If there is one place that’s deserving of being called a heaven for hikers, many would agree that Boulder is one of the rare jewels of the earth that can provide that ultimate hiking experience. It’s the quintessential great outdoors, as evidenced by its scenic meadows, proliferation of greenery, awe-inspiring natural formations, and winding mountain trials. This is why if you’ve been meaning to go hiking in this truly inimitable gift of nature but still don’t know the must-visit trails, we have opted to list the best hiking trails in Boulder, Colorado below.

Chautauqua Trailhead

This trailhead is relatively easy to locate as it is found within Chautauqua Park, which is the frequent starting point of hikers in Boulder. It’s popularity hinges on the fact that a lot of Boulder’s trails can be accessed via this park. Its trails are also considerably less difficult than others in the locale.

The Mesa Trail, for instance, involves a long walk through forests and golden meadows (assuming you go in the fall), which also gives the hiker a good view of the nearby Flatirons. It also contains the Baseline Trail, which takes the hiker to more advanced trailheads like Gregory Canyon. If there is one trail that shouldn’t be missed, it’s Royal Arch! It is famous for its natural sandstone arch formation. The trail involves a steep hike, though, but it’s comparably shorter than other more difficult trails.

Gregory Canyon Trailhead

Gregory Canyon Trailhead is one of the most popular trails in Boulder as it goes straight up to Green Mountain. The summit boasts a panoramic 360 degree view of Boulder from above. The Gregory Trailhead can be accessed by turning south from Baseline Road. Assuming you start off from Chautauqua Meadow, simply head southwest while taking Baseline.

This trailhead has access to numerous other trails of varying difficulties. For instance, while nearby Bluebell-Baird trail is short and is best for beginners, trails (like Amphitheater and the Gregory Canyon Trails) that climb up to the summit of Green Mountain can be extremely strenuous due to their steepness. The awesome view as well as getting to gaze at the Green Mountain’s summit markers first-hand are just a few of the immeasurable rewards that hikers get for their effort.

South Mesa Trailhead

This trailhead comes highly recommended as it takes hikers to two famous peaks: South Boulder and Bear.

The latter is particularly noteworthy as it is actually highest point in the Boulder region. This trailhead is located west (not more than 2 miles) of Highway 93 on Eldorado Springs Drive. As for difficulty, hiking South Boulder is certainly not for the faint of heart, as should be obvious from its height alone.

One of its trails, Shadow Canyon, is extremely steep and is recommended for very experienced and fit hikers only. The hike passes through a burn zone where there is a vast assemblage of dead trees (a product of the Flagstaff fire). The view on the summit is superb to say the least, as it really displays in replete majesty a huge portion of the Boulder region and the snow-capped mountains beyond. As for Bear Peak, you can also get there via Shadow Canyon, but the West Ridge trail is more recommended as it is less difficult, though its approach is still a bit strenuous.

For many hikers, a “complete” hiking day in Boulder involves hiking the 3 mountains said above. The entire spans of the South Mesa and Gregory Canyon Trailheads are more than enough to give hikers the opportunity to embark on a great Boulder hiking adventure.