Features: Birding — Fall Colors — Lake — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs
This attractive trail closely follows Boulder Brook through the lower timberline zone into pretty subalpine forests. Folks looking for solitude will enjoy the lively creek's waters, diverse riparian vegetation, terrific autumn foliage, and good views of the Continental Divide and Mummy Range.
To reach the start of the Boulder Brook Trail, either take the Glacier Creek Cutoff
from the Storm Pass Trail
parking area or use the Sprague Bierstadt
connector from the Sprague Lake Trailhead. With either option, you end up at a 3-way junction with the official start of the Boulder Brook Trail which leads south. Travel south and cross the Glacier Creek Trail
, beyond which horses are not permitted. Once the trail rejoins Boulder Brook, at it turns sharply uphill. A steep climb beside the creek is punctuated by several waterfalls, aspen, mosses and lush vegetation. Autumn colors are especially good on this stretch.
The grade soon eases and small clearings offer good views of Hallet Peak,Flattop Mountain, Otis Peak and Thatchtop to the east, glimpses of Longs Peak and Storm Peak to the south, and sweeping views of the distant Mummy Range to the north. These boggy meadows are also good places to find wildlife. The trail makes several stream crossings and passes two Boulder Brook backcountry campsites. The trail ends abruptly at its intersection with the North Longs Peak Trail
. If you are planning an out-and-back, run a few steps along the North Longs Peak Trail
to the west where a bridge spans an attractive section of the brook, making a good place to rest before retracing your steps back to the trailhead.