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If male pattern baldness could strike a peak, Bald Mountain would be a textbook case. The ponderosa forest that circles its base is like the fringe of hair that often circles a shiny pate; the few trees that adorn the colorful meadow at the apex of the trail are those last, proud shoots that sometimes sprout from a denuded scalp. Lest the analogy trouble you, this is a remarkable place (as bald men are often remarkable people). Wind, seasonal weather extremes, and coarse, shallow soil have conspired to make the summit of Bald Mountain a tough place for a forest to take root. This relative lack of fruitfulness has its advantages, however; the views from the summit are among the best in Boulder’s back yard, ranging west to the Indian Peaks, south to the backside of Flagstaff Mountain and the Flatirons, and east to Boulder, Denver, and surrounding plains. A thoughtfully placed bench in the shade of some ponderosa pines is a perfect spot for contemplation.
Boulder, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.25
Follow the old “Crags Boulevard” to the remains of the Crags Hotel, enjoying views of surrounding rock-climbing walls as you ascend and of the Continental Divide from the hotel site. The hotel stood on this spot for four years before it was destroyed by fire. Patrons reached the hotel in automobiles via the “boulevard” that now serves as the Rattlesnake Gulch Trail, by taking a funicular rail line, or by riding the Moffat Railroad from Denver ($1 round-trip), then taking a horse-and-buggy ride from the rail stop down to the hotel. An interpretive sign at the site describes the hotel’s grandeur and demise.
Eldorado Springs, CO - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 2.8
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Broad, green meadows, thick aspen glens, and the clear waters of a mountain stream shelter this gently ascending route to a viewpoint overlooking the snowcapped peaks of the Continental Divide. To have homesteaded in this rugged high-country valley would
Boulder, CO - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 5.2
The focal point of this scenic and popular path is the beautiful meadow that sweeps down from the base of the First Flatiron. Springtime in the meadow brings forth a wildflower display that rivals any along the Front Range.
Boulder, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.5
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Easy, scenic, and friendly, the trail circling Wonderland Lake borders a wildlife sanctuary and skirts the base of the Dakota Hogback. Like a familiar neighborhood stroll, the trail around Wonderland Lake wraps you in ease and comfort. The perfect choice
Boulder, CO - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 1.75
This sweet little loop boasts wonderful interpretive signs and gorgeous views, making it a great option for families with young children and anyone interested in the weather that affects the Front Range. The wheelchair-accessible Walter Orr Roberts Weather Trail is the perfect introduction to foothills hiking for visitors to the area. For those who need more distance, the trail links to the Mesa Trail and the wonderful trail system that branches off from this artery. A number of viewpoints with interpretive signs line the figure-eight path. The signs describe the sometimes fierce and always interesting weather along the Front Range, including Denver’s infamous “Brown Cloud,” chinook winds, snow, flooding, and thunderstorms. NCAR and the trail perch on a ridge overlooking Bear Canyon, which drops steeply to the south. To the east, beyond the striking architecture of the NCAR building, the high plains present a panorama that shimmers with the silver of development and the gold and green of prairie grasses.
Boulder, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.4
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Find relative seclusion just minutes from downtown Boulder on this easy hike in the Sanitas Valley, with the Dakota Hogback forming a natural barrier between the parkland and an adjacent historic neighborhood. The Dakota Hogback, the first significant rise of the Rocky Mountains, is a fixture of the mountain backdrop along the Front Range. In Boulder the hogback is overshadowed by the Flatirons, but the rolling ridge gains prominence as you move north, beginning here in Sanitas Valley at the mouth of Sunshine Canyon. The hogback ridge forms the east wall of little Sanitas Valley, with Mount Sanitas forming the western border. The valley is narrow and sloping, watered by a seasonal stream and ditch, and site of wildflower blooms in spring and summer.
Boulder, CO - Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 2.3
A perfect outing for families, this interpretive trail tours a mountain meadow in the shadow of the hogback north of the Boulder city limits. Though Heil Valley Ranch is just one hogback ridge west of the high plains, it has a surprising alpine feel. Hiki
Boulder, CO - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.6
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