Enchanted - Mcclintock Spur Professional Reviews and Guides
"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"
--Tracy Salcedo-Chourre, Best Easy Day Hikes: Boulder (Falcon Guides).
"The Enchanted Mesa / McClintock Nature Trail loop offers some of the best of Boulder hiking. It's an easy, well-maintained trail (spiced with a few steep sections, both up and down) that meanders through a lovely wooded area and features great views of the high plains and the famous Flatirons. The loop is ideal for young ones, given its length and relatively easy inclines."
--Tracy Salcedo, 12 Short Hikes in the Boulder Foothills (Falcon Guides).
Early September was hot this year in Boulder so I began my hike around 9am. I parked my car at my favorite trailhead parking lot at NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research). To me, this is the best place to access the Mesa Trail. From the Mesa trail you can easily reach almost any other Boulder trail. From the NCAR trailhead you not only begin the hike without having to squeeze your car into some not-for-parking spot (there is plenty of parking) but you begin the hike with one of the best views of the city of Boulder. I chose to hike toward Chautauqua on this particular morning since I already knew the hike toward Eldorado Springs in the other direction pretty well. When I came upon the McClintock Trail I decided to take it and see where it led me. I had been through here several times over the years but had never noticed this trail before. No dogs are allowed according to the signs but this is Boulder and the first hiker I saw had two very well behaved dogs with him. There were a few morning joggers on the Mesa Trail but no one seemed interested in the Enchanted Mesa so I had it all to myself although I did pass 2 adults with their two kids going the opposite direction. I was surprised to see that this trail is really a trail for learning and reflecting as much as it is for hiking. It is an excellent trail for kids since there are all sorts of little signs identifying the differences in Fir trees and what causes the little pine cone-like growths on some of the trees. I enjoyed my hike along this trail but it ended so quickly, I guess I was not taking my time and reading all of the signs. I returned to the Mesa Trail via the Enchanted Mesa Trail and followed it back to NCAR. The wole hike took no more than an hour and a half. If I had started this hike from the Chautauqua trailhead it would have taken less time and thus been easier for taking the kids.
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