“This short connector is a nice, mellow way to start up Mount Sanitas and the Lion's Lair Trail
— Megan W
Views · Wildflowers
Smooth, well-built trail. Hardly any roots or rocks to avoid.
This trail begins from the last dirt residential road on the east side of Sunshine Canyon before the first hairpin (that marks the start of the Lion's Lair Trail
). The Lion's Lair Alternate trail is across the road and a little uphill from the end of Sunshine Canyon Trail
The Lion's Lair Alternate trail starts up a small ridgeline sparsely treed with fir. It is undergoing a re-route and partial re-build (as of spring 2015) so be aware that the start of the trail may be moved around a bit to include more switchbacks and prevent erosion. Switchback and contour up the western flank of Mount Sanitas, climbing gently past dry rocky outcrops. There are views of the continental divide and down into Sunshine Canyon. The trail is well constructed and features rock steps and good grading. The Lion's Lair Alternate trail eventually joins the Lion's Lair Trail
at an early switchback.
This makes a great loop: from the Centennial Trailhead, take the Sunshine Canyon Trail
uphill to Lion's Lair Alternate trail. Then jump on Lion's Lair Trail
to the top of Mount Sanitas, and then back down to the Centennial Trailhead using the Mount Sanitas Trail