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Mount Sanitas Trail

Difficult
 4.3 (22)

Mega-popular Boulder classic that is sure to get your blood pumping


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Map Key

1.3

Miles

2.0

KM

Point to Point

6,775' 2,065 m

High

5,522' 1,683 m

Low

1,252' 382 m

Up

0' 0 m

Down

19%

Avg Grade (11°)

39%

Max Grade (21°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

A short path east from the Centennial trailhead and parking area along the north side of Sunshine Canyon Drive takes users to a picnic pavilion next to a stream. Pass through the pavilion, cross the concrete bridge and head left and uphill through a small meadow. Signage marks the official start of the Mount Sanitas Trail where it crosses the Silver Lake Irrigation Ditch.

The trail contours around the west flank of Mount Sanitas, climbing steeply up wooden stairs and rock ledges to gain elevation in a hurry. The difficult ascent rewards with views down into Sunshine Canyon and west to the impressive Indian Peaks. Pass below short cliffs popular with bouldering climbers and spot their favorite routes by looking for white, chalky holds.

The terrain mellows slightly as it reaches the Mount Sanitas ridge and then meanders back and forth along its spine. Clamber ever upwards catching glimpses of false summits and the city below. Much of the middle section of this trail consists of rock steps clinging to the sunny hillside. The remainder of the trail climbs steadily to the summit past ponderosa pines and springtime wildflowers.

One final push and you find yourself on top of the rocky summit outcrop. Settle down for a well deserved rest with the all the other sweaty trail runners, hikers and their very fit dogs. Enjoy the best views of Boulder laid out to the east, as trees partially obscure views in other directions.

Flora & Fauna

Note that mountain lions and bears pass through this area and although rangers do their best to put up warning signs about recent activity, dawn and dusk are the times to be most aware.

Shared By:

Megan W

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 22 votes

#240

Overall
  4.3 from 22 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
68%
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#51

in Colorado

#240

Overall
63 Views Last Month
3,999 Since Nov 7, 2014
Difficult

0%
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90%
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Photos

Sunrise from Mt Saintas
Nov 3, 2017 near Boulder, CO
Beautiful descending views
May 15, 2015 near Boulder, CO
Wildflowers in the Spring
May 15, 2015 near Boulder, CO
The top of Mount Sanitas looks out at the beauty of Boulder and the Flatirons.
Apr 12, 2017 near Boulder, CO
Looking east from the summit at sunrise.
Dec 2, 2018 near Boulder, CO
Arriving at the summit, just missed the sunrise.
Dec 2, 2018 near Boulder, CO

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 11 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jan 26, 2020
Andrea C
Sep 27, 2019
Becks Zirlin
Sep 7, 2019
Morie Newman
Jul 27, 2019
Feli Arancegui
1.3mi — 4h 30m
Jul 17, 2019
Regina Stump
Beautiful sunrise- quick and technical workout; or a nice hike to begin the day!
Jul 4, 2019
Candice Clare
May 31, 2019
Lucy Stedl
Jan 20, 2019
Dana Flynn