green meadows along trail leading to gregory canyon and green mountain ascent in chautauqua park hike in boulder colorado

Hiking Green Mountain Near Boulder

Green Mountain in Boulder, Colorado is a strenuous hike that offers fantastic views of the Front Range, Flatirons, and a wide panorama at the top of Green Mountain. The trails around Chautauqua park offer a several options to summit Green Mountain, letting you take your trail of choice, but in the trail profile below, we'll point out the most direct route. Explore the full Green Mountain hike profile below for trail map, driving directions, and all the details you need to conquer this hike near Boulder.

Trail Snapshot: Green Mountain via Gregory Canyon Trail

Green Mountain Near Boulder Trail Profile

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Parking was EXTREMELY busy when I visited on a Sunday morning, I had to park along Baseline road and many people were parking along residential streets. Don’t be turned off by this though, many come for the lower hikes, and visitors noticeably thin off as soon as you enter Gregory canyon to make your way up to the summit of Green Mountain. Gregory Canyon has its own trailhead parking area which requires a fee.

The 2013 flooding has closed the Gregory Canyon parking lot, but it's a small lot anyway and most hikers will need to park along the road as I did--unless you plan to hit the trail before 7am. You can also begin your hike at Chautauqua park, and take the ski jump trail to the bluebell trail which will lead you to the Gregory Canyon trailhead. This will add 1.2 miles round trip to your hike, but will afford you great views of the Flatirons at the beginning of the hike.

Another option is to park along Flagstaff road near Realization Point, and to completely bypass Gregory Canyon and take only the Ranger Trail up. However, this trail profile of Green Mountain will feature a loop hike taking the following trails: Gregory Canyon to the Ranger Trail to the Summit, returning via the E M Greenman trail, then back down via Saddle Rock for a total of around a 5.5 mile hike. See the map link above to get a visual of the route.

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Starting at the Gregory Canyon trailhead, you'll notice that the first portion of the hike is very sun exposed. However, the Gregory canyon and Ranger and Greenman trails are probably ~80% shaded. There is some flood damage from 2013 floods, but the trail markings have been updated and are very clear (just make sure you read all posts at each intersection). The Gregory Canyon trail, like many others in the Chautauqua park area, has an orchard-like aroma because of all the flowers and fruit growing along the trail.

I noticed several families with children hiked Green Mountain from the Flagstaff Rd parking area, but noted that the smaller kids had to be carried at some points.

For Summiting Green Mountain you have two choices, Ranger or Greenman. Ranger has more carved steps and is mostly switchback in nature. Greenman seems to be fewer switchbacks, in favor for a more gentle climb. For this loop hike, take the Ranger trail up, and descent via the Greenman trail.
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At The Summit of Green Mountain

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The summit of Green mountain gives you a panorama view to both into Boulder in the East, and to the Rocky Mountains in the West. There is a unique bronze disk set into the granite at the summit. It points out and identifies the different peaks in the distance. Most of the year, except in July through most of September, you'll be able to take in the snow-capped ridges and peaks of the Indian Peaks Wilderness area.

The Return Hike Down Green Mountain

Of course, you could descend the way you came, but why not take in some new trails and views. You can make this a loop hike by descending the Greenman trail. After about 1 mile, the trail will intersect with the Saddle Rock Trail. Take the Saddle Rock Trail back down to the Gregory Canyon Trailhead.
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We want to thank Joe Quintana, a member of our Dayhikes Pathfinder Team, who hiked Green Mountain, gathered the information for the trail profile, wrote portions of this post, and took the photos for this hike. Thanks, Joe!

Tips & Resources for Hiking Gregory Canyon to Green Mountain:

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hiker and child on mt bierstadt trail with mountains in background hike near denver

Mt. Bierstadt Trail on Guanella Pass

Summit a Fourteener, Mount Bierstadt, or go for an easy hike with your family high in Colorado's Rocky Mountains. In short, you've got options on this trail near the top of Guanella Pass. You can choose an easy stroll or a difficult hike. Explore the trail snapshot and profile below for hiking, camping, and trail map info.

