This Weekend’s 7 Best Hikes in Boulder
Boulder is beautiful and has a great variety of hiking trails to choose from, ranging from beginner’s to more advanced. Try knocking off all of these hikes as it gets warmer!
1. Royal Arch Trail
Royal Arch Trail begins in Chautauqua by the ranger station–you’ll know that you’ve started on the right trail when you hit the flagstone staircase; there will also be some signs. This trail is 4 miles long and has a great view of the jagged, rugged, Flatirons & the open valley of Boulder. This trail is best utilized between March and October, and may be icy during the spring.
2. Walker Ranch
This 7.6 mile loop is a good happy medium; it’s not too difficult for those that aren’t experienced but still provides a challenge for veteran hikers. Hikers descend into South Boulder Creek, then finish off the middle of the hike with a steep staircase. If you’re looking to avoid the afternoon sun, descend counterclockwise instead of clockwise for a more shaded hillside.
3. Long Lake Loop
This is an easy hike meant to allow you to enjoy the views of Roosevelt National Forest. The first quarter mile or so of the trail is climbing, but this is the steepest the trail gets as it tapers off considerably after this. This trail is near the Pawnee Campground and Brainard Lake if you’d like to squeeze in a weekend of camping as well.
4. Sugarloaf Mountain
This unmarked trail is located at the convergence of the Sugarloaf Mountain Road and the dirt-road Switzerland Trail, just west of the parking lot area. The top of Sugarloaf Mountain boasts expansive city views to the east and mountain views to the west, giving you the full scope of Colorado’s landscape. Sunset hikes to the top are popular during the summer.
5. Green Mountain
This 3 to 4 hour hike connects to several other hikes in the area via Green-Bear trail once you hit the top of the mountain if you’re looking to extend this hike into a full day adventure. If you’re looking for a lesser used way to take this trial, try going up Chapman Drive (a dirt road converted to a non-vehicle hiking/biking path) and connecting to Green by crossing Flagstaff Road at Realization Point.
6. High Lonesome Loop
This is a difficult, all-day 15 mile trail that’s well worth the trouble as you’ll get a view of meadows overflowing with wildflowers just after the bridge over Jasper Creek, some stellar views at the top of the Continental Divide, and snowfields well into summer. Don’t be surprised if you see hikers with skis while you’re walking, as many die-hard fans utilize the snowfields year-round.
7. Boulder Skyline Traverse
This path is difficult and is not for inexperienced hikers, but Boulder locals love this spot. Luckily, if at any point the hike is too difficult for you, there are many areas where you can easily break off and return to the beginning. Once you’ve descended, celebrate finishing the iconic traverse by heading to downtown Boulder for a well-earned meal and beverage.