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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 - 23

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

Favorite Cruising down the Benjamin Loop.
Intermediate

Betasso Preserve

7.4 mi 11.9 km 829' Up 252.78 m Up 829' Down 252.59 m Down

Boulder, CO
Favorite A rider gets after it on the Boulder Creek descent!
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
Favorite Justin and Katrina getting an evening ride in on the Springbrook Loop in South Boulder.
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
Favorite Justin and Katrina getting an evening ride in on the Springbrook Loop in South Boulder.
Intermediate

Spring Brook Loop

12.6 mi 20.3 km 942' Up 287.16 m Up 942' Down 287.08 m Down

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

Dirty Bismark

15.7 mi 25.3 km 941' Up 286.74 m Up 939' Down 286.33 m Down

Superior, CO
Favorite Cruising down the Benjamin Loop.
Intermediate/Difficult

Super Betasso

16.2 mi 26.1 km 1,804' Up 549.87 m Up 1,804' Down 549.75 m Down

Boulder, CO
Favorite A nice little pause in passing Brainard Lake while connecting Little Raven Trail to South St. Vrain Trail.
Difficult

South Saint Vrain Figure 8

16.3 mi 26.2 km 2,072' Up 631.58 m Up 2,086' Down 635.74 m Down

Nederland, CO
Favorite Getting rowdy high above Boulder.
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
Favorite Leaving the East Portal of Needle's Eye Tunnel.
Intermediate/Difficult

Indian Peaks Traverse (IPT)

71.3 mi 114.8 km 9,089' Up 2770.37 m Up 5,735' Down 1747.95 m Down

Boulder, CO

Boulder Biking

  • 695 Miles 1,119 Kilometers of Trail
  • 24 Recommended Routes
  • 92 Easy Trails Easy Trails
  • 44 Intermediate Trails Intermediate Trails
  • 13 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 - 125

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

1.2 mi 1.9 km #1Betasso Link Trail
Difficult
Boulder, CO
Difficult
Boulder, CO 68 
3.3 mi 5.3 km #2Canyon Loop
Intermediate
Boulder, CO
Intermediate
Boulder, CO 51 
2.4 mi 3.9 km #3Overland Loop
Easy/Intermediate
Lyons, CO
Easy/Intermediate
Lyons, CO 49 
2.3 mi 3.7 km #4Benjamin Loop
Intermediate
Boulder, CO
Intermediate
Boulder, CO 36 
0.1 mi 0.2 km #5Dual Slalom
Intermediate/Difficult
Boulder, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Boulder, CO
0.1 mi 0.2 km #6Large Slopestyle
Difficult
Boulder, CO
Difficult
Boulder, CO
0.1 mi 0.2 km #7XL Slopestyle
Very Difficult
Boulder, CO
Very Difficult
Boulder, CO
0.1 mi 0.2 km #8Corkscrew
Intermediate/Difficult
Boulder, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Boulder, CO 10 
0.8 mi 1.3 km #9Schoolhouse Loop
Easy
Lyons, CO
Easy
Lyons, CO
35.7 mi 57.5 km #10Rollins Pass (aka Corona Pass)
Intermediate
Nederland, CO
Intermediate
Nederland, CO 23 

Photos of Boulder - 321

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

Justin and Katrina getting an evening ride in on the Springbrook Loop in South Boulder.
Apr 27, 2017 near Boulder, 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
Getting rowdy high above Boulder.
Feb 11, 2018 near Niwot, CO
Cruising down the Benjamin Loop.
Jun 9, 2015 near Boulder, CO
A pair rides through an old wildfire burn area on the Walker Ranch Link Trail.
Apr 7, 2017 near Coal Creek, CO
Dirty Bismarck heading towards the main parking lot.
Oct 18, 2015 near Superior, CO
Going fast on decomposed granite at Boulder's Walker Ranch.
Apr 21, 2017 near Coal Creek, CO
Skillz Loop - a great place for grom shredding!
Feb 3, 2015 near Boulder, CO