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Mesa Trail

 16 votes

Length

6.3 Miles 10.1 Kilometers

89%

Runnable

Elevation

801' 244 m

Ascent

-1,190' -363 m

Descent

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

17%

Max Grade (9°)

6,428' 1,959 m

High

5,623' 1,714 m

Low

Conditions


Minor Issues 27 days ago
Dry: Mostly dry with mud/ice in a few spots, esp. in the shade and on north facing slopes. History

Getting forecast...

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

Brian Smith

Overview

Features: Birding — River/Creek — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Dogs: Leashed

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, 2018
Kirsten Amelia
Mar 10, 2018
Robert Hill
6.3mi
Jan 31, 2018
Tim Thompson
Started from the end off 170 at South Mesa Trailhead. Beautiful trail, but doing it from this direction is a bear as far as elevation gain goes. Tu… 4mi
Oct 7, 2017
Michael Reschly
13.4mi
Aug 25, 2017
Jen McMurtrey
Aug 5, 2017
David Fisher Boersma
6mi — 1h 05m
May 2, 2017
Nathan Rilla
Super classic. One of the best trails in the country for sure. 8.1mi
Jan 29, 2017
Noah Price

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 16 votes

#77

Overall
  4.5 from 16 votes
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Rankings

#14

in Colorado

#77

Overall
333 Views Last Month
3,128 Since Dec 17, 2014
Intermediate Intermediate

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