Grindstone Quarry Trail, an easy 2.8-mile trail, was one of my favorite hikes at Heil Valley Ranch until it was burned in October by the Calwood Fire. Looking back at these pictures breaks my heart a little, thinking that when this trail opens up, it will look very different. However, I look forward to the day when I can hike this and other trails at Heil Valley Ranch when they open up again, and when the vegetation grows back over the years.
The Aspen Alley hike is just over 2 miles long with less than 200 ft elevation gain. This easy, family-friendly, hike features aspen trees along the central trail that turn beautiful golden yellow before they shed their leaves for winter. It is a great spot to take seasonal photos with the aspens.
The NCAR Loop in Boulder is a lovely 3.4-mile 700ft elevation gain moderate hike with beautiful views of the Boulder mountains and the Flatirons. If you are looking for a shorter hike that features great Boulder views, this is the hike for you.
The Anne U. White Trail is a lovely 3.3-mile out-and-back trail located in North Boulder. It is a refreshing hike with a good amount of shade. The best time to visit the trail to enjoy lush green surroundings and a running stream is in spring to early summer.
This 2.3-mile easy hike at Heil Valley Ranch alternately passes through sunny areas and ponderosa pine forest. It is a good option for a quick hike.
The Lichen Loop at Heil Valley Ranch is an easy and pleasant 1.4-mile loop that passes through a couple meadows and ponderosa pine forest. It is also family-friendly, hikers-only, and features interesting plaques describing nature and history on the trail.
This 8.5-mile, 1,450 ft-elevation gain moderate hike may be less well-known than other hikes in the Front Range, but it features some lovely and different views from other areas. In particular, the views of the valley, Mahoney Park, and the mountains beyond to the West were great.
The 7.3-mile option of hiking Mt. Sanitas via Sunshine Canyon and Lion’s Lair Trails out-and-back is now one of my favorite hikes in Boulder. You get the elevation gain of hiking Mt. Sanitas, while also getting to enjoy the beautiful views of Lion’s Lair Trail, and some good hiking mileage to boot. It can be a refreshing hike on a summer morning, as you pass through shaded forest areas along the way.
The Coulson Gulch Trail to Ralph Price Reservoir hike is 6.5 miles out-and-back. It features shady forest by a creek, meadows with mountain views, and a view of a large reservoir at the end. The hike goes downhill on the way out, and uphill on the way back.
This 5.2-mile hike in Button Rock Preserve is only moderately strenuous. It follows alongside the North Saint Vrain Creek, passes two reservoirs and two dams, and meanders on a uphill loop that features great views of Ralph Price Reservoir and the surrounding mountainous area.