Trail Snapshot: Mr. Bierstadt Hike at Guanella Pass

You've got options with the Mount Bierstadt trail. First, we'll profile the hike to the summit. Below that, you'll find some information on how to just explore the area with your family or friends, making this an easy hike high in the Colorado mountain.

Climb Your First Colorado Fourteener

Mt. Bierstadt is popular, not just because it's so close to Denver, but it's also one of the easier and more accessible of Colorado's 54 fourteen thousand foot peaks. The Mount Bierstadt trail can be accessed on the south side of Guanella Pass from the Mt Bierstadt trailhead (click here for map and directions from Denver). It's important to be aware that the weather can change in an instant in the mountains, and that snow can come in fast even in the late Spring and early Fall. As with any Day Hike, be sure to (at least) pack the 10 Essentials.

The Bierstadt trail is well marked; you'll follow signs down to a boardwalk, then to Scott Gomer Creek. After crossing the creek, the trail will become more steep, and the steepness will increase as you make your way to the summit. The trail winds gently through the tundra until you are about three miles in when the green and brown gives way to rock. Follow the west ridge up to the summit of Mount Bierstadt. For a detailed trace and profile of the Mt.Bierstadt route, see this Route #1 Bierstadt profile on 14ers.com.

hiker crossing creek below mt bierstadt near guanella pass with child in backpack carrier

Make it an Easy Family Hike

Hiking Colorado's Bierstadt trail doesn't mean that you have to summit. In fact, the first mile of trail is really tame. It takes you over a creek, through willows, and by two small high mountain lakes. If you want to gain additional views, you can add another half mile of moderate hiking that will take you above the valley floor.

We took our 4 1/2 year old, 2 year old with us in the Fall and they loved it. Dog's on the Mount Bierstadt trail must be kept on a leash and need to be kept 100' from water sources (in short, they aren't allowed to play in the lakes and streams). In fact, because we'd recommend that you leave Fido at home because of the fragile alpine tundra ecosystem. In August of 2012, Missy, a German Shepherd, was rescued after being stranded on the peak for eight days. You can read more about her ordeal and the rescue in this Denver Post article.

lake along bierstadt trail on guanella pass colorado hike

Camping Near the Mt. Bierstadt Trail

There are a lot of campground sites along both sides of Guanella pass that are managed by the forest service (fee required) and dispersed camping is allowed on US Forest and wilderness areas. Below you'll find a few important links to camping information for the Mt. Bierstadt and Guanella Pass Area.

Tips & Resources for Hiking the Mt. Bierstadt Trail:

  • TIP: Go Early; the parking lot at the Mt. Bierstadt Trailhead fills fast.
  • TIP: If you've never summited a 14er before, be sure to read this great article by Lindsey Koehler of 5280 Magazine.
  • TIP: If you plan to summit Mount Bierstadt, start early so that you can be back at the trailhead before the almost daily summer thunderstorms role in. I'd recommend starting around 6am, so that you're back at your car around 11am.
  • TIP: Hiking times vary. Those who frequently make the assault on Mt. Bierstadt (even trail run it), can make it up and back in 3 hours. The average is 5hrs, but adjust for experience and how good of shape you're in
  • After the Hike: Tommy Knocker Brewery
  • TIP: The weather will be cooler at the trailhead than the posted Georgetown, Colorado temperature below. It will be even cooler at the summit of Mt. Beirstadt.
  • Trail Map for Guanella Pass: Trail Map Link
  • Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions

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Devils Head Fire Lookout Hike

If you've not hiked to the top of the Devils head trail and climbed the 143 steps to the fire lookout, then I think you're not allowed to have one of those Colorado Native bumper stickers. The Devils Head trail is the classic Colorado Front Range hike and is just about an hour from the center of Denver. The views from the top offer a 360 degree panorama of mountains layered upon mountains. Scroll down to explore the trail profile and photos of one of the best hikes on the Colorado Front Range.

