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Mount Sanitas Trail

Difficult

Trail

1.3 mile 2.0 kilometer point to point
45% Runnable
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,252' 382 m
Descent: 0' 0 m
High: 6,775' 2,065 m
Low: 5,522' 1,683 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 19% (11°)
Max Grade: 39% (21°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Trail shared by Megan W

Mega-popular Boulder classic that is sure to get your blood pumping

Megan W

Features Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Runner Notes

This steep trail makes extensive use of log steps and rocky ledges, some sections may be too steep for continuous running. To reduce frustration, avoid the peak hours as this trail is popular and it is hard to safely pass other users.

Description

A short path east from the Centennial trailhead and parking area along the north side of Sunshine Canyon Drive takes users to a picnic pavilion next to a stream. Pass through the pavilion, cross the concrete bridge and head left and uphill through a small meadow. Signage marks the official start of the Mount Sanitas Trail where it crosses the Silver Lake Irrigation Ditch.

The trail contours around the west flank of Mount Sanitas, climbing steeply up wooden stairs and rock ledges to gain elevation in a hurry. The difficult ascent rewards with views down into Sunshine Canyon and west to the impressive Indian Peaks. Pass below short cliffs popular with bouldering climbers and spot their favorite routes by looking for white, chalky holds.

The terrain mellows slightly as it reaches the Mount Sanitas ridge and then meanders back and forth along its spine. Clamber ever upwards catching glimpses of false summits and the city below. Much of the middle section of this trail consists of rock steps clinging to the sunny hillside. The remainder of the trail climbs steadily to the summit past ponderosa pines and springtime wildflowers.

One final push and you find yourself on top of the rocky summit outcrop. Settle down for a well deserved rest with the all the other sweaty trail runners, hikers and their very fit dogs. Enjoy the best views of Boulder laid out to the east, as trees partially obscure views in other directions.

Flora & Fauna

Note that mountain lions and bears pass through this area and although rangers do their best to put up warning signs about recent activity, dawn and dusk are the times to be most aware.

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Need to Know, Dogs Allowed

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Check-Ins

Sep 16, 2017
JoshuaRichardson
2.6mi
Jul 6, 2017
Jen McMurtrey
Mar 13, 2017
Mr Singleton
1.3mi — 0h 26m
Sep 1, 2016
Kevin Gravina
good condition 1.3mi
Aug 9, 2015
Gus Delaporte

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 19 votes

#387

Overall
  4.3 from 19 votes
5 Star
26%
4 Star
74%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#73

in Colorado

#387

Overall
35 Views Last Month
3,800 Since Nov 7, 2014
Difficult

0%
11%
89%
0%

Photos

Sunrise from Mt Saintas
Nov 3, 2017 near Boulder, CO
The top of Mount Sanitas looks out at the beauty of Boulder and the Flatirons.
Apr 12, 2017 near Boulder, CO
Looking east from the summit at sunrise.
Dec 2, 2018 near Boulder, CO
Arriving at the summit, just missed the sunrise.
Dec 2, 2018 near Boulder, CO
Sunrise (5:30).
Jul 17, 2019 near Boulder, CO
On the descent at 6:30 a.m.
Jul 17, 2019 near Boulder, CO

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