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Boulder

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Overview

Situated at the base of the iconic Flatirons, Boulder is known for its outdoor activities and abundant sunshine. From hiking to running to climbing to biking to just soaking in the scenery, Boulder has something for everyone to enjoy. Conveniently located at the base of the mountains, the city itself is home to a thriving entrepreneurial community, some of the best restaurants in the region, the historic Pearl Street Mall, and the bustling campus of the University of Colorado. Additionally, the city boasts more than 45,000 acres of open space, more than 60 urban parks, and 300 miles of bike paths, making it a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. To learn more about what Boulder has to offer, visit the city's website.

Local Info

It's no surprise that Boulder, consistently called one of the fittest communities in America, is home to a large number of cyclists. However, Boulder's strong cycling reputation revolves more around road bikes than mountain bikes. The town is a road riding mecca, with thousands of cyclists dotting the roads on any day above 50 degrees, professional teams taking up residence to train, and an awesome network of bike lanes and paths criss-crossing the city, making bikes a preferred mode of travel for local trips.

The town is not known, however, as a mountain biking destination despite the fact that it's home to the International Mountain Bicycling Association.

That said, there is some great mountain biking in and around Boulder. Some nearby highlights include Marshall Mesa - Doudy Draw Loops on the south side of town, Betasso - Canyon Loop and Benjamin Loop just up Boulder Canyon, and Walker Ranch up Flagstaff.

The town is also home to a phenomenal bike park: Valmont Bike Park. The park has something for EVERY type of rider, from strider bike trails to massive dirt jumps, and everything in between. Go there to work on skills or be in awe of other riders' skills.

There's also some excellent riding about 30 minutes north (Hall Ranch in Lyons), west (West Magnolia Tour in Nederland) or south (several great trails in the Golden area).

Visiting Tips

The best time to hit the trails tends to be March through November, with a few exceptions. During the winter, some trails are accessible, especially at Hall Ranch, the Boulder Reservoir, or in the Marshall Mesa area as snow and ice will melt quickly during warm spells. There are times in spring or fall when rain or snow storms can make trails too muddy to use. While Boulder is well-known for its sunny weather, be aware that weather in Colorado can be unpredictable, and afternoon thunderstorms are a common occurrence in the summer.

Camping & Lodging

While there is no camping in the city of Boulder or on City of Boulder open space, there are several nearby camping options just outside the city. A quick drive will get you to the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests located west of Boulder and offer some great campsites and more spectacular trails to explore.

The Boulder Adventure Lodge (A-Lodge for short) is only 5 minutes up Boulder Canyon from downtown Pearl Street. Strategically located for adventure enthusiasts, the A-Lodge provides easy access to Boulder's climbing, biking, fishing, hiking and trail running. The A-lodge includes an onsite slackline park, outdoor fire pits, two hot tubs, private rooms & suites, a hostel room, and even some camping options.

Boulder offers a variety of accomodations from hotels to bed and breakfasts, and a list of local lodging options can be found here.

Food & Drink

Boulder has a vibrant local restaurant and microbrewery scene, all located so close to the trails that you can easily find a place to dine and relax in between activities. Visit Boulder's website for a list of the best restaurants that downtown Boulder has to offer.

Outfitters, Tours, & Shuttles

There are so many bike shops in Boulder, it's almost hard to call any out. But a few standouts for mountain bikers are:
If you're looking for someone to guide you on a great ride in the Boulder area, be sure to check out PEDAL Mountain Bike Adventures for one and two day options.

For the BEST mountain bike clinics and lessons you've ever had, check out

Other Activities

In addition to awesome hiking, running, and riding, Boulder is blessed with an amazing amount of rocks with decent variety of rock type for cragging minutes from downtown. At one point in history, some might argue that the rocks around this town were a focal point for the advancement of American climbing. Still, these crags are rich with history. Today, with perhaps the exception of the high-end climber, nearly every climber can find something nearby to satisfy their climbing desires.

To learn more about rock climbing in Boulder, check out the Mountain Project page.

Maps & Guidebooks

Check out the Boulder Mountainbike Alliance website for additional information about trails. BMA does a lot of work to keep mountain bike trails open, and to build and open new trails in the area.

