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Mount Sanitas Loop

 4.1 (77)

Length


3.2 Miles 5.2 Kilometers


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

Shared By Nick Wilder

Conditions


All Clear 3 days ago
Small detour for trail repair about 0.6 miles in. History

Getting forecast...

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

Nick Wilder

Dogs Off-leash

Features Views

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.

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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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Aug 12, 2018
Nick Barendregt
Very nice trail with great views at nearly all points! Not too technical but still interesting; worth doing if you are in Boulder or have extra time. 3.2mi — 1h 31m
Aug 2, 2018
Alexis Tatham
3.5mi
Jul 31, 2018
Rebecca Falgoust
Jul 23, 2018
Sinclaire Prowse
Jul 21, 2018
Kevin O
3.7mi — 1h 19m
Jun 30, 2018
CJ Phillips
4mi
Jun 26, 2018
Kevin O
3.7mi
Jun 24, 2018
Meredith Sagara
3.2mi

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 77 votes

#28

Overall
  4.1 from 77 votes
5 Star
31%
4 Star
51%
3 Star
16%
2 Star
3%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#11

in Colorado

#28

Overall
549 Views Last Month
8,680 Since Nov 15, 2014
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

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