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Boulder Valley Ranch Loop

Easy
 4.0 (11) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

This scenic loop through rolling farmland is a highlight of the Boulder Valley Ranch area.


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Map Key

2.9

Miles

4.6

KM

99%

Runnable

5,348' 1,630 m

High

5,208' 1,587 m

Low

170' 52 m

Up

166' 51 m

Down

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

7%

Max Grade (4°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Off-leash dogs must be under voice and sight control.

Overview

This is a pleasant loop, suitable for people of most fitness levels. Because it is so exposed to the sun, it dries out quickly after snowstorms making it a favorite wintertime destination for hikers and runners. Expect to share this popular trail with mountain bikers, equestrians and off-leash dogs.

Need to Know

Very little shade on this route, can get very hot at mid-day.

Runner Notes

Generally good surface, but bike and horse traffic can cause ruts especially after rain. There are usually smoother parts near the edges.

Description

This loop starts at the Boulder Valley Ranch Trailhead off Longhorn Road. On the north side of the parking lot, open a gate and head right (northeast) on the Sage Trail. Views of the Boulder County foothills open up. The trail meanders through a few shallow ravines and next to a private working ranch. This is a chance to see barns, stables and friendly horses up close. Climb up a short incline and views of the flatirons and a small pond are revealed. After the junction with the North Rim Trail, continue along through open, grassy pastures inhabited by prairie dogs. In the distance to the east you'll see Boulder Reservoir and Sixmile Reservoir. The Sage Trail ends at a gate which is its junction with the Eagle Trail.

From here, take the Eagle Trail down a steep, somewhat eroded slope towards a small dammed pond. The trail passes directly over the dam where you'll often see waterfowl paddling between the marshy cattails. Begin the mile long, gentle climb through fields of tall grass, pausing to look back for more reservoir views. After some westward travel through an area with scattered tall cottonwoods, you'll come to the intersection of the Eagle Trail and the Sage Trail. Luckily, this loop does not climb up the steep mesa, instead, follow the Sage Trail west on level ground next to the farmer's irrigation ditch (built in 1862). This is the only shade in the whole area, so enjoy it! The trail is easy going, flat and wide with a smooth dirt surface. The loop ends back at the Boulder Valley Ranch Trailhead parking area.

Flora & Fauna

Eagles, northern harriers, red-tailed hawks, owls, deer, coyotes, prairie dogs, rattlesnakes, bull snakes. Yucca, cottonwoods.

History & Background

The 1990 Olde Stage wildfire burned this area. The Boulder Valley Ranch is a currently working and historic ranch.

Contacts

Shared By:

Megan W

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 11 votes

#2659

Overall
  4.0 from 11 votes
5 Star
36%
4 Star
36%
3 Star
18%
2 Star
9%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#358

in Colorado

#2,659

Overall
199 Views Last Month
7,137 Since Apr 30, 2015
Easy

83%
8%
8%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Cattails by Pond #1
Apr 30, 2015 near Gunbarrel, CO
Be courteous to all users of Boulder Valley Ranch!
Apr 30, 2015 near Gunbarrel, CO
Cruising along the Sage Trail in the Boulder Valley Ranch area
Apr 30, 2015 near Boulder, CO
Running downhill towards the pond on the Eagle Trail
Apr 30, 2015 near Gunbarrel, CO
Well behaved horses on the Sage Trail
Apr 30, 2015 near Boulder, CO
Prairie dogs are ubiquitous around here
Apr 30, 2015 near Gunbarrel, CO

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Weather


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All Clear 40 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Dec 22, 2020
Tim Chapman
Apr 10, 2020
Charly Jackson
Mar 17, 2020
Matt H
Wide open space with good views of the front range.
May 19, 2019
Daylene York
2.8mi
Mar 16, 2019
Mark Vorpagel
2.7mi
Mar 10, 2019
Jasmine Hansen
3.1mi
Feb 10, 2019
Charly Jackson
6mi
Nov 2, 2018
James C
From Boulder Reservoir car park