“A favorite in-town trail enjoyed by the masses.
— Megan W
Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Gentle, steady gradient makes this trail very run-able. Wide trail and smooth surface make for good footing.
There are multiple trail access points where Mapleton Ave becomes Sunshine Canyon Road but most users start from the official trailhead parking lot just up canyon. This user friendly lot has trash receptacles and toilets but actual parking spots are always scarce.
The Sanitas Valley Trail ascends the broad valley between Mount Sanitas and Dakota Ridge. The smooth, wide, gravel trail makes for easy footing except for a couple short sections damaged by the 2013 flooding. Views to the south include the edges of the iconic Boulder Flatirons. Fields of wildflowers line the exposed, sunny trail. A bench at the top of this trail offers panoramic views of Boulder and beyond.
At almost any time of day you'll share the Sanitas Valley with off-leash dogs, enthusiastic kids, power walkers and trail runners trying to improve their record time. Happily, this trail is wide enough to absorb all users.
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.