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Mesa Trail

The Best Hikes near Boulder

One of America's outdoor sports capitals is - as you might expect - a fantastic hiking destination.

Hiking Easy, Moderate, Difficult, Severe

Mesa Trail
Mesa Trail Photo: Nelson Sirlin Shutterstock


Sometimes sarcastically referred to as "The People's Republic of Boulder", Denver's neighboring city is less than an hour's drive away, but it feels like it's on another planet! The city is one of North America's most liberal-feeling places and has a hippy-meets-climber-meets-retired-stockbroker vibe unlike anywhere else. It's also home to the University of Colorado Boulder, which means that there's a constant influx of young and enthusiastic new residents, so it's a place which could never feel stodgy.

That's a good package by any standards, but the mountains which butt up against Boulder turn it from "just" a lovely city into a world-class outdoor sports destination. The Front Range of the Rockies is spectacular, and the higher up you get in them, the better the scenery gets. Longs Peak, complete with its famous Diamond is the most celebrated Rockies peak, but mentioning every possible adventure in that legendary mountain range would be more akin to writing War and Peace than a FATMAP route description. It's a fabulous range, best explored over many years on foot, bike and ski across all seasons.

The hikes described here are a little less adventurous than high mountain journeys through the Rockies, but they still reward you with exceptional views, that famous midwestern big sky, and a taste of the Colorado wilderness. None of the hikes described are overly long, so turning any of these into a trail run is perfectly feasible for those with the requisite fitness and enthusiasm.

Regardless of your fitness level, Boulder's hiking opportunities are so spectacular that enthusiam is unlikely to be the critical factor!

Routes included

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