Located at the foot of Boulder’s Flatirons, this easy, 4.4-mile loop is perfect for a quick dayhike or a scenic trail run. From the South Boulder Creek Trailhead, hike west on Thomas Lane, a dirt road that leads to the Big Bluestem Trail. After 0.3 mile, pass through a metal gate and continue west on Big Bluestem Trail. The dirt path runs across mixed grass prairie with postcard-worthy views of the Flatirons. Less than a mile and a half later, the trail begins a gentle climb up grassy slopes dotted with wildflowers.
The route tops out at a T-junction at mile 2.2. Turn left on the wide and well-maintained Mesa Trail and begin the return descent. Less than half a mile later, make another left turn onto South Boulder Creek Trail, a narrow, rock-strewn path that travels past grazing cattle and more picturesque views of the Flatirons. After 4.3 miles, turn left at the final trail junction for the 200-yard stretch back to the parking area.
MORE INFO: Open Space and Mountain Parks
-Mapped by Kim Phillips