Mount Sanitas Loop

 40 votes

3.2 Miles 5.2 Kilometers


100%

Singletrack

1,281' 390 m

Ascent

-1,280' -390 m

Descent

6,780' 2,067 m

High

5,521' 1,683 m

Low

15%

Avg Grade (9°)

43%

Max Grade (23°)

All Clear

53 days agoUpdate

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.

Contacts

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4.1 from 40 votes


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Check-Ins

Aug 13, 2017
Kevin O
3.5mi
Aug 12, 2017
Samantha Sherwin
Jul 30, 2017
Kevin O
3.5mi
Jul 30, 2017
Kristy McElhattan
Jul 23, 2017
Kevin O
3.5mi
Jul 15, 2017
Kevin O
3.5mi
Jul 8, 2017
Michael Klesseck
Steep elevation to start, but fun relatively easy hike. Good way to start a day, get there early 3.2mi
Jul 8, 2017
Kevin O
3.5mi

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 40 votes

#33

Overall
  4.1 from 40 votes
5 Star
25%
4 Star
58%
3 Star
18%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#14

in Colorado

#33

Overall
421 Views Last Month
2,747 Since Nov 15, 2014
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

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3%
33%
56%
8%
0%

Conditions


All Clear 53 days ago

Getting forecast...

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