I’m going to admit it. Up until recently, I was totally guilty of not taking advantage of one of the coolest places to hike around Boulder. Eldorado Canyon State Park is less than 40 minutes from my door, and I drive past it at least once a week. I’ve climbed there, I’ve shot weddings there, but I’d never really hiked there.
I decided that needed to change and I made it my mission to hike all three of the hiking trails at Eldorado Canyon. It’s a smaller park, so I figured that the hikes would be similar but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Each trail varied in elevation, scenery and the type of crowds you encounter. What they did have in common was that all were easy to access, dog friendly and they all had spectacular views.
My favorite of the three hikes was Rattlesnake Gulch Trail. When I hiked it, I did it solo with Savannah Dog and the weather was less than perfect. That said, the 40 and raining weather lead to amazing fog along the trail and what I imagine a PNW hike would feel like. (I can’t wait to go visit the PNW this fall and find out for myself!). So, while by pure chance, that’s definitely my favorite.
Here is a brief description of all three hikes, as well as links to read more about my experience on them.
The easiest of the three trails, the Fowler Trail is a 2 mile round trip hike with moderate elevation gain. It’s both dog and kid friendly. On a summer weekend, it is full of families and people just out for a quick stroll.
Rattlesnake Gulch Trail:
My favorite of the three trails, Rattlesnake Gulch Trail is a 3.8 mile hike with significant elevation gain. You hike through the forest while stopping at quiet overlooks of the park and the continental divide. Perfect for a quick morning jaunt, or a rainy day getaway. Also dog friendly.
Eldorado Canyon Trail:
The longest of the three trails is Eldorado Canyon Trail. It is pushing 7 miles and while it has significant elevation gain, there are many rolling hills so you get a few breaks. This trail alternates between hiking in big open meadows with views of the continental divide and hiking deep into the forest with babbling brooks (I’d never actually heard a babbling brook until I did this hike, very cool). Very dog friendly.
If you’re going to be visiting the Denver or Boulder area, don’t miss out on hiking Eldorado Canyon State Park!