walks in boulder

7 Of The Best Walks In Boulder

Boulder in Colorado is one of the most beautiful places in the country with sweeping mountain ranges, plunging canyons, and more. There are countless walks in Boulder that are worth doing, ranging from strenuous hikes to short but beautiful jaunts. Focusing on walks that are easily accessible for everyone and don’t take hours to complete, here are seven of the best walks in Boulder.

Walks in Boulder

1. Chautauqua Trail

Length: 1.2 miles
Average duration: 50 minutes

This moderately challenging trail is a wide, well-travelled route that’s a popular starting point for other hikes in Chautauqua Park. Despite being the shortest and easiest walk, it’s a great excursion if you want something quick and enjoyable, with incredible vistas. There’s a slight incline but nothing too strenuous, enough to feel like you’ve earnt a sense of accomplishment. There are wonderful city views of Boulder, as well as incredible upward views of the jagged Flat Irons mountain range. Visitors also have a chance to see some fantastic wildlife, including deer.

2. Shanahan Ridge Trail

Length: 4.2 miles
Average duration: 2 hours

This is a beautiful walk that doesn’t require too much work. It starts off in an open space before taking you along the Shanahan Ridge, where you’ll be treated to wonderful vistas. There is some incline, enough to get your heart racing but nothing that a beginner walker couldn’t do. It’s a very dog-friendly trail. Dogs are allowed off their lead here but it can get hot out there and there isn’t any water to cool them down – be sure to bring extra for them. There have been sightings of bears in the area – it’s always an exciting moment, just make sure you keep an eye on your dog.

walks in boulder

3. Skunk Canyon and Kohler Mesa Loop

Length: 2.8 miles
Average duration: 1 hour 25 minutes

Despite this walk through Skunk Canyon being less known than others in the area, it’s one of the most beautiful walks in Boulder. It’s short, quick, and easy, with gorgeous vistas and regular wildlife sightings. Visitors often recall seeing black bears, coyotes, turkeys, and rabbits. Keep an eye out for rattlesnakes, too. Dogs are allowed off their lead on this walk, but it is worth noting that there is wildlife here – just be sure to keep an eye on them or keep them on their lead if you’re concerned. But otherwise, the walk is wonderful with views of the Flat Irons and a nice shaded portion through the woods.

4. Boy Scout Trail

Length: 1.2 miles
Average duration: 35 minutes

This is a great walk to take with the family, with a natural playground for the kids to explore. There are boulders, rocks, trees, and more – perfect for scrambling and playing hide and seek. It’s also nice and short, so a good choice for those that might have older parents or grandparents joining them. There is a bit of elevation gain though, The trail takes you through a forest with magical views, before ending at the breathtaking lookout at May’s Point. 
walks in boulder

5. Enchanted Mesa and McClintock Nature Trail

Length: 1.9 miles
Average duration: 1 hour

This fairytale-like trail lives up to its name. The curved path and dense pine forest are straight out of a storybook, with gorgeous vistas of the majestic Flat Irons. It’s a nice and short walk, a great way to start your weekend or for an after-work jaunt. There is a steep incline that might be challenging for beginners, but the sense of achievement that comes with it is more than worth it. Unfortunately, you’ll need to leave the dogs at home – they’re not allowed on this trail.

6. Boulder Falls Trail

Length: 0.3 miles
Average duration: 10 minutes

Given its short duration and length, you might think this walk isn’t worth mentioning. However, there is a huge reward to this short walk that earns its place on this list. Only in Colorado could you walk for ten minutes and reach a mighty waterfall. It’s also quite a steep walk, so you certainly feel like you’ve put the work in. You can also incorporate this with another walk in the Boulder Canyon to extend it.

7. Sugarloaf Mountain Trail

Length: 1.3 miles
Average duration: 50 minutes

This is a short, calm, and fairly easy hike, with incredible views. It is a steep walk with a lot of loose rocks, which might not be the easiest for little paws. But dogs are allowed on this walk, as long as they’re on a lead. The quick ascent is rewarded by wonderful views. There’s a bench at the summit, so you can sit and enjoy the vista for as long as you want. Considering this is such a short walk, it’d be a great choice for sunrise or sunset.

Aleyna Yilmaz

Aleyna loves learning about a culture through its food, whether that's closer to home or being out there in the world. She’s always happiest when experiencing somewhere new, but her base in Manchester is a close second. A blend of her love of writing, food, travel, and culture has naturally led her to travel writing full time.

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