The Devil's Head Lookout Trail has been closed by the USFS for the duration of 2020

Devil's Head Lookout Trail Snapshot

Parking & Trailhead for Devils Head Hike

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This Colorado hike begins in a glade of tall aspens, some of the biggest we've seen this close to Denver. Then the trail meanders through some unusual rock formations until the trail opens into a high meadow where a quaint ranger cabin sits nestled in the trees. Up ahead and to your left, you'll see the red steps that lead to the Devil's Head fire lookout.

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The Devil's Head fire lookout is the only operational fire lookout in the state of Colorado and is over 100 years old, though the current structure was built in 1951. If you are a history buff and enjoy historical photos, check out these this site: Firelookout.org

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Bill Ellis and his wife have been operating the lookout for over 25 years, and many visitors remark that their discussions with Bill are the highlight of their trip. The Denver Post did a great piece on the Ellises and the fire lookout that is worth reading -
link to the Devils Head Article by the Denver Post.

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The views from Devil's head reveal features of Colorado's Front Range that are rarely discovered. My favorite is looking North down the spine of the foothills where red tinted rock formations push up from the peaks and resemble a chain of castles high above the forest.

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Pikes Peak dominates the landscape to the South. And the Western view from Devil's Head is riddled with the red mountains of the Tarryalls, Kenoshas, and Platte range. And there are few signs of civilization, at least not in the early morning hours when I took these photos.

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Tips & Resources for Hiking Devils Head

  • TIP: Go Early: Devil's Head is one of the most popular hikes on the front range. If you are hiking this on the weekend, try to get to the trailhead by 8am if you want a less crowded experience hiking Devils Head.
  • TIP: Go Even Earlier for photography: The rising sun lights up the front range, and you can see hundreds of miles of mountains from the tower on Devil's Head.
  • Camping: There is a USFS campground near the trailhead parking area. Some friends of ours have camped here and said it was a good experience. See the USFS Devils Head Campground site for details on camping and parking fees.
  • TIP: Rough Drive: The 10 miles of Rampart Range Road can be dusty and a real washboard experience. 2WD is sufficient and this road is kept in pretty good condition, but be prepared for a less than comfortable drive on your way to Devils Head.
  • TIP: Rampart Range Road is closed December 1st to about April 1st each year. You can call the South Platte Ranger District at 303.275.5610 to get the current status of the road.
  • TIP: Be Lightning Aware: The front range is notorious for its lightning strikes and this is the highest point. If weather is looking bad, play it safe.
  • Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
  • After the Hike: After the Hike: Obrien's Cafe in Sedalia
  • Trail Map for Front Range USFS: Trail Map Link

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waterfall in canyon with bridge in foreground fish creek falls waterfall in colorado

Looking for more waterfalls near Denver? Explore our more than 50 Colorado Waterfall Hikes, our favorite Waterfall Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park, or 7 Waterfalls within One Hour of Denver.



view of wide dirt trail at mount sanitas in boulder looking south to green mountain in boulder colorado ponderosa pine in foreground

Mt. Sanitas Hike Near Boulder

If you are visiting Boulder, this is a great Colorado hike. Mt. Sanitas gives you several trail options ranging from an easy stroll along a meandering brook to a demanding trail up the mountainside. Explore the trail profile below for all the info you need on this hike near Boulder.

Trail Snapshot: Mt. Sanitas Hike in Boulder

Mt. Sanitas offers three different hike options, ranging from the more difficult climb up the mountain, to an easy walk through a peaceful valley. Sanitas is Latin for "health", and this hike may either get you in better shape (the 3.1 mile loop), or restore your sanity (the easier options). If you are visiting Boulder, this is a great Colorado hike.

