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Teller Farm - The Tank

Easy/Intermediate
 3.0 (4) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Proverbially "Run with the Buffaloes" on this Boulder County and CU classic.


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Map Key

11.0

Miles

17.8

KM

Out and Back

5,381' 1,640 m

High

5,070' 1,545 m

Low

517' 158 m

Up

517' 158 m

Down

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

10%

Max Grade (6°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

Made famous by Author Chris Lear's Running With the Buffaloes, "The Tank" is an iconic Front Range hike. The hike is so affectionately named due to the users ability to see a massive water tank from the start, and throughout most of the journey. The water tank also serves as the turnaround for this journey.

Although the view of the tank can serve as a good indicator of your progress, the constant mountain views are what truly set this hike apart from others in the area.

Of course, this awesome hike does have a few downsides... Due to the presence of clay in the soil, moisture can make for very slippery conditions. Worse yet, the clay will stick to your shoes like glue! Additionally, there is little to no respite from the sun on this wide open trail. Plan accordingly with sunscreen and water.

Description

Starting from the Teller Farm - South trailhead, the Teller Lake section of the East Boulder Trail is a dirt and gravel trail. This flat and easy trail cuts through prairie and farmland. Be aware that this trail offers very little sun protection on hot days. Shade is limited to a few rows of cottonwoods, a row of lilacs along the east side of the trail, and a few scattered trees. On the bright side, because the trail is wide open, it does offer some amazing views of the Front Range peaks.

Once you've reached the Teller Farms - North trailhead, join the East Boulder - White Rocks section as it runs west, then crosses Valmont Rd. The trail starts off as crusher fines and maintains a width of about 5 feet. About 50 feet down the trail, an 11% grade for 20 feet occurs. This section often gets washed out, creating some tricky little gullies.

After about 0.5 mile, the trail crosses over railroad tracks and turns into road base dirt/gravel. Maintaining a width of about 10 feet, the trail runs along a fenced-off private lake and wetland area. After crossing the bridge at 0.9 mile, the trail begins to open up into prairie land. At this point the trail is on a slight uphill grade. After another 0.25 mile it reaches the base of a hill with two cottonwood trees that provide shade on hot days.

Continue north as the trail winds its way up the hill. After a 90 degree right-hand turn, the trail swings back, headed north as it parallels W Phillips Rd. At approximately mile 1.75 the trail heads directly east, diverging from the road, contours slightly, then heads north as it drops into a small wash. Follow the general contours of the wash as the trail winds north, eventually meeting with East Boulder - Gunbarrel.

Turn left onto East Boulder - Gunbarrel, and head west, uphill to the famed tank. This section rolls through a grassland ecosystem and proves to have some of the best views of the front range, Longs Peak and the Continental Divide.

Once at the tank, head back the way you came!

Flora & Fauna

Bald eagles, Great Blue Herons, Canada geese and many other birds can be seen in the area. Deer are also in abundance. Horses, llamas, and prairie dogs can be seen along this trail.

This trail winds through lush farmland and a riparian area. This makes it conducive to diverse vegetation. Specifically, you're most likely to encounter cottonwood trees and lilacs.

History & Background

Teller Farm is a historic and presently working farm. Irrigation and farming practices have changed since Open Space acquired the land.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tom Robson

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 4 votes

#4244

Overall
  3.0 from 4 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
25%
3 Star
50%
2 Star
25%
1 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#462

in Colorado

#4,244

Overall
92 Views Last Month
3,493 Since Jan 31, 2015
Easy/Intermediate

75%
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25%
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Photos

Just before sunrise, looking west from Teller Farm Trail between Valmont and the bridge to the East Boulder Trail.
Mar 25, 2020 near Gunbarrel, CO
Classic Front Range views on the Tank Run.
Jan 31, 2015 near Gunbarrel, CO
Strava tells you this bridge is out and won't let you create a contiguous route along the trail. It's really OK though!
Oct 19, 2017 near Gunbarrel, CO
Looking west from the trail.
Oct 19, 2017 near Gunbarrel, CO
Looking east along the former railroad tracks.
Oct 19, 2017 near Gunbarrel, CO
Looking across the stream toward the north side of the bridge that was pushed off its foundation during the 2013 flood.
Oct 19, 2017 near Gunbarrel, CO

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Apr 27, 2018
Karen Price