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Trails near Boulder

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
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Trails near Boulder

Postby jpenny » Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:48 pm

I live in Boulder and offer my sincerest condolences to any and all that have been affected by the flood. I have delivered some large donations to the YMCA here in Boulder and it is heartbreaking to see all of the damage that has been done. I was also able to deliver food to all of the people who are part of the rescue efforts at the Boulder Airport and all of the help is very much appreciated. I fortunately just lost a hot water heater and had 2 feet of water in my basement, which is nothing at all compared to many.

That being said, I am also an avid trail runner and have no intention to stop running just because every trail I run in Boulder that has any sort of elevation with a peak is closed and may be closed for a very long time. Many of us here in Boulder are trying to get back to our normal every day routine and for me that most definitely includes a trail run every day. Outside of a hot shower, that is all I need to get back to normal, and as I can't state enough, I am extremely fortunate to not have it much, much worse.

However, I have lived here in the city a little over a year now and don't know of many trails outside of the Boulder area except for some in Ft. Collins, which is too much of a drive. Does anyone know of some trails within 45 minutes that have at least or around 2000 ft of elevation gain and preferably at least 8 miles? All suggestions are welcome however, because while I like to get my workout in, I also don't mind a little less for a good bit of sight-seeing and exploration.

Also, as a frequent visitor to Estes Park and RMNP, it breaks my heart to not be able to simply head out there and run. I can't imagine how it must be to live there. This has been a terrible tragedy with many people having to be relocated from their homes in a magical, wonderful place. I hope that everyone can get through this safely and return their lives to normal. My thoughts and best wishes to everyone in the areas of Lyons, Jamestown, and Estes.

Also, if anyone happens to know trail conditions in the Indian Peaks Wilderness or RMNP (not that it looks like anyone will be heading there soon) I would very much appreciate an update. I would hate to drive to IPW once the roads are open only to not find a trail. Thanks Much.

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Re: Trails near Boulder

Postby SchralpTheGnar » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:08 pm

There's nothing with that much vertical gain outside of Boulder on the front range, 1500 feet tops.

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Re: Trails near Boulder

Postby smoove » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:10 pm

SchralpTheGnar wrote:There's nothing with that much vertical gain outside of Boulder on the front range, 1500 feet tops.


Bergen Peak?

And Mt. Falcon, Castle Trail?

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Re: Trails near Boulder

Postby SchralpTheGnar » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:14 pm

smoove wrote:
SchralpTheGnar wrote:There's nothing with that much vertical gain outside of Boulder on the front range, 1500 feet tops.


Bergen Peak?



hmmm, I wasn't thinking about evergreen, since that's more like an hour from boulder, i've never done that trail either. i was just looking at mount falcon, mathew winters\red rocks\dakota, golden gate canyon, deer creek canyon, etc. There are lots of good 6 mile 1000-1500 foot climbs in those areas, I suppose you could run the 3 miles up then backtrack 1 mile and 500 feet and run back up to push it out to 8 miles and 2000 feet, but honestly i've never liked doing that.

edit...
mount falcon castle trail is around 1500 feet and probably the best bet for the OP.

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Re: Trails near Boulder

Postby smoove » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:19 pm

SchralpTheGnar wrote:
smoove wrote:
SchralpTheGnar wrote:There's nothing with that much vertical gain outside of Boulder on the front range, 1500 feet tops.


Bergen Peak?



hmmm, I wasn't thinking about evergreen, since that's more like an hour from boulder, i've never done that trail either. i was just looking at mount falcon, mathew winters\red rocks\dakota, golden gate canyon, deer creek canyon, etc. There are lots of good 6 mile 1000-1500 foot climbs in those areas, I suppose you could run the 3 miles up then backtrack 1 mile and 500 feet and run back up to push it out to 8 miles and 2000 feet, but honestly i've never liked doing that.

edit...
mount falcon castle trail is around 1500 feet and probably the best bet for the OP.


