At first glance, the 6,863-foot summit of Mount Sanitas may seem modest compared to the 8,000-foot peaks dotting the ridgeline west of Boulder, but this 3.4-mile hike (or trail run) packs plenty of punch for a short outing.
Start at the west end of Mapleton Avenue and hike northwest along a brief, 0.2-mile flat stretch up the Sanitas Valley Trail. From here, you’ll navigate a steep obstacle course of log steps, rock slabs, and giant boulders (and climb 1,100 feet in one mile) past overlooks of both the foothills and mountain canyons to the west. At Sanitas’ small summit, take in expansive views of Boulder and the eastern plains before tackling an equally steep and rocky descent of the mountain’s eastern slopes. Two miles into the hike, the route merges onto the Dakota Ridge Trail for an easy walk back to Mapleton Avenue.
-Mapped by Kim Phillips