Hike up South Boulder, Boulder's highest peak. You'll get views of the eastern plains, Denver, Boulder, and the continental divide.

Starting at the Mesa trailhead, continue a half a mile through a relatively even grade before arriving at the North Fork Shanahan trailhead, which will take you another half a mile on much steeper grade up to Fern Canyon where you will start a much harder portion of the hike; here, you'll head straight up the mountain through a heavily forested area filled with streams and an abundance of wildlife.

Once you reach the end of the Fern Canyon trail, your efforts will be rewarded with views of the Continental Divide and Indian Peaks Wilderness straight in front of you with Green Mountain, Boulder's second largest peak, to your right. At this point, continue to ascend the Bear Peak trailhead another 0.3 miles through boulder fields and a heavily scorched forest (lingering proof of the wildfire that took place in the summer of 2012).

Once you've conquered the final climb, scramble up immense boulders and reach the top of Boulder's highest peak.

Pack List

  • Backpack
  • Waterbottle(s)
  • Lots of snacks
  • Camera
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RT Distance 6.7 Miles
Elevation Gain 2900 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking, Fitness, Rock Climbing
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Amazing hike

Challenging, but totally worth it!

Lots And Lots!

This hike gives you the work out, the sights, photography, biking and leisure spots. I don't think it can disappoint anyone.

Awesome Views!

Challenging but worth it! Beautiful views and not extremely crowded at the summit!


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

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