Hiking Boulder’s Marvelous Mesa Trail
The Mesa Trail is the kind of trail where you’ll want to keep your eyes open. It’s a trail where you’ll get incredible views of the Flatirons and a chance to see a lot of wildlife. Other than the dogs you will probably see on the trail (because the trail is dog-friendly), you’ll see falcons, songbirds, coyotes, deer, and red-tailed hawks. Black bears and mountain lions have also been spotted in this area as well, but it’s highly unlikely that you’ll encounter either of these ferocious beasts on your trip to the Mesa trail.
The trail itself runs along the base of the foothills and brings you fairly close to the bottom of the flatirons in some spots. In the trail’s 6.7 mile length, you’ll walk through arid fields, dense pine forests, and encounter some very cool rock formations. You can start the hike at Chautauqua Park, or you can start with the opposing end at the South Mesa Trailhead. You’ll probably want to find transportation that will pick you up at the end of the trail, whichever end you decide that to be. Potentially, you could go both ways, but that’s only if you’re ready to hike the full 14 miles.
Overall, it’s an excellent trail for anyone looking for an easy-to-moderate hike. The trail is fairly exposed on the first mile of both ends of the trail, but the rest of it is pretty shady (despite the fact that the picture above makes it look like the entire trail has no shade). The trail also has a very minimal elevation gain, so you won’t have to worry about any particularly difficult sections.
Essentially, it’s really a great trail. You should definitely check it out.
Happy hiking, everyone!