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blue Mesa Trail

Trail

6.3 mile 10.1 kilometer point to point
89% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 801' 244 m
Descent: -1,190' -363 m
High: 6,428' 1,959 m
Low: 5,623' 1,714 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 17% (9°)

Dogs

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Trail shared by Brian Smith

A backbone of the south Boulder trail system that hugs the foothills.

Brian Smith

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Runner Notes

This trail makes for a great out and back run that works out to be roughly a half-marathon.

Description

Mesa Trail runs north to south all the way from the top of Bluebell Road in Chautauqua to the South Mesa Trailhead near Eldorado Springs. As a product of its extended nature, Mesa Trail travels up and down through varied terrain and environments. The general pattern the Mesa Trail follows is into and out of drainages and across flatter sections in between.

Mesa trail connects to pretty much every major east-west trail in south Boulder. Trail junctions include the Kohler and Enchanted Mesa trails, the NCAR trails, Bear Canyon Trail, Fern Canyon trail, North and South Fork Shanahan Trail, Upper Big Bluestem Trail, Shadow Canyon, Homestead Trail and Towhee trails.

Trail users can expect to travel through mixed grassland/prairie and ponderosa pine savannah. Looking westward, great views of the Flatirons and frontrange peaks can be had. Simultaneously, vistas of the plains are on offer to the east. Near the junction with Shadow Canyon South Spur, there are great views of devil's thumb, a large rock tower on South Boulder Peak's southern ridge.

The largest and most sustained elevation change is on Mesa Trail's southern end as it descends into Eldorado Canyon. This portion of trail also happens to be mostly exposed so heading up it during the summer can be a scorcher.

Flora & Fauna

Black bears and mountain lions inhabit this area. The area is rich with wildlife including Peregrine Falcons, Red-tailed Hawks, songbirds, mule deer, and coyotes. This trail passes through a mixture mixed grass prairie ponderosa pine savannah.

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Check-Ins

Apr 9, 2019
chossboss
Mar 25, 2019
Jeff Wang
With sea level matt lieb. One gel each at the turnaround. 12.6mi — 2h 39m
Feb 16, 2019
Emmi Laakso
Still pretty icy and muddy on the Mesa. Microspikes are a must! 11.3mi
Nov 4, 2018
James Carson
9mi
Sep 30, 2018
Nadine Lehner
13.6mi
Sep 15, 2018
Hugh Huffaker
Aug 20, 2018
Tim Lowrimore
Out-and-back x 2; starting at Chautauqua parking lot. Really fun trail for cruising. Also, mostly shaded, which was a huge bonus. 27mi
Jul 24, 2018
Nicole Miswell
Started at NCAR finished at Sanitas 9.3mi

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 26 votes

#73

Overall
  4.5 from 26 votes
5 Star
54%
4 Star
42%
3 Star
4%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#18

in Colorado

#73

Overall
558 Views Last Month
8,139 Since Dec 17, 2014
Intermediate Intermediate

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