3 Hike Options at Mt. Sanitas in Boulder, Colorado

1 - The Mt. Sanitas Loop - 3.1 Mile Loop - Medium+

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This is the classic hike at Boulder's Mt. Sanitas, and it's the most difficult of the three hike options because it involves a series of log and rock steps that will leave your quads and knees either thanking your for the workout or aching for a couple days afterwards. Because of this, we would give it a Medium+ difficulty rating. The prize of this Front Range Hike are the views at the top. You'll be able to look down into Boulder and get some great views of Colorado's Front Range.

2 - Mt. Sanitas Valley Hike - 2 Mile Out-and-Back - Easy

Mt. Sanitas Valley Hike Near Boulder

Here's the easiest option; 1 mile straight up the valley and back. The two words that best describe the Sanitas Valley trail: idyllic and busy. Dogs run about and jump in the creek that runs along the beginning of the path, runners fly by, and families talk and stroll together. The trail rises gently at first, then goes into more of an incline. We took our stroller; it worked fine, but was tough pushing the kids up the last 1/4 mile uphill. We turned around just after the Dakota Ridge Trail junction, making it a 2 mile out-and-back hike.

3 - Dakota Ridge Trail at Mt. Sanitas - 2 Mile Loop - Easy to Medium

Mt. Sanitas Dakota Ridge Route
You'll find side trails running East/West off of the Sanitas Valley trail which will take you up onto the Dakota ridge, a hogback that boxes in the Sanitas Valley. You can make this an out-and-back hike, or turn it into a loop by hiking back through the valley (see photo above and the Mt. Sanitas Trail Map for the route).

Tips & Resources for Hiking Mt. Sanitas in Boulder:

  • Parking: This is kind of a no-brainer, but get to the trailhead early. I think we arrived around 8am on a Saturday and grabbed the last parking spot. However, we noticed that many people were walking to the trailhead from town, so there are other parking options.
  • No Shade: Bring your sunscreen; the trail is mostly exposed.
  • Lots of People: If you are looking for solitude, I'd recommend trying another hike. The Mt. Sanitas trail is essentially in Boulder, and its great location means that it's quite busy.
  • Trail Map for Mt. Sanitas Trail: Trail Map Link
  • Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
  • After the Hike: Ozo Coffee

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mountain goats near summit of mount evans colorado easy hike

Mt. Evans Summit Hike

Mount Evans is one of Colorado's Front Range Fourteeners, and like Pikes Peak, Mt. Evans has a road that takes you to a trail just a few hundred feet shy of the summit where you are likely to see both Bighorn Sheep and Mountain Goats. The key to exploring Mount Evans is knowing the stops along the way. View our full trail profile for a suggested itinerary. Explore the full trail profile below for all the details: hiking trails, trail map, and detailed directions to the trailhead.

Trail Snapshot: Mt. Evans Summit Hike

What it lacks in challenge Mt. Evans makes up in breathtaking panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains and opportunities to view wildlife up close. It isn't much of a hike, because you can summit this 14,265 foot peak in just a few minutes. Yet your trip to Mount Evans can include several stops at high mountains lakes, to view wildflowers, and to take in the expansive scenery (See our itinerary below). This is one of the best attractions near Denver for visiting friends and family, especially if you don't have the luxury or equipment to take them into the Colorado backcountry. The views are stunning and there is a good chance that you'll encounter wildlife that would usually require hours of hiking to see. Still, you are at fourteen thousand feet, so be aware of the effects of altitude, drink plenty of water, and keep an eye on the weather.

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Here is our suggested Mt. Evans Adventure Itinerary

  • Take The I-70 Route for a shorter Drive: Click for Directions
  • Take the a bit more scenic route: Click for Directions
  • First Stop, Echo Lake - We like to arrive here early in the morning when the water is like glass and before other visitors arrive. Check out our full profile on Echo Lake
  • Second Stop, Mt. Goliath - After passing through the toll booth, you'll begin a drive up the winding Mt. Evans Highway. After a few miles you'll encounter a nature center Dos Chappell Nature Center at Mt. Goliath. Stop here for a short wildflower hike and to take in the views. Click for Google Map
  • Third Stop, Summit Lake- Grey cliff bands drop to the base of Summit Lake. It's breathtaking. Keep your eyes out for Bighorn Sheep and Mountain Goats as well. Click Here for Google Map
  • Finally, the Summit of Mt. Evans.

