“An awesome and challenging hike near Boulder with great scenery.
— Nicholas Shannon
River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This route it is located up Flagstaff road, which is worth the drive on its own!
You'll climb as much as you descend on this somewhat challenging loop, with sections of smooth singletrack, rocky sections, and even some steep steps leading down to a creek.
Need to Know
This is a popular trail for Boulder-based mountain bikers, so keep an eye out.
Hiking counter-clockwise, as mapped, you'll start out with a consistent descent. Once the initial descent is complete, you'll cruise along the creek for a bit on nice, level ground. That doesn't last long, however, before you find yourself climbing steeply again.
Keep climbing until you hit a couple of switchbacks. You'll then emerge near Gross Dam road. This is a nice spot for a quick rest as you take in the great views. Continue down the trail following a contour along the hillside. Shortly thereafter, you'll return to the forest.
Take the set stairs leading down a couple hundred feet to the creek. It's rocky and steep here, and it can even be a bit tough to maintain your footing. When you finally reach the creek there are some great spots to soak if you need to be refreshed by the COLD water. From here, hike up a loose two track for a bit, then take a left eventually getting back onto singletrack. You'll start to climb through the trees using a series of switchbacks that pop you out of the trees and onto the last bit of trail. Follow this all the way back to the trailhead.