One of the most popular mountains to hike in Boulder is Mt. Sanitas. Strenuous, but short, with about 1,250 ft elevation gain over 1 mile uphill, it’s a great option for those who want some solid exercise in a short period of time, while also taking in some beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and Boulder. If you’re training for a big hike, ascending Mt. Sanitas twice is a way to get in extra elevation gain and mileage.
Green Mountain is the third highest mountain in Boulder at 8,150 ft, and one of the 5 iconic mountain peaks in Boulder. Whether you just want to see the excellent views, or to get some serious exercise, or to train for a high elevation gain hike, the Green Mountain Loop has it all. Beyond the exercise aspect, I love how this hike showcases different types of scenery along the way.
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.
As a 4.2-mile-long easy trail, Coyote Ridge Trail is a good option for a family-friendly or casual hike if you are located near Fort Collins or Loveland.
Hiking out-and-back 13 miles along the Mesa Trail is an excellent way to get in some serious exercise, while also seeing how many of the famous Boulder trails connect with one another.
Bear Peak (8,459′) and South Boulder Peak (8,549′) are two of the highest and most famous peaks in the Boulder area. Any permutation of doing Bear Peak, South Boulder Peak, or both is a strenuous hike with gorgeous views at the top to reward you for your efforts of climbing up a few thousand feet. This 7.15-mile, 3,400’+ elevation gain loop hike that includes both Bear Peak and South Boulder Peak was both beautiful and a great workout.
The Arthur’s Rock – Howard Trail loop at Lory State Park is 4.2 miles long with 1,233 ft elevation gain. The path is relatively straightforward and the moderate climb offers great views of Horsetooth Reservoir and Fort Collins below.
Although some of the most striking scenery that I’ve seen before on these trails was not fully visible on this hike due to snowy conditions, the hike retained its charm as a beautiful winter hike. It was made all the better with great company – the Boulder Hiker Chicks!
This strenuous 7.6 mile hike outside of Fort Collins, CO features some gorgeous and expansive 360 degree views from the summit into Rocky Mountain National Park and the surrounding mountains.
McIntosh Lake is a scenic lake located in Hygiene, CO that is half surrounded by housing, half by farmland. It has excellent views of the Front Range, particularly Rocky Mountain National Park and the towering Mt. Meeker and Longs Peak.