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Tips & Resources for Hiking Mt. Evans Summit Hike :

  • A Better Itinerary? Because weather comes in during the early afternoon, we suggest that you start early, make a short stop at Echo Lake, then drive straight to the summit. On your way down, stop at Summit lake, then make your last stop at the nature center at Mt. Goliath.
  • Do consider altitude. We avoid bringing friends who are not in good health. Be sure to have your guests drink plenty of water, and make sure they have had a day or two to get used to the altitude in the mile-high city.
  • The Weather link below is for Idaho Springs. Weather at the altitude of Echo Lake may be very different, and Weather at the summit will definitely be different. Check this National Weather Service Link for more accurate forecasts.
  • Looking for a more challenging Hike? Try the Chicago Lakes Hike. The trail begins at the Echo Lake Parking Lot.
  • Trail Map for Mount Evans Wilderness: Trail Map Link
  • Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
  • After the Hike: Echo Lake Lodge

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Arthur's Rock Trail in Lory State Park

The Arthurs Rock trail in Lory State Park near Fort Collins, Colorado ends with a beautiful panoramic views. You'll pass through meadows, forest, then end your hike with a scramble to the top of Arthur's Rock. Dogs are allowed on a leash, just be sure to bring plenty of water as there are not many places to access drinking water.

Trail Snapshot: Arthur’s Rock Trail in Lory State Park

Arthur's Rock History

The place got its name from Arthur Howard who was the one who, along with his brother, Charlie, sold this piece of land. For more information on the history of Arthur's Rock and Lory State Park, visit this page.

Tips & Resources for Hiking Arthur’s Rock Trail in Lory State Park :

  • TIP: There is a visitor's center near the Lory State Park entrance.
  • TIP: At the summit of Arthur's Rock, there is a beautiful view of Horsetooth Reservoir and the Front Range available.
  • Trail Map for Lory State Park: Trail Map Link
  • Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
  • After the Hike: The Colorado Room
  • Photo: We would like to express our gratitude to Luci Westphal for sharing a great photo of her hike to Arthur's Rock at Lory State Park. Check out her video from this hike.

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view to the western rocky mountain from panorama point in corwina park hike near denver

Panorama Point Trail in Corwina Park

If you are fond of panoramic views, then the Panorama Point Trail in Corwina Park is what you may be looking for. At the top of this trail you will find a beautiful view that looks out to the mountains and the plains. This medium-difficulty hike also lets you hike along a babbling brook. Check out our snapshot below for a trail map, driving directions to the trailhead and more details.

Trail Snapshot: Panorama Point Trail in Corwina Park

Corwina Park has two different trailheads, an east parking lot and a west lot (I don't believe they are named this way--it's just the geographic location). Hiking from the west lot (second lot you come to driving from Morrison/Denver), provides the shortest hiking route. The trail here follows a seasonal brook; its sounds and the shade from the trees make this a pleasant approach to Panorama Point.

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Tips & Resources for Hiking Panorama Point Trail in Corwina Park:

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O Fallon Park Trails

hese hiking trails near Evergreen, Colorado weave through the Bear Creek area in O'Fallon Park. It's a great place to launch into the Bear Creek Canyon area. Because there are a lot of options, be sure to download the trail map and look over the five different trail options listed below in the hike profile. Scroll down for the full O'Fallon Park Trails profile and to find driving directions, pdf map, and full trail details.