Recommended Routes in Boulder - 16

MTB Project is built by riders like you. Add Your Recommended Routes

Favorite Cruising down the Benjamin Loop.
Intermediate Intermediate

Betasso Preserve

7.1 mi 11.5 km 768' Up 234.03 m Up 759' Down 231.27 m Down

Boulder, CO
Explore in 3D
Favorite A rider gets after it on the Boulder Creek descent!
Difficult Difficult

Walker Ranch

7.8 mi 12.6 km 1,516' Up 462.02 m Up 1,510' Down 460.32 m Down

Coal Creek, CO
Explore in 3D
Favorite Justin and Katrina getting an evening ride in on the Springbrook Loop in South Boulder.
Intermediate Intermediate

Marshall Mesa - Doudy Draw Loops

10.4 mi 16.8 km 921' Up 280.63 m Up 923' Down 281.18 m Down

Superior, CO
Explore in 3D
Favorite Justin and Katrina getting an evening ride in on the Springbrook Loop in South Boulder.
Intermediate Intermediate

Spring Brook Loop

12.6 mi 20.2 km 943' Up 287.5 m Up 943' Down 287.41 m Down

Superior, CO
Explore in 3D
Favorite Cruising down the Benjamin Loop.
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

Super Betasso

16.3 mi 26.2 km 1,788' Up 545.03 m Up 1,788' Down 544.87 m Down

Boulder, CO
Explore in 3D
Favorite Beautiful evening light and views of the Flatirons and Continental Divide from the Marshall Mesa trail in South Boulder.
Intermediate Intermediate

Dirty Bismark

15.7 mi 25.2 km 933' Up 284.36 m Up 929' Down 283.21 m Down

Superior, CO
Explore in 3D
Favorite Getting rowdy high above Boulder.
Difficult Difficult

Ride like a Moto

10.1 mi 16.3 km 2,101' Up 640.44 m Up 2,101' Down 640.24 m Down

Niwot, CO
Explore in 3D
Favorite Skillz Loop - a great place for grom shredding!
Intermediate Intermediate

Valmont Bike Park - Singletrack Hotlap

2.0 mi 3.2 km 78' Up 23.73 m Up 79' Down 24 m Down

Boulder, CO
Explore in 3D
Favorite Beautiful evening light and views of the Flatirons and Continental Divide from the Marshall Mesa trail in South Boulder.
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

Down and Dirty

18.8 mi 30.3 km 1,068' Up 325.44 m Up 1,066' Down 324.88 m Down

Superior, CO
Explore in 3D

Boulder Biking

  • 195 Miles 314 Kilometers of Trail
  • 16 Recommended Routes
  • 57 Easy Trails Easy Trails
  • 59 Intermediate Trails Intermediate Trails
  • 42 Difficult Trails Difficult Trails
MTB Project is built by riders like you. Share what you know about this area!

Areas Within Boulder

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Trails in Boulder - 142

MTB Project is built by riders like you. Add Your Trails

1.2 mi 1.9 km #1Betasso Link Trail
Difficult Difficult
Boulder, CO
Difficult Difficult
Boulder, CO 88 
3.3 mi 5.3 km #2Canyon Loop
Intermediate Intermediate
Boulder, CO
Intermediate Intermediate
Boulder, CO 67 
2.3 mi 3.7 km #3Benjamin Loop
Intermediate Intermediate
Boulder, CO
Intermediate Intermediate
Boulder, CO 44 
0.1 mi 0.2 km #4Dual Slalom
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Boulder, CO
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Boulder, CO 10 
0.1 mi 0.2 km #5Corkscrew
Intermediate Intermediate
Boulder, CO
Intermediate Intermediate
Boulder, CO 12 
0.1 mi 0.2 km #6Large Slopestyle
Difficult Difficult
Boulder, CO
Difficult Difficult
Boulder, CO
2.2 mi 3.5 km #7Doudy Draw
Intermediate Intermediate
Superior, CO
Intermediate Intermediate
Superior, CO 37 
0.1 mi 0.2 km #8XL Slopestyle
Very Difficult Very Difficult
Boulder, CO
Very Difficult Very Difficult
Boulder, CO
1.1 mi 1.8 km #9Bon Scott Trail #845
Very Difficult Very Difficult
Niwot, CO
Very Difficult Very Difficult
Niwot, CO 33 
0.1 mi 0.1 km #10Medium Slopestyle
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Boulder, CO
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult
Boulder, CO

Photos of Boulder - 372

MTB Project is built by riders like you. Add Your Photos

Cruising down the Benjamin Loop.
Jun 9, 2015 near Boulder, CO
Dirty Bismarck heading towards the main parking lot.
Oct 18, 2015 near Superior, CO
Beautiful evening light and views of the Flatirons and Continental Divide from the Marshall Mesa trail in South Boulder.
Nov 11, 2016 near Superior, CO
A rider gets after it on the Boulder Creek descent!
Apr 7, 2017 near Coal Creek, CO
A pair rides through an old wildfire burn area on the Walker Ranch Link Trail.
Apr 7, 2017 near Coal Creek, CO
Going fast on decomposed granite at Boulder's Walker Ranch.
Apr 21, 2017 near Coal Creek, CO
Justin and Katrina getting an evening ride in on the Springbrook Loop in South Boulder.
Apr 27, 2017 near Boulder, CO
Getting rowdy high above Boulder.
Feb 11, 2018 near Niwot, CO
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