I guess that would be just as bad as driving to Ft. Collins for him. Mt. Morrison maybe. Not quite enough gain and shorter/steeper than what he has in mind, probably. Edited to correct gender!
Last edited by smoove on Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Trails near Boulder

Postby madbuck » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:20 pm

Your best bet is down toward Golden, here are some trails

Near the corner of 470/I-70 is kind of a "magic corner" of foothills and trails.
Check out Green Mountain (Lakewood), Red Rocks park and Dakota Ridge (trails and Mt. Morrison), Mt. Falcon (good initial climb and loops there), Lookout Mountain (Golden, esp. Apex and Chimney Gulch for gains)
Green Mountain is shorter and might take a couple loops to make 2k gain, but Morrison, Falcon, and Lookout can all give you that gain in a 8-10+ mile run.

Further in from Golden (but closer to Boulder) is White Ranch -- Belcher Hill and then a loop around/up top for more gain.
Last edited by madbuck on Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Trails near Boulder

Postby simargl » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:22 pm

Check out http://jeffco.us/parks/parks-and-trails/ there is a list of all Jeffco's trails with profiles and maps. Many of the trails you could make loops to get a total elevation and distance you are looking for. Have a good run!

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Re: Trails near Boulder

Postby SteveBonowski » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:57 pm

Try this; you probably will need a map if you're not real familiar with the area.. Start at the Hayden Trailhead on West Alameda on Green Mountain/Lakewood. Do a counter-clockwise hike or run up to the top near the radio/cell tower. Continue north past the summit and then down to where the foot bridge across C-470 is located.

If trails not too muddy, cross Rooney Road, at the entrance to the hiker parking lot, and go up the Zorro Trail to top of the Hogback (Dakota Ridge). Go north on the Hogback and then descend near the junction of County 93 with I-70. Cross County 93 and proceed south into Matthews-Winter Park. Continue south and enter Red Rocks Park. Here's the crux; watch for a crossing of Highway 93 that takes you up the west side of the Hogback. Proceed south on top of the Hogback, descending momentarily to where the now closed extension of Alameda crosses the Hogback. Proceed north to a generally small level area where the Zorro Trail topped out and ended.

Descend the Zorro and again cross Rooney Road into the parking lot. Back to the bridge over C-470 and continue bearing to your right. Finish your loop and arrive back at the Hayden Parking lot.

Enjoy; I recall all the trails being fairly decent altho can be muddy. I think this all works out to some 12-14 miles total when you're done. Count on somewhere between 2,000 and 2,500' of vertical gain; loss not factored in.

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Re: Trails near Boulder

Postby Wildernessjane » Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:10 pm

simargl wrote:Check out http://jeffco.us/parks/parks-and-trails/ there is a list of all Jeffco's trails with profiles and maps. Many of the trails you could make loops to get a total elevation and distance you are looking for. Have a good run!


Keep in mind that some of the open space parks around Golden have also been impacted by the floods. The East entrance of White Ranch is closed because of "extreme flood damage" and Apex is also closed. Check out the website or the Jeffco Open Space FB page for updates. Mount Falcon (outside of Morrison) is open though and that might be a good choice for now.

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Re: Trails near Boulder

Postby Wildernessjane » Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:30 pm

Centennial Cone is also open and this might be a good option for you as well. I'm not sure how much gain there is, but starting at the Mayhem Gulch TH off of Hwy 6 would give you some added climbing. There is an alternating use schedule on weekends (hikers on odd days, bikers on even).

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Re: Trails near Boulder

Postby jpenny » Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:51 pm

Wow this is great. I am actually kind of looking forward to exploring outside of Boulder now. Falcon looks like my run for tomorrow and maybe a centennial cone the next day. Chimney Gulch from the linked website sounds like a good short but steep one as well.
Thanks a bunch and anymore suggestions are welcome!

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Re: Trails near Boulder

Postby goingup » Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:59 pm

May I recommend going and picking up the book "Run the Rockies" by Steven Bragg. I have trail ran about a dozen of the classics in this book. It is worth owning and has led me places (with very good routes) that I never would have imagined going. Hope this helps :-D


Edit~~~ I noticed a lot of people recommended Mount Falcon to you. This route is very close to where I live and they closed it down for a while due to erosion and apparently when it rains it turns into a mess. There were signs posted about this area the last time I ran the apex loop outside of Golden saying it was closed (and this was before the floods).

I second the Dakota Ridge loop. That is one I regularly run before I have class during the weekdays.
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods;
There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where no one intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more......

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