Best Hikes in Boulder, CO


Bradee Felton

January 31, 2024

Checking out Boulder, CO and looking for the best hikes? Located just 45 minutes from Denver, Boulder is a stunning hiking area if you are visiting Denver and don’t want to spend hours in the car to access the trails. It’s also very special to me personally as I did my first ever Colorado hike in Boulder back when I was a total newbie! Whether you are new to the hobby, or a seasoned hiker, these trails are great for getting outside and into the scenery around Boulder! 

1. We’ll start off with one of the most popular Boulder Hikes – Mount Sanitas! This loop is a little over 3 miles long but it is a thigh burner! You’ll get a great sweat going but with views and scenery that are worth the effort. It’s one of the more fun (well, type 2 fun) trails that has stair-step style terrain. The area is popular for trail runners and rock climbers as well! I would recommend taking the little spur on the way down called Dakota Ridge, which takes you through a beautiful forest area and lands you right back at your original trailhead. When you look at the AllTrails loop linked above you will see the labeled trail that’s parallel to the listed route coming down off Mount Sanitas! 

2. Now let’s get to one of my most nostalgic hikes in Colorado – The Flatirons Loop in Chautauqua Park! This is where it all started for me, and I still absolutely recommend it to this day. It really is a beautiful and fun hike filled with diverse views and comes in just under 3 miles. The rolling meadows that have gorgeous wildflowers in summer offset the craggy and unique rock formations that make up the Flatirons. There are parking fees, however, there is free weekend shuttle service that really helps to avoid the crowded lot. While you are in Chautauqua, another really fun and scenic hike is Royal Arch which is about 3.5 miles RT. If you’re looking for the iconic Colorado layers-of-mountains views then definitely check out Green Mountain West on the backside of the Flatirons (accessible via Flagstaff Road). This hike is right at 4 miles RT and even has a rock cairn at the top with a bronze sculpture that labels the gorgeous mountain skyline in the distance!

3. The last, and certainly not least area we’re going to cover that’s accessible from Boulder is Eldorado Canyon State Park! There is a shuttle service which I’d recommend if you’re visiting during a summer weekend and be sure to check out the website to go over park fees, reservations, and timed entry passes. Note that in early summer there are partial trail section closures due to nesting Golden Eagles – info available on site as well. Now let’s get to the fun stuff! There are two hikes that you will for sure want to check out. The first is Eldorado Canyon Trail which is about 6.5 miles of absolutely gorgeous scenery. The second is Rattlesnake Gulch Loop which clocks in at right around 3.5 miles. If you are looking for a complete guide to the park, including other recreational activities and recommendations, check out my full Eldorado Canyon State Park blog post!

I hope that if you visit Boulder you’re able to make the most out of this beautiful place! There really are a ton of different hiking trails to check out, and while I listed my favorites here, I highly recommend searching more in the area with AllTrails+, which lets you customize your search for things like total hike distance, difficulty, kid-friendly, or features you’d like to see, such as waterfalls! This is my go-to app when planning hikes and I want to share a FREE month with you of Alltrails+! Use code: BRADEE at this link and start searching other epic hikes for the summer!

Lastly, if you are looking for some workouts tailored to feeling strong on the trails, check out my Free Week Off Workouts!

Happy + Healthy Trails,


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