A great hike within walking distance of downtown Boulder is available at Mount Sanitas. Be ready to gain some altitude, as you climb just about 1300 feet on the rugged 3.1 mile loop trail. There are plenty of excellent views of the city of Boulder as you climb to the top of Mount Sanitas. And lots to see from the top of Mount Sanitas. During warm days, climbers enjoy boldering along the rocky walls lining the trail. Boldering is a style of rock climbing that does not involve ropes and is usually very limited in terms of height. Get more info here.
There are two main trails at Mount Sanitas. A lazy wide jeep path runs up the canyon allowing for a casual and sunny hike. The second trail climbs quickly, taking advantage of log steps and rock outcroppings. You can take either trail and loop around on the way down. At the top of Mount Sanitas is a rocky outcrop that makes a great place to rest, enjoy the view and enjoy a snack before heading back down.
Raptors, mule deer and small critters are common on the Mount Sanitas trail. At the right time of day, you might encounter a fox or coyote. Be sure to stay on the trail and keep your dog on a leash.
Mount Sanitas and Chautauqua
The trail is popular all year round. Some portions are moderately difficult. I would recommend bringing water and a snack. Of course, locals love to run the trail, so don’t be surprised if someone jogs by you heading up the hill. Here is a blog post about another great Boulder hiking spot: Chautauqua.