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Our Favorite Fall Hikes in Boulder County

boulder fall hikes

Many would say that winter in Colorado is a magical time of year, and we do not disagree! However, those few months leading up to snowfall offers up a colorful show of changing Aspens and perfect weather. It’s the ideal time of year to lace up those hiking boots and get out into nature. And guess what? You don’t even have to battle traffic on I-70 to find beautiful trails, because we’ve got hundreds of options here in Boulder County.

Here are a few of our favorites.

Fall Hikes in Boulder County

Mount Sanitas

Mount Sanitas is consistently ranked as one of the top Boulder hikes. Why? Not only is it well located – accessed Downtown Boulder – it’s a nice distance at 3.2 miles, offers amazing views and dog-friendly. You can hop quickly hop on this trail after work and be greeted by new hiking friends, get a great workout and be back home in time for dinner.

This trail is rated as difficult.

Hogback Ridge Trail

If you’re looking for wildflowers, this is your spot! This 2.8 mile moderately trafficked loop just north of town has year round access and several activity options. It’s perfect for kids, running or just simply gazing at the Flatirons in the distance.

This trail is rated as moderate.

Learn more about the Dakota Ridge/Wonderland Lake Community >>

Gregory Canyon, Ranger, E.M. Greenman, Saddle Rock Loop

This popular 3.2 mile loop is a gorgeous fall hike in Boulder with plenty of vertical to get your heart pumping. It’s a perfectly shaded hike with up-top views of the city. Not only is it an excellent trail for bird watching, your chances of seeing a professional ultra runner are pretty good, as well! Dogs are not allowed in the top sections.

This trail is rated as difficult.

South Boulder Creek Trail

Looking for a good family trail? Check out South Boulder Creek Trail, a 6.6 mile out and back accessed from Baseline or Marshall Road trailhead. Expect to see not only colorful fall foliage but stunning prairie grasses that sparkle in the sun. It’s not unusual to see critters of all sorts along this trail, you may see deer, geese, coyote, and many birds.

This trail is rated as easy.

Learn more about the South Boulder Community >>

Rattlesnake Gulch

This 3.4 mile trail offers a nice steady uphill climb peaking at an overlook with stunning views. Accessible through Eldorado Canyon State Park is offers beautiful wildflowers and plenty of fall foliage. Dogs must be kept on a leash.

This trail is rated moderate.

Enchanted Mesa Trail

Another beautiful family-friendly hike is Enchanted Mesa Trail. This moderately trafficked loop is accessible from Chautauqua and is 1.9 miles with diverse views and lots of options to make it shorter or longer. The “enchanted” name is well-earned, with magic at every turn. There are curved trees, riots of wildflowers, and tall green grass.

This trail is rated easy.

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY: Chautauqua Park Boulder, Colorado

Boulder Falls

If you like waterfalls, then give Boulder Falls a visit. It’s a short and fairly easy hike, more of a short 5-minute, 100-yard walk that leads to a big reward. It’s the only trail that leads to a waterfall.

Don’t forget to bring a camera. The spectacular setting of Boulder Falls is outstanding at any time of the day.

This trail is rated easy.

Lichen Loop

The Lichen Loop trail is an easy and short trail, only 1.3 miles, and great for a family hike. The climb is only a few hundred feet total and can be completed in about half an hour. The paths are very well maintained and the views are beautiful. Accessed at Heil Valley Ranch.

This trail is rated easy.

Boulder is completely surrounded by dedicated open space, so hiking trail options are really limitless. No matter what the skill level, you’re certain to find a hike that fits your style. Be sure to check Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks website for trail closures and updates.