Mount Sanitas Loop

 10 votes
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Featured Run
Trail

3.2 Miles 5.2 Kilometers

 

61% 

Runnable

100%

Singletrack

1,281' 390 m

Ascent

-1,280' -390 m

Descent

6,780' 2,067 m

High

5,521' 1,683 m

Low

15%

Avg Grade (9°)

43%

Max Grade (23°)

All Clear

17 days agoUpdate

Very popular and scenic loop right from the edge of town.

Nick Wilder

Overview

This is a steep but rewarding trail, with great summit views of the foothils to the high peaks, and all of Boulder. It is virtually always crowded with all kinds of runners, hikers, and dogs.
Features: Views
Dogs: Offleash

Need To Know

In typical Boulder fashion, there are some crazy speed records on the various trails.

Runner Notes

Many large steps and off-camber rocks make you keep an eye right ahead of your feet.

Description

From the beginning of the Sanitas Valley Trail, take your first left on the Mount Sanitas Trail and immediately start the very steep ascent of the mountain. The trail is mostly shaded, but there are tons of high steps, both on logs and boulders, which make the trail tiring. You'll pass some large rock outcroppings that are popular with climbers and boulderers and several nice places to rest and enjoy the views both east and west.

After several false summits, you finally gain the true summit and have unobstructed views of all of Boulder to the east, and partially obstructed views of foothills and Indian Peaks to the west.

Head down the very steep East Ridge Trail, which has several tricky sections of steep rock. It eases up as you descend, and finally widens and becomes much easier as you get to a saddle and intersection with the Sanitas Valley Trail.

As you descend this nice, easy gravel road, enjoy the spectacular views of the Flatirons, seen from a unique side-on angle. You'll pass the historic Silver Lake ditch (which supplies water to Boulder farmers and has been in use since the late 1800's) and soon end back where you started.

Flora & Fauna

Mountain lions are common in the area, and the trail is occasionally closed if there is a fresh kill. You'd be lucky to see one though!

History & Background

The peak is named for the Boulder Sanitarium that sat at the current site of the Boulder Community Hospital. The building was completed in 1896 and was primarily used to treat tuberculosis patients. The original smokestack still stands.

There is also an old quarry halfway up the slope (a spur trail will lead you there) that was used for several early University of Colorado buildings.

Contacts

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3.9 from 10 votes


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Check-Ins

Oct 3, 2015
Eric Singleton
Jun 27, 2015
Gus Delaporte
Down Dakota Ridge Trail.
Jun 5, 2015
Wendy Tseng
I started on the Goat Trail via Hawthorne Ave, East Ridge Trail to Mount Sanitas. Down Mount Sanitas the other side...,came back on Dakota Ridge 8mi
May 30, 2015
Gus Delaporte
Down Dakota Ridge Trail and then reversed.

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 10 votes

#936

Overall
  3.9 from 10 votes
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Rankings

#140

in Colorado

#936

Overall
70 Views Last Month
991 Since Nov 15, 2014
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Conditions


All Clear 17 days ago
Mostly Dry
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