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Spring Brook / Goshawk Double Loop

Intermediate
 4.2 (5) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A double-lollipop through prairie and lodgepole forest. Mostly hike-able with tough climbs and flowing descents.


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Map Key

8.3

Miles

13.3

KM

Loop

6,547' 1,995 m

High

5,662' 1,726 m

Low

1,065' 325 m

Up

1,065' 324 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

19%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Geological Significance · Views · Wildflowers

Overview

The Spring Brook and Goshawk loops are the best of the trail system south of Boulder: decent-but-hike-able climbs, flowing descents, enough technicality to keep you focused, and enough scenery to heal your spirit. There is often wildlife and always wildflowers to see.

The Dowdy Doudy Draw and Springbrook sections are open to mountain bikes, but the Goshawk Ridge part is not. Connections to Flatirons Vista North and Fowler Trail as well as the South Mesa Trail connections across the street allow you to create any number of cool routes through the south Boulder foothills and plains.

Need to Know

This is a fee use area. People from outside Boulder County should use the self-service fee stations at the trailhead. This is, in season, active rangeland and you may encounter cattle. Leave gates either open or closed as you find them. Watch for mountain bikes which are active on some portions of this route.

Description

The route starts from the Dowdy Draw trailhead with 0.5 miles of wide gravel up to the restroom area. Continue south for a mile of ascending singletrack (watch for descending mountain bikes!) to the obvious trail junction. Turn right (west) from the Doudy Draw trail for a 0.3 mile connection to the bottom end of the Springbrook loop.

Option time! Going left on the Spring Brook Loop South is a gradual climb up 1.4 miles of forested singletrack. Turning right on Spring Brook Loop North is a mile of gradual climb through view-ridden prairie and forest. At the top end of the loop, climb a short hill up to the dirt Denver Waterboard Road.

Option time #2! Hikeing north (right) along the road is an easy descent along the east edge of the hogback. Look for fossilized ripple marks on the wall to your left. Proceed through an old railway cut with views of Eldorado Canyon and keep going up the road as it makes a big switchback to the west. At a signed junction, switch to singletrack for a climb through forests and then a large meadow to the top of the loop. The descent from the top of Goshawk Ridge is a wonderfully flowing bit of singletrack forest ending at a bridge across the canal and back to Denver Waterboard Road. Cross the road back to Springbrook and hike whichever half of the loop you didn't ascend.

If you hike the Goshawk Ridge clockwise instead, cross the bridge first and puff your way up 0.9 miles of wooded ascent through a short swale and some nice switchbacks. Bomb down the grassy meadow trying not to be distracted by the views of Eldorado Canyon and make your way back to the loop junction on the Denver Waterboard Road.

Once you've finished both Springbrook and Goshawk loops, hike the connector back to the Dowdy Draw trail and a final 1.5 miles back to the trailhead. Eight miles and about 1,100 feet of climbing.

Contacts

Shared By:

Charles Danforth with improvements by Nick Barendregt

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 5 votes

#3

in Doudy Draw

#2727

Overall
  4.2 from 5 votes
5 Star
40%
4 Star
40%
3 Star
20%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#3

in Doudy Draw

#370

in Colorado

#2,727

Overall
149 Views Last Month
1,512 Since Jul 12, 2019
Intermediate

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Photos

Spring Brook Loop.
Jan 31, 2016 near Boulder, CO
The view after emerging from the forest.
May 3, 2017 near Boulder, CO
Fowler Trail.
Aug 31, 2016 near Boulder, CO
Flatirons
Jul 27, 2019 near Boulder, CO
Look west and see mountains. Look east and see the plains.
Apr 28, 2016 near Boulder, CO
This section of the Spring Brook Loop affords gorgeous views of the flatirons and Eldorado Canyon State Park.
Aug 14, 2019 near Boulder, CO

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Check-Ins

Jul 19, 2020
Liza Joys
W lisa & kartiki
May 25, 2020
Tyler Sims
May 10, 2020
Maren Miller
Just did lower spring loop. Out for hour and a half?
Feb 15, 2020
Rachel Pierstorff
Microspikes make this a great hike. A small amount of post-holing in one spot, but not bad. 9mi — 4h 40m
Oct 18, 2019
Cynthia B.
Sep 14, 2019
Thomas Parsons
Ran with Becca. Pretty views. 8.3mi — 2h 05m
Aug 25, 2019
Nick Barendregt
A better hike than I expected. By wary of mountain bikers on the trail; there are several blind turns and sometimes it is hard to get out of the way. 8.3mi — 2h 49m