Summary: Very popular trail close to downtown Boulder. A classic trail for the area. Take the loop either way, each way is a good workout. The valley is fairly flat with lots of dogs around. Views from the ridges are astounding in all directions. Horses are allowed on trails, but I would not recommend them on the steep ridge trails.
Trailhead: In Boulder, take Broadway to Mapleton and turn west. This intersection is just north of downtown. Go about 5 blocks, just past the hospital, there will be the parking area on the north and one further west on the south side. The trailhead is on the north side of the road. (Lat:40.02063 Lon:-105.296)
Trail Guides for Mt. Sanitas Loop:
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Horses,
Ranger Contact: City of Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks Department, 303-441-3440.
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Dennis Camell, who has posted 21 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 7 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Katie on 1/16/2016
I'm a semi-experienced hiker, but never hiked in snow/ice before. I didn't have the right shoes and it was really slippery/sketchy at points. Great views. Would love to do it again with the right shoes for grip or in the summer. I started on the sanitas valley trail, crossed over the ridge pass and down the mount sanitas trail. That's the path I'd recommend.
Reviewed by JS on 8/23/2015
it is a moderate hike if one starts on the east side in the valley and ascends via switchbacks.. then takes the steep side down.. it is a difficult hike if one starts on the west steep side. and this from a long term backpacking hiker and trail runner..
Reviewed by KJH on 4/16/2012
nice hike overall. not too hard. the dog loved it. great for relaxed hiking with a little bit of a challenge.
Reviewed by K Man on 3/9/2012
Continuous steep assent over mostly rock with rocky staircases. Some parts are very rough to find decent footing but with such a slow pace to clime the mountain it was ok. Some spots required traversing up and down over rounded and slick rock, not navigable for some persons with knee issues. The views get better as you go up and culminate with a grand overlook of boulder(B+). A moderately quick hike of 2 hours, but left novices with sore quads. Personal rating: C+ There are many many better hikes all over the front range. This is good for a quad work out if you live close. The assent was 3/4 rock 1/4 dirt. I prefer the reverse. It was ok.
Reviewed by MSV on 8/27/2011
I was a little disappointed with this hike. Though it was a great workout but the views were fair. Also on the weekend the trail was extremely busy. This is defiantly a city hike with nice overviews of Boulder but not the amazing views you can get with other hikes. Also I would rate this hike as Moderate + to Difficult. The majority of the hike up is log steps or stepping-stones. I would only do this hike if you live in Boulder and are just looking for a good workout.
Reviewed by sga on 7/4/2011
While the views at the top were spectacular, what I would've liked to have known before hand is that parts of this hike are moderately difficult and some parts are very easy. As a 50 year old who is working on getting back in shape, the knees and feet took a beating on all of the "steps". Luckily, we started on the left side of the loop with the steep climb and ended with the easy flat part in the valley. If you are not in good shape, coming down the steep side last might not be the best idea, as many injuries take place when you are tired. I would love to do this hike again in three months when I'm in better shape and weigh 20 pounds less!
Reviewed by DJM on 3/21/2011
Quite enjoyable. I went up the Southwest side to start and looped around to the North at the peak and then back down the east side. There are a good amount of step ups and step downs, fairly rocky trail. I would definitely say moderate for people in fair shape, but potentially difficult if you have a tough time with stairs.
Reviewed by Justin F on 2/5/2011
This hike was very nice. We went up the mountain first then came down the switchback onto the Mt. Sanitas Trail. It had very nice views of Boulder and the surrounding mountains. It was also a moderate hike and a great starter hike for some new residents of Denver (who weren't used to the altitude yet).
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