Best Trails in Boulder
1. Royal Arch Trail
Royal Arch Trail is a popular 4 mile trail in Chautauqua park. To get to the trail, you’ll start on Chautauqua Trail and continue until the trails branch off. Follow signs for Royal Arch Trail–you’ll know you’ve started on the right one when you hit the flagstone staircase. This trail is good for hiking and running, and also allows leashed dogs.
2. Chapman Road and Tenderfoot Trail
This is a great, easy 2.5 mile loop. Chapman Road is relatively uncovered, so be sure to bring sunscreen, while Tenderfoot Trail is more shaded. If you start the trail at Boulder Canyon Drive there will be less traffic, but there is more of an uphill hike at the beginning. This trail is best for hiking and running, and birdwatchers will get a great view as well.
3. Mount Sanitas Peak Trail
This 2.6 mile out and back is an extension of the very popular Mt. Sanitas & Sanitas Valley Loop. This trail has a faster hike to the summit than the other trails have and offers rock scrambling (if desired), a steady ascent, projected outcrops, and a “desert-like” baked earth terrain. Dogs are allowed on-leash.
4. Shanahan Ridge Trail
Shanahan Ridge Trail is a 3.7 mile loop that can be adjusted in length and time as there are many forks that can take you on various versions of the trail. There’s a moderate ascent throughout the trail, but should still be manageable even for a novice hiker. The trail is dog friendly so long as they are leashed.
5. Mallory Cave
While the cave itself is closed to prevent the disturbance of the bats living there, this hike will take you to the mouth of the cave in different ways depending on the season. The winter months, generally November to March, allow for bouldering and rock climbing routes that are closed in the summer months.
6. Bear Peak Trail
Bear Peak Trail is a long but relatively easy hike, with the last mile or so before the summit becoming more challenging. There are beautiful 360 views of Boulder at the summit, but since it is fairly icy you will likely need spikes to complete the trail at the summit.
7. First and Second Flatiron Loop
This loop is popular for even novice hikers, but there are plenty of places to go off road and scramble and explore some more rugged terrain. This loop stays very icy through until the middle of summer, so it’s best if you get spikes–you can rent in town for as little as $5 if you don’t already have a pair.