Colorado Hiking Trails

Hiking with Children Near Boulder ...

For those of you who enjoy the outdoors, Colorado has much to offer. There are many wonderful
hiking trails throughout the state. Trails range in difficulty from easy to very difficult, and many of
these are great for experienced hikers, but not suitable for families hiking with children.  For those
who are either somewhat new to hiking, or will be hiking with children, this article lists some of the
best hiking trails near Boulder, Colorado.

Late spring or summer is a great time to go hiking in Colorado. While many parts of the country are
beginning to heat up, you can still enjoy the cool morning crispness, especially in the higher
elevations. This is also a great time to experience some beautiful mountain scenery, and enjoy a
colorful array of wild flowers. Boulder, Colorado is an extremely beautiful area, and has many hiking
trails nearby. For families, hiking with children, here are some of the best hiking trails near Boulder.

Bald Mountain Scenic Area - Pine to Peak Loop Trail
Pine to Peak Trail is a 1 mile loop trail that is a great first hike for younger children. Hiking to the
7,160 foot summit of Bald Mountain, you will find a magnificent view and a variety of wildflowers. The
trail starts off with a slight incline. After the trail splits, stay to the right and follow the Pines to Peak
Trail.  Bald Mountain Scenic Area is located 5 miles west of Boulder on the south side of Sunshine
Canyon Drive (County Road 52).

Betasso Preserve Canyon Loop Trail
This hiking trail is a 2.8 mile loop that
starts out with an easy climb, and then
becomes a little more vigorous. The
trail offers many different scenic views,
and includes dense forest, fields, and
meadows. This area was homesteaded
around 1912, and later became a
cattle ranch operated by the Betasso
family. It is now part of the Boulder
County Mountain Parks and Open
Space system. To reach the trailhead
take Boulder Canyon (CO 119) west
for 6 miles, then go right on Sugarloaf
Road for one mile to the trailhead.

Bobolink Trail
This trail is located in a parks and
open space area of Boulder. It travels
along South Boulder Creek, and is a flat, easy trail that is sport chair accessible. This area affords
seasonal viewing (mid-May through Summer) of the bobolink for which the trailhead was named,
along with other ground nesting birds. This hiking trail is located just west of the intersection of
Baseline and Cherryvale Roads, and there is a parking lot on the southwest corner of the
intersection.

Enchanted Mesa McClintock Trail Loop
This loop trail is approximately 1.8 miles in length and offers breathtaking views of the Flatiron
Mountains. This easily accessible loop trail teats hikers to a beautiful pine forest, bustling song birds
and squirrels. Along this hiking trail there is a gain in elevation of about 1,100 feet.  The trail is
located on the southside of the Chautauqua Auditorium, near Chautauqua Park (Grant and Baseline
Streets in Boulder).

Lichen Loop Trail
This is an easy hiking trail that starts out at an elevation of around 5,900 feet and climbs only about
250 feet. The round-trip length is approximately 1.3 miles and provides beautiful views to the south
of Boulder's Front Range. To reach the trailhead take US 36 from Boulder and head north for 4.7
miles to Left Hand Canyon Drive. Turn left onto Left Hand Canyon Drive and travel 0.7 miles to Geer
Canyon Road. You will see the Heil Valley Ranch sign and take a right onto Geer Canyon Road.
Travel through private property 1.3 miles to the trailhead. Geer Canyon Road is a private road so do
not park your car along the side of the road.

Rattlesnake Gulch Trail
This hiking trail is moderate in difficulty and takes approximately 2 hours to hike. The trail is about
3.6 miles round-trip, and begins at the entrance to Eldorado Canyon State Park, a world renowned
rock climbing area. The trail makes its way up the southern flank of Eldorado Mountain, crossing a
small stream on its way up to the ruins of the historic Crags Hotel. Built in 1908, the hotel was
accessed via an inclined railway from the canyon floor, and burned down in 1913. To get to Eldorado
Canyon State Park follow Broadway (93) South to Eldorado Canyon Road (CO 170) where you will
turn right and follow this road all the way into the park. There is a small park fee upon entrance and
a visitors center.

Hopefully, this short article has given you some good ideas for your next hiking trip. Our family really
enjoys hiking together. There is nothing like being out in the fresh air, enjoying beautiful scenery,
and having fun together as a family. Have fun, stay safe, and enjoy some of these wonderful
Colorado hiking trails.
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