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Mount Sanitas Loop

 57 votes

Length

3.2 Miles 5.2 Kilometers


Elevation

1,281' 390 m

Ascent

-1,280' -390 m

Descent

15%

Avg Grade (9°)

43%

Max Grade (23°)

6,780' 2,067 m

High

5,521' 1,683 m

Low

Conditions


All Clear 5 days ago
Dry History

Getting forecast...

Very popular and scenic loop right from the edge of town.

Nick Wilder

Overview

This is a steep but rewarding trail, with great summit views of the foothils to the high peaks, and all of Boulder. It is virtually always crowded with all kinds of runners, hikers, and dogs.
Features: Views
Dogs: Off-leash

Need to Know

In typical Boulder fashion, there are some crazy speed records on the various trails.

Description

From the beginning of the Sanitas Valley Trail, take your first left on the Mount Sanitas Trail and immediately start the very steep ascent of the mountain. The trail is mostly shaded, but there are tons of high steps, both on logs and boulders, which make the trail tiring. You'll pass some large rock outcroppings that are popular with climbers and boulderers and several nice places to rest and enjoy the views both east and west.

After several false summits, you finally gain the true summit and have unobstructed views of all of Boulder to the east, and partially obstructed views of foothills and Indian Peaks to the west.

Head down the very steep East Ridge Trail, which has several tricky sections of steep rock. It eases up as you descend, and finally widens and becomes much easier as you get to a saddle and intersection with the Sanitas Valley Trail.

As you descend this nice, easy gravel road, enjoy the spectacular views of the Flatirons, seen from a unique side-on angle. You'll pass the historic Silver Lake ditch (which supplies water to Boulder farmers and has been in use since the late 1800's) and soon end back where you started.

Flora & Fauna

Mountain lions are common in the area, and the trail is occasionally closed if there is a fresh kill. You'd be lucky to see one though!

History & Background

The peak is named for the Boulder Sanitarium that sat at the current site of the Boulder Community Hospital. The building was completed in 1896 and was primarily used to treat tuberculosis patients. The original smokestack still stands.

There is also an old quarry halfway up the slope (a spur trail will lead you there) that was used for several early University of Colorado buildings.

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Check-Ins

Apr 14, 2018
Sam Houston
3.2mi
Apr 8, 2018
Jared Dooley
3.2mi
Mar 17, 2018
Sandy Oaks
3.4mi
Mar 17, 2018
Jeff Andry
Mar 9, 2018
Carolyn Jungels
Mar 9, 2018
John R
Mar 6, 2018
parick jacques
a
Mar 4, 2018
Jorge Pulido Lopez

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 57 votes

#35

Overall
  4.1 from 57 votes
5 Star
30%
4 Star
53%
3 Star
16%
2 Star
2%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#11

in Colorado

#35

Overall
477 Views Last Month
6,231 Since Nov 15, 2014
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
2%
36%
53%
9%
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