Hiking Project Logo

green Mesa Reservoir Loop

  4.0 ( 3 ) Favorite


1.9 mile 3.1 kilometer loop


Ascent: 77' 23 m
Descent: -79' -24 m
High: 5,561' 1,695 m
Low: 5,487' 1,672 m


Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 3% (2°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Megan W

A satisfying trail, loops an unexpected patch of wetland oasis hidden among otherwise dry farmland.

Megan W

Features Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Off-leash dogs must be under voice and sight control. Bikes are not permitted on this trail. Keep out of the reservoir itself, this is a protected wildlife area.


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.

Flora & Fauna

Eagles, northern harriers, red-tailed hawks, deer, coyotes, prairie dogs, rattlesnakes, bull snakes.

History & Background

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.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know

Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow hikers know what's here.


Rate This Featured Hike

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In


Nov 2, 2018
Amy Domino
We had the trail to ourselves and the views of the flatirons were great. It is nice and open which is good for winter, but it was quite windy.
May 26, 2018
Manuela Sifuentes
Oct 16, 2016
Taylor Lederman

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 3 votes


  4.0 from 3 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Featured Hike Rankings


in Colorado


69 Views Last Month
1,126 Since Apr 30, 2015
Easy Easy



Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking