Try Walker Ranch for Your Next Fall Hike or Bike
Located just past the summit of Flagstaff Mountain, a short scenic drive from downtown Boulder, this large Boulder County Open Space park sports over 10 miles of trails as well as fantastic natural and cultural history. Check out Walker Ranch on BoulderCounty.org
The Walker Ranch Loop is a 7.8 mile loop that meets South Boulder Creek multiple times and takes you through diverse terrain of a foothills ecosystem. From singletrack sections through thick pine trees to sprawling meadows complete with views from all directions, this trail will take you on quite a journey.
The best part about this trail is that you can make several different hikes out of it. There are 3 different trailheads that are along the loop as well as a connection trail into Eldorado C anyon State Park. For instance, anglers may choose to only hike to the river, so they would start at the main trailhead on Flagstaff Road and hike about a mile down (heading west) and get to South Boulder Creek or they could start at the Ethel Harold Trailhead and hike about 1.25 miles down to the creek. Due to a very steep staircase down to the creek waterfalls along the trail the eastern section of the trail is not accessible to equestrians, however the rest of the trail is suited for horses.
Mountain biking is very popular on the loop as it has many technical features and isn’t quite as busy as many other local mountain bike trails. Dogs are also welcome but need to be on leash,wildlife is abundant here.
The park also has a 2.5 mile one way trail, the Meyers Homestead Trail, which has similar terrain but is more moderate of a hike. There is a 0.7 mile connector trail between the Walker Ranch Loop and Meyers Homestead Trail.
Four times a year, once every season, the Walker Ranch Homestead opens to the public for free so that visitors may learn about the history of the 1890’s homestead that James Walker once lived in. Interpreters are dressed in period appropriate clothing while doing historical chores like churning butter, washing clothes, and building furniture.
Currently, Flagstaff Road has a closure M-F from 8:30 am- 3:30 pm, so when headed to Walker Ranch plan accordingly.