This short loop circumnavigates Mesa Reservoir and provides great views over Boulder Valley Ranch, the flatirons and Boulder Reservoir.
Starting from the end of Broadway Street at the 5-way trail junction, choose the Eagle Trail
heading east. Hike though dry fields of yucca and prairie grass, with the antics of prairie dogs to amuse you. This nearly flat trail soon intersects the Old Mill Trail
and continues straight. After a gentle downhill stretch, Mesa Reservoir itself comes into view to the south and views of the eastern plains appear. The flatirons provide a scenic backdrop behind the reservoir.
At the rain shelter, leave the Eagle Trail
to join the narrower Mesa Reservoir Trail
as it traces the raised rim of the reservoir. The best views of the swampy depression are from the western and eastern ends. Waterfowl paddle about and you can hear frogs croaking from the shoreline. Follow the rim of the reservoir around, peeking though the trees, but do not venture off the trail- this area is protected.
All to soon, the Mesa Reservoir Trail
leaves the shore and dips along the backside of the hill following a fenceline. Continue on the Mesa Reservoir Trail
past the junction with the Hidden Valley Trail
. Travel west over flat, grassy terrain, then through a more open area to where the Degge Trail
cuts across the valley. A slight uphill climb brings you back to the starting point at Broadway Street.
Eagles, northern harriers, red-tailed hawks, deer, coyotes, prairie dogs, rattlesnakes, bull snakes.
The Silverlake Irrigation Ditch used to feed Mesa Reservoir, but this connection has since been abandoned. Mesa Reservoir is now only intermittently filled by rain. The 1990 Olde Stage wildfire burned in this area. The Boulder Valley Ranch is a currently working and historic ranch.