Trail Snapshot: O'Fallon Park Trails

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O'Fallon Park is part of a series of Jefferson County and Denver Mountain Parks that are connected by Bear Creek and the Bear Creek Trail. Quartz riddles the trails and butterflies alight on flowers along the five trails that weave through the park. The O'Fallon Park picnic area is right beside Bear Creek and plenty of shade provided by the Ponderosa Pines that cover it.

Fishing at O'Fallon Park may get you some rainbow and brown trout!

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Trails at O'Fallon Park

1- Meadow View Loop (2.5 miles): We actually hiked this as an out-and-back from the lot up to the vista. Great views up there, but be ready for a steady gain in elevation. It's some work, but it's worth it.

2- Panorama Point - (1.3 miles out-and-back)

3-West Ridge Loop - (3 miles)

4- Picnic Loop (1.3 miles): Stays closer to the picnic areas and makes for a nice easy walk with the family before or after lunch.

5-Bear Creek Trail - This trail runs 7 miles from Pence Park parking lot to the Lair o' the Bear Park lot. Medium in difficulty and a mountain biking mecca.

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Tips & Resources for Hiking O'Fallon Park Trails :

  • TIP: This is another park that can fill quickly on the weekends, but it's mainly the picnic areas. It's not necessary to go early, but it's not a bad idea.
  • TIP: Keep alert for mountain bikers, especially on the Bear Creek Trail. Most of the other trails are hiker only.
  • TIP: Bring a picnic breakfast or lunch.
  • O'Fallon Park Trail Map: Trail Map Link
  • Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
  • After the Hike: Beau Jo’s Pizza

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Streamside Trail Bridge in Eldorado Canyon State Park

Eldorado Canyon State Park Hikes

Eldorado Canyon State Park is a hiking and climbing Mecca tucked into the Front Range near Boulder and Denver, Colorado. In this hiking profile of Eldorado Canyon, we quickly give you the 4 main trails and some tips for your time in the canyon. Explore the full trail profile below to get all the details.

Trail Snapshot: Hiking In Eldorado Canyon

Eldorado Canyon is an oasis just about 45 minutes from Denver. Kids will love hiking over rocks along the streamside trail, peering into caves, and gazing up at the climbers on the towering canyon walls. The park features one of the best picnic areas in the state with shallow areas of boulder creek which quickly fill with kids. Close attention is needed in any situation involving water and children. South Boulder Creek can be swift, especially after rains and during the early melts. During these times, the canyon gushes and roars. The sounds are as great as the views.

Fishing at Eldorado Canyon State Park could potentially yield you fish that are eight inches to an average about eight inches to about twenty inches long. For a more detailed guide on fishing here, check out the one at Colorado Parks and Wildlife here.

There is no camping at Eldorado Canyon State Park, although there are nearby areas to do so.

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4 Trail Options in Eldorado Canyon State Park

#1 - The Streamside Trail is the shortest (.5 mile one way) and follows close to the sides of the creek and canyon walls.
#2 - The Fowler Trail takes you .7 miles (one way) and provides great views of the canyon.
#3 - The Rattlesnake Gulch Trail is more difficult, traveling 1.4 miles up to the ruins of the Crags Hotel that burned to in 1912. Another trail goes from the hotel another .8 mile loop and features a view of Colorado's continental divide.
#4 - The Eldorado Canyon Trail is the longest, 3.5 miles (one way), eventually intersecting with the Walker Ranch Loop Trail.

Tips & Resources for Hiking Eldorado State Park:

  • Go On a Weekday: Eldorado Canyon is a climbing mecca and can reach capacity on the weekends.
  • Picnic: There is a great picnic area at the back of Eldorado Canyon, so pack a lunch or dinner for after the hike.
  • Driving Note: Take care in driving through the town of Eldorado Springs, there are many bikers, pedestrians, and pot holes!
  • After the Hike: Ozo Coffee in Boulder, Colorado
  • Trail Map for Eldorado Canyon State Park: Trail Map Link
  • Climbing in Eldorado Canyon
  • Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions

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baby mountain goat on mount evans colorado more easy hikes