10 Best Running Trails In Boulder, Colorado


10 Best Running Trails In Boulder, Colorado (Tips from a Boulder Realtor and Ultra Runner). 

Trail running is an incredible vehicle for exploration. There is something primal about navigating rocks, roots, and forks in the path. It’s stimulating to the mind, spirit… and cardiovascular system. Trail running is always an adventure. Especially in Boulder County where breathtaking vantages are as prevalent as luxury homes.

One of our very own Boulder realtors David Trow is an ultra runner. His sneakers have tread on almost every trail in the area. We used David’s expertise to compile the ultimate list of running trails in Boulder. Just getting into the sport? There’s something on here for everyone. Whether you’re venturing off-road for the first time, or whether you just finished the Devil On The Divide. 

 

1. Walker Ranch from Eldorado Canyon

This is a trail that will make you work hard. But you’ll be rewarded with diverse terrain and incredible views. The start of the trail is technical and rocky. But soon you’ll be soaring through smooth-rolling trails.
This trail is a lollipop-style loop that begins and ends Eldorado Canyon. Wave to the local climbers as you speed past them and plunge into canyons, thick forests, and sprawling meadows.

Round-Trip Distance: 

14 miles

Elevation Gain:

+1,280 feet

Distance from Downtown Boulder: 

18 minutes

View Trail Map

 


 

2. The Green Mountain Loop via the Chautauqua Trail

You’ll see views of both Boulder and Denver on the Chautauqua Trail. You’ll also take in huge peaks to the west. Opting to use the Amphitheater Trail to access the Green Mountain Loop allows the greatest vertical gain in the least distance. In other words, you’ll be feeling the burn. But the dense green forest is a unique micro-climate. They’re wetter and lusher than the Colorado front range. Wildflowers and cascading views are plentiful.

Length: 

6 miles

Elevation Gain: 

+2,641 feet

Distance from Downtown Boulder: 

5 minutes

View Map

 


 

3. Bergen Peak

Bergen Peak has a fantastic trail system. There are multiple trail options for your adventure. You can opt for a longer excursion (and summit a peak over 10,000 ft!). Or you can keep it casual and link together meadow trails to create a loop trail. Healthy aspen trees make this a great trail for autumn.

Length: 

10.3 miles 

Elevation Gain

+2,227 feet

Distance from Downtown Boulder: 

50 minutes

View Trail Map

 


 

4. Mesa Trail

This well-maintained trail stretches along the base of Boulder’s front range mountains. This is a very accessible, flat, non-technical trail. Start from Chautauqua and run out and back at a distance that suits you. 

Length: 

13.2 miles

Elevation Gain: 

+2,631

Distance from Downtown Boulder: 

5 min.

View Trail Map

 


 

5. Mt. Sanitas

This is a local favorite. It can be completed in a variety of ways.  Personally, we love the grind of the Lion’s Lair trail on the backside of the mountain. Enjoy the view at the top. Then flip a coin to decide between bombing back down the same way… or taking the short, steep, technical route down the front.

Length: 

3.2 miles

Elevation Gain: 

+1,256 feet

Distance from Downtown Boulder: 

4 min.

View Trail Map

 


 

6. Blue Lake via Mitchell Lake Trail

There’s no other way to say it… this trail is gorgeous. You pass through alpine meadows and cross mountain rivers. Our Boulder real estate agent David Trow has seen a moose every time he’s run here.

If you’re prepared for a challenge and big adventure then check out the Pawnee Buchanan Loop in the same area. It’s rugged and tough. But it’s ranked as one of the best trails in the state.

Length: 

6.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 

+1,443 feet

Distance from Downtown Boulder: 

54 min.

View Trail Map

 


 

6. Matthews/ Winters Park 

Matthews/Winters has something for everyone. There are 11 trails in this park system, all with varying lengths and difficulties. You can summit Mount Morrison or wander along Dinosaur Ridge. Views are abundant along all the trails here. The park is next to the scenic Red Rocks Amphitheater. If you don’t feel like your trail run did enough for you, you can always add on some amphitheater stair sprints.

Length: 

0.9-6.7 miles

Elevation Gain:

+236-2,014 feet

Distance from Downtown Boulder: 

39 minutes

View Trail Map

 


 

8. North Table Mountain

This is a fun little mountain with a lot to explore. There are wildflowers, meadows, and rocky peaks. It’s located in Golden, Colorado, and is a great spot for views of sparkling city lights. But just a heads up— this trail can get busy (especially on weekends!). 

Length: 

8.3 miles

Elevation Gain: 

+1,125 feet

Distance from Downtown Boulder: 

35 minutes

View Trail Map

 


 

9. Golden Gate Canyon State Park

This park has a well-marked system of trails for a variety of different levels. There are 39 trails and over 12,000 acres. There are a lot of options. But you really can’t go wrong. Each trail has something special.  

Length: 

1.4- 27.3 miles

Elevation Gain: 

+249 -4,842 feet

Distance from Downtown Boulder: 

36 minutes

View Trail Map

 


 

10. Davidson Mesa

This is a good option for the days when you don’t want to climb a mountain… you simply want to run.  The flat mesa trail system is perched up at the edge of Louisville. It has some of the best views of Boulder and the Flatirons. 

Length: 

3.3 miles

Elevation Gain: 

65 ft

Distance from Downtown Boulder: 

17 minutes

View Trail Map

 


 

Bonus! Staunton State Park 

We’re throwing this in here because (confession time!) we just recently discovered it. It’s Colorado’s newest state park. There are 19 different trails to choose from, all of which are super runnable. It’s a lush, gorgeous park. There are lakes, forests, peaks, and waterfalls. There is terrific scenery and overlooks all around. 

Length: 

2.3- 14.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 

+236 – 2,398 feet

Distance from Downtown Boulder: 

1hr and 4 minutes

View Trail Map

 


 

 


Any Questions?

Send us a DM! The Burgess Group | Compass has intel on more than just Boulder County real estate… we’re bona fide locals with a passion for wellness and the outdoors. If having nearby trail access is important to your lifestyle, we can help. There are so many gorgeous homes for sale in Boulder that are trail-adjacent. Or we can just simply recommend a hike with a view!