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Green Mountain via Ranger/Saddle Rock Loop

 24 votes

4.9 Miles 7.9 Kilometers


100%

Singletrack

2,305' 703 m

Ascent

-2,277' -694 m

Descent

8,099' 2,469 m

High

5,806' 1,770 m

Low

18%

Avg Grade (10°)

61%

Max Grade (31°)

All Clear

18 days agoUpdate

A loop with a variety of terrain, a lot of climbing, and great views of Boulder.

Eli Zabielski

Overview

A classic for Boulder mountain hikers, Green Mountain delivers a lot of vertical without truly leaving town. Your chances of seeing a professional ultra runner on any given day are pretty good. With the right gear and clothing, it can be done on any day of the year. In addition to the route given here, there are many other routes up Green Mountain that give this mountain a lot of different variety, from fast and flowing trails to steep and rooted trail straight up punishing inclines.
Features: Birding — Fall Colors — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife

Need to Know

The upper sections of the mountain on the ascent and descent hold ice from November to early April. Microspikes are highly advised during this time. There are several small creek crossings on the loop but they're never too deep or fast, and getting water may be unreliable most of the time. The trail near creek crossings generally gets icy before other parts of the trail.

Description

From the Gregory Canyon parking lot, take the Ranger Trail South where you get a little bit of rest from steeper climbing as the newly reconstructed trail cruises along a ravine. Eventually the trail winds its way up to the Northwest ridge of Green Mountain, which is occasionally quite windy. The trail returns to steep climbing as you head up the ridge, eventually reaching a series of switchbacks up to the west ridge of Green Mountain. The Ranger Trail ends at a junction. Turn East and head up the final few hundred feet, which are steep, rocky stairs and logs.

At the summit, enjoy the fantastic views to the East of Boulder and downtown Denver, and to the West, the Continental Divide, Rocky Mountain National Park, Indian Peaks Wilderness, several 14ers, and ski areas.

From the summit, head North down the E.M. Greenman Trail, which immediately drops into some steep and rocky switchbacks. The trail mellows out to almost flat near the Saddle Rock Trail/ E.M. Greenman Trail junction. From the trail junction, take the Saddle Rock Trail to the Northeast down more technical and rocky terrain generally between -20% and -30%. After a particularly rocky section, you need to come to a short ladder to get down a section of trail that was destroyed by flooding in September, 2013. Either descend the ladder or go down the left side on the steep slope.

After the ladder, continue down heavily rooted trail and rock stairs to the Amphitheater Trail/Saddle Rock Trail junction. It doesn't matter which way you go from here, since both trails descend to the Gregory Canyon parking lot in about the same distance.

Dogs are not allowed on the upper section of the E.M. Greenman Trail (i.e. the southeast side of the summit), but are allowed on the Ranger Trail/ Gregory Canyon / Long Canyon Trail side of the loop. The sections allowing dogs follow standard off-leash OSMP rules.

Flora & Fauna

This route offers hikers a great variety of flora and fauna to stimulate the senses along the way. Beginning in the grassy, magpie filled meadows of Chautauqua Park, you will transition into a ponderosa and lodgepole forest. As you gain elevation, evidence of the transformation to a more montane zone will become evident. As with all trails in this region, be aware that mountain lions and black bears inhabit the area.

History & Background

There's a sighting disk that will help you identify the many tall mountains to the west of Green Mountain. The plaque was placed there in 1920 by the CU Hiking Club.

In September 2013, several sections of trail were heavily damaged or destroyed by flooding. Some sections of the Ranger Trail are newly constructed, and there is a ladder on the Saddle Rock Trail.

Contacts

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   Clear Rating

4.5 from 24 votes


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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Nov 4, 2017
Andy F
4.9mi
Oct 29, 2017
Casey Baker
5mi — 3h 20m
Oct 16, 2017
Andy Webb
Out and back from Gregory Canyon via Ranger Trail. 5.2mi
Oct 15, 2017
Mike G
Oct 8, 2017
Justin Kurtz
Sep 30, 2017
Simon Favreau-Lessard
Sep 26, 2017
Chris Gummer
5.7mi
Sep 25, 2017
Luke Jones

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 24 votes

#82

Overall
  4.5 from 24 votes
5 Star
63%
4 Star
21%
3 Star
17%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#28

in Colorado

#82

Overall
288 Views Last Month
5,333 Since Nov 13, 2015
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Conditions


All Clear 18 days ago
Mostly Dry - Rain/fog and the base. Snow expected this afternoon.
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