Best Hikes in Boulder

Locals tell us which hikes are there favorite escapes from reality.

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sunset behind the Flatirons with a creek snaking through a green field

5 Best Hikes in Boulder

Boulder is known for its hipster vibes and proximity to the outdoors. You can find all sorts of activities to undertake while you're in this magical town. If you're looking for some supreme hikes while you're in the area, these are the ones that locals tell us are the best.

1. Fern Canyon

Number one on our list of best hikes, this hike brings you up close and personal with the amazing backdrop of Boulder, the Flatirons. The trail starts at Mesa Trail and ends at Bear Peak where you can see the Flatirons in their full glory, the Continental Divide, Bear Canyon, Green Mountain and of course, Boulder. Make sure you bring a snack, water and a camera to give yourself ample excuses to stop and rest to take in the surrounding views!

The rocky mountainside lined with evergreen trees in fern canyon boulder colorado for dirt road travels
Fern Canyon, Boulder

2. Green Mountain West Ridge

The Green Mountain West Ridge Trail is the smoothest ascent to the peak of Green Mountain. Dog friendly and not very crowded, this trail meanders through tall pines and takes to the summit where you can view the mountains as they stretch into the distance as well as Denver and Boulder! It isn't too long (~2.5 miles) so it would be perfect for an afternoon stretch after enjoying a great lunch in town, or even a morning hike to start your day with some fresh air!

Look at other local recommendations of hikes in the Rocky Mountain National Park

a view of an object from the top of green mountain in boulder for dirt road travels
Green Mountain, Boulder
Need a lunch spot? Try one of the local favorites! Il Pastaio Blackbelly Market or BASTA

3. Sugarloaf Mountain Trail

This is your sunrise spot. A short, steep but sweet trail (1.4 miles), Sugarloaf Mountain Trail will give you a view that cannot be beat. If you are not a morning person, the 360 degree views allow for the sunset to be equally as remarkable. Bring your companion, human or otherwise (dogs are welcome!), and make the trek up to take in the beauty that is Boulder. The trail head is only 15 minutes from downtown Boulder so you can make the trip in no time!

view of mountains peaking through the clouds from the top of Sugarloaf Mountain
Sugarloaf Mountain, Boulder

4. Mt. Sanitas

If you're interested in a little longer of a trip, Mount Sanitas Valley Trail is your trial. Still not terribly long, the 3.3 mile trail takes you a little farther from civilization and towards beautiful wildlife. The red path in contrast with the green surroundings make for a lovely landscape as you climb to the top breathing in the mountain air. Locals recommend you make the trip in the morning before it gets too busy!

panoramic view from the Mount Sanitas Trail, blue skies, green trees and mountains in the background
Source: Alltrails

5. First-Second Flatiron Trail up Green Mountain

The First-Second Flatiron Trail up Green Mountain takes you through a green meadow and up to the notch between the First and Second Flatirons. The burn in your legs will be rewarded by the astounding view from the top as you gaze at the sharp peaks that surround you. Pro Tip: make sure you make your way to the back side of the peak to take advantage of all the sights.

Hungry for more? Check out the spectacular hike to Caribou Lake.

A view of the flatirons on the wya to green mountain in boulder colorado for dirt road travels
Flatiron Trail/Green Mountain, Boulder
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