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East Ridge Trail



0.7 mile 1.2 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 30' 9 m
Descent: -746' -227 m
High: 6,791' 2,070 m
Low: 6,047' 1,843 m


Avg Grade: 21% (12°)
Max Grade: 56% (29°)


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Trail shared by Megan W

A steep and rocky but popular way to access Mount Sanitas.

Megan W

Features Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife


From the summit of Mount Sanitas, gingerly pick your way down large rock steps alternately heading east and south. This topmost section of trail is the steepest, so take your time and remember to give way to panting uphill users. Views east are great if you can take your eyes away from watching your footing.

The East Ridge Trail does indeed travel down the east spine of Mount Sanitas and its surface is rocky, rooty and uneven. Early on, the trail turns north and passes down through a shady wooded gully. In the winter this area holds snow for a long time, so savvy people slip on yaktrax to negotiate this short, steep section.

About mid-way down, keep an eye out for small green signs attached to logs that point the way through two areas with huge boulders. It is easy to lose the hidden trail here and some timid users may may prefer to scootch a couple of feet down rocks on their bum! Don't be put off by the idea of this, it is very doable.

Once the trail leaves the ridgeline, the switchbacks lengthen and the gradient mellows considerably. Views open up of the Sanitas Valley Trail below, with Bear Peak and the Flatirons becoming visible to the south. The East Ridge Trail ends at a junction with the choice to head north through neighborhoods to Linden Drive or join the Sanitas Valley Trail to return to the Centennial trailhead.

Flora & Fauna

Note that mountain lions and bears pass through this area and although rangers do their best to put up warning signs about recent activity, dawn and dusk are the times to be most aware.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed

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Nov 4, 2017
Reed Harrington
Oct 6, 2017
Caitlin Seifert
Steeeep 0.7mi
Jul 1, 2017
Chris Cozzi
Jun 10, 2017
Mick Wollman

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 6 votes


  3.8 from 6 votes
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Trail Rankings


in Colorado


14 Views Last Month
1,370 Since Nov 7, 2014



Sunrise from Mt Saintas
Nov 3, 2017 near Boulder, CO
The top of Mount Sanitas looks out at the beauty of Boulder and the Flatirons.
Apr 12, 2017 near Boulder, CO
Looking east from the summit at sunrise.
Dec 2, 2018 near Boulder, CO
Arriving at the summit, just missed the sunrise.
Dec 2, 2018 near Boulder, CO
Sunrise (5:30).
Jul 17, 2019 near Boulder, CO
The lower slope of the East Ridge Trail means less steepness!
Nov 7, 2014 near Boulder, CO


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