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blue Shanahan Ridge

  3.6 ( 14 ) Favorite

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Trail

3.9 mile 6.3 kilometer loop
Singletrack
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 831' 253 m
Descent: -831' -253 m
High: 6,504' 1,982 m
Low: 5,672' 1,729 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 22% (13°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Map Key

Trail shared by Tom Robson

A straightforward hike on some of the best trail Boulder has to offer.

Tom Robson

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife

Please check bouldercolorado.gov/osmp/cl… for closure data.

Overview

This route is classic front range "up, then down" hiking. The highlight of the "up" part being the segment atop Shanahan Ridge (Mesa Trail - Shanahan Ridge), from which the views are incredible.

Description

Start at the small parking area on Bear Mountain Drive. In order to get the road section out of the way ASAP, start heading uphill on Bear Mountain Drive (southeast). Next, take a left on View Point Road and then a right on Cragmoor Road to reach the Cragmoor Connector as it heads to North Fork Shanahan Trail (stay straight here). Runners will get great views of the City of Boulder and the Flatirons.

North Fork Shanahan Trail ascends steeply, not contouring at all. Pass Shanahan Connector on your left and continue straight. Eventually, after the steepest portion, this trail terminates at the Mesa Trail.

Turn right onto the Mesa Trail, which is nestled between Bear Mountain and Shanahan Ridge. After ~.4mi, turn right to head up the Mesa Trail - Shanahan Ridge to get some sweet views, or turn left to stay on the Mesa Trail. Shortly after staying on the Mesa Trail, you'll pass Fern Canyon on your left. Continue down Mesa as it switchbacks steeply past the Bear Canyon Trail.

Finally, you'll come to a fork. Take a right here to take the NCAR - Bear Canyon Trail. Follow this wide singletrack as it winds past the NCAR - Bear Connector trail on your left and follows Bear Canyon Creek on your right. Once you're past the connector, you're almost to the trailhead!

After some quick downhill hiking, you'll approach an obvious intersection with Bear Canyon Trailhead, a small connector trail joining the canyon to Bear Mountain Drive. This short trail crosses a stream and may include some mud, so stay on your toes!

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Check-Ins

May 16, 2019
Lindsey Benkelman
Beautiful trail- took a few wrong turns but still loved it! 4.2mi — 1h 40m
May 4, 2019
Kevin Botka
Dec 31, 2018
Jessica Ermak
Got a bit lost in the development section, and dogs got cold around mile 3, but otherwise very good. Dogs enjoyed being off leash on a mostly wide… 4.3mi
Dec 25, 2018
Whitney Beadle
Sep 7, 2018
JT Alexa
Jul 2, 2018
Whitney Manasjan
3.9mi
Apr 30, 2018
ody sseus
3.6mi — 1h 31m
Apr 29, 2018
Laura Stacey

Trail Ratings

  3.6 from 14 votes

#2

in NCAR

#2502

Overall
  3.6 from 14 votes
5 Star
7%
4 Star
57%
3 Star
21%
2 Star
14%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#2

in NCAR

#350

in Colorado

#2,502

Overall
206 Views Last Month
5,161 Since Dec 17, 2014
Intermediate Intermediate

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77%
8%
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