Walker Ranch

Boulder County, Colorado

Distance7.8mi
Elevation Gain2,167ft
Trailhead Elevation7,227ft
Top7,343ft
Elevation Min/Max6438/7343ft
Elevation Start/End7227/7227ft

Walker Ranch

Walker Ranch is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Boulder County, Colorado. It is 7.8 miles long and begins at 7,227 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 7.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,167 feet. This trail connects with the following: Meyer Walker Connector and Eldorado Canyon Spur.

Walker Ranch Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Afoot & Afield: Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Rocky Mountain National Park (Wilderness Press)
Alan Apt and Kay Turnbaugh
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"This is a truly mellow family trail that climbs gradually to a sweeping overview of Boulder Canyon, with the Indian Peaks in the distance. You will immediately enjoy grassy, rolling meadows, wildflowers, and stately stands of aspen and pine. Any round-trip distance on this trail is worthwhile. It is generally an easy doubletrack mountain biking trail, with only a few steep climbs. It commemorates homesteaders Walker and Meyers, who settled here in the 1800s." Read more
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Denver and Boulder (Menasha Ridge Press)
Kim Lipker
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"Walker Ranch has two popular hikes, and Meyers Homestead Trail is definitely the laidback sibling of the Walker Ranch Loop. This peaceful hike travels along a spacious fire road through aspens, meadows, and ponderosas. It even travels back in time, passing by an old homestead. A jogging stroller glides right along and gives Mom and Dad quite a workout, thanks to a gradual climb that gets the blood flowing." Read more
Hiking Colorado's Front Range (Falcon Guides)
Bob D Antonio
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"This popular hike leads around the old homestead of James Walker. Beautiful views, excellent wildflowers, and good fishing along South Boulder Creek are the main attractions on this hike. Fly fishing is excellent along several sections of South Boulder Creek." Read more
Best Hikes Near Denver and Boulder (Falcon Guides)
Sandy Heise and Maryann Gaug
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"The Walker Ranch Loop trail is the longest trail in Boulder County’s Walker Ranch Open Space, which has 3,616 acres of meadows, mountainous terrain, and riparian habitat, with South Boulder Creek ?owing through its southern sections. It’s a beautiful setting with excellent trails for hikers, anglers, and other recreationists. On hot days, you can dip your feet into the cool, sparkling waters of the creek, picnic along its rocky banks, or walk amongst wild?owers, taking in views of the Indian Peaks to the west and the Plains to the east. The Loop trail winds in and out of forest, along the creek, and up and down ridges to provide a hike that is full of variety and a nice level of physical challenge. You won’t be bored!" Read more
Best Loop Hikes Colorado (The Mountaineers Books)
Steve Johnson & David Weinstein
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"This popular multiuse trail travels over moderate elevation change and through wide, open valleys and dense woods, and moseys along a rushing creek. It’s a wonderfully maintained trail, perfect for all abilities. The area is offset far enough from Boulder to feel isolated, but its proximity makes it a favorite among the city’s flourishing outdoor community. From the trailhead, we are immediately led southwest on the wide South Boulder Creek Trail. The trail makes one long switchback past an abrupt column of rock formations as it heads south through sweeping grasses, yucca, and cacti. Spacious views, in large part due to the 1000-acre Eldorado Fire in 2000, expose an eastern glance to the backs of Boulder’s signature Flatirons and the rolling green hills of ponderosa pine that lead west. The path descends quickly past an array of informational signs concerning the flora and fauna of the area, as well as a detailed explanation of the fire that created the scraggly reminders of a once resplendent forest." Read more
Best Dog Hikes Colorado (Falcon Guides)
Bob D’Antonio, Maryann Gaug, Stewart Green, Linda B. Mullally, and Tracy Salcedo-Chourré.
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"This popular hike leads around the old homestead of James Walker. Beautiful views, excellent wildflowers, and good fishing along South Boulder Creek are the main attractions on this hike. Fly fishing is excellent along several sections of South Boulder Creek. From the trailhead, go through the gate and begin a nice descent to South Boulder Creek. The Walker Ranch Loop Trail follows an old road and passes several rock formations on the right. At the bottom of the hill, cross a small stream and then go right along beautiful South Boulder Creek. The trail goes upstream to a bridge. Cross the bridge and go left up the steep hill. Crest the steep part of the hill, where the trail bends to the right, and enjoy excellent views to the west. This trail is extremely popular with mountain bikers, so be aware of their presence, especially on weekends." Read more

Walker Ranch Reviews

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9/9/2009
Fantastic loop, that can be taken both Clockwise and Counter. I prefer to ride it counter, which starts you off on a fantastic downhill, just be careful for walkers & dogs, once at the bottom, you will start a moderate but tiring climb. Once at the top, you enter an open spot, with a parking lot, this is where the real fun starts!!.. 2 miles of the best downhill you will ever ride!.. you are gonna want to ride this trail again just for this downhill section. This is followed by a short portage down some very steep steps, followed by another moderate climb back to the trail head. www.mountainbikemayhem.com Ride Safe
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6/29/2009
Great Ride! Some serious up hill and some great technical downs.... not a beginner trail
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7/19/2008
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7/4/2008
Beautiful country, varied terrain, very well maintained trail. There is one steep section that has built in steps, that descends to the river. It took us closer to 4 hours to walk with a short lunch break. The trail was not that crowded even though it was a holiday weekend. The wild flowers were great.
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11/14/2006
Marshall Mesa is a great running trail especially with the recent addition of single track on the lower northwest section.
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1/1/2001
Take lots of water, Walker is steep downhills followed by steep uphills, you'd better be in shape. Although its demanding it's got a good amount of technical aspects and wonderful singletrack in parts. It gets three stars because the hike on the stairs and how physically demanding it is. The riding itself would get 5 stars.
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Walker Ranch Photos

Trail Information

Boulder County
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate
Skill Level
Walker Ranch, Boulder County Open Space
Local Contacts
Boulder County Open Space Walker Ranch; Latitude 40° Boulder-Nederland Trails
Local Maps