Amazing views of Boulder, the continental divide, and the eastern plains. 3.1 mile loop hike to Mt. Sanitas. Perfect scenery for sunrise and sunset hikes. Endless bouldering opportunities at Settlers Park. Easy parking, easy to follow trails.

First off, these are two different hikes but both stem from the same parking lot and Settlers Park is a mere 5 minutes away from where you park so why not kill two birds with one stone?

One of the more popular hikes in Boulder, Mount Sanitas is a 3 mile hike that quickly scales nearly 1,350 feet. From the parking lot off of Mapleton Road, cross the bridge and stay to the left at both of the forks up the Mt Sanitas West Ridge Trail. The trail climbs quickly for 0.85 miles before evening out on a ridge with views to the Continental Divide and Chautauqua Park. It will then bend north, taking you to the summit on a thin, but manageable path with panoramic views. After reaching the summit you will wind down the mountain through steep boulder fields for a little more than a half a mile before reaching the valley floor. The Sanitas Valley Trail will take you down all the way to the parking lot completing the Mount Sanitas Loop.

Once back in the parking lot, head south on Red Rocks trail for a quick, steep, 0.5 miles before coming to the amazing Settlers Park rock formations. Once you are done climbing or admiring the park, head back down Red Rocks trail back to the parking lot.

Pack List

backpack, water, snacks, camera, climbing gear (if desired), bouldering mats (if desired)

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RT Distance 3.1 Miles
Activities Photography, Running, Hiking, Fitness, Rock Climbing
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Winter
Trail Type Loop
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Storm

I come to visit my friend every year in Colorado, we try to do new hikes every time. We chose this trail on what we thought was a sunny day but a storm popped up on us which was a scary feat. We made it all the way to the top just to get bombarded with lighting we were so scared we practically ran back down. I would still come back and do it again. Amazing view over Boulder.

A Classic Boulder Hike

Mt. Sanitas is always a good choice if you are looking for a nice hike on an afternoon or morning in Boulder. It can get crowded, so get an early start if you can!

Sanitas time trials

This one is great if you like to race up the mountain, because that is what every else is doing. Relaxing: not really. Great for training: yes. SO what is everyone's best Sanitas loop time? 37:52 here for the whole loop. How fast can someone who trains for ultras do this??


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

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Hike the Sunshine Lion's Lair Loop

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Parking is available on either Canyon or Sunshine Roads. During the weekends it tends to get crowded around sunset so plan accordingly.

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