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Mesa Reservoir Loop



1.9 mile 3.1 kilometer loop
100% Runnable


Ascent: 77' 23 m
Descent: -79' -24 m
High: 5,561' 1,695 m
Low: 5,487' 1,672 m


Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 3% (2°)


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Trail shared by Megan W

A satisfying trail, loops an unexpected patch of wetland oasis hidden among otherwise dry farmland.

Megan W

Features Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Off-leash dogs must be under voice and sight control. Bikes are not permitted on this trail. Keep out of the reservoir itself, this is a protected wildlife area.


This short loop circumnavigates Mesa Reservoir and provides great views over Boulder Valley Ranch, the flatirons and Boulder Reservoir.

Runner Notes

This trail gets less traffic and about half the loop is pretty smooth single track.


Starting from the end of Broadway Street at the 5-way trail junction, choose the Eagle Trail heading east. Run though dry fields of yucca and prairie grass, with the antics of prairie dogs to amuse you. This nearly flat trail soon intersects the Old Mill Trail and continues straight. After a gentle downhill stretch, Mesa Reservoir itself comes into view to the south and views of the eastern plains appear. The flatirons provide a scenic backdrop behind the reservoir.

At the rain shelter, leave the Eagle Trail to join the narrower Mesa Reservoir Trail as it traces the raised rim of the reservoir. The best views of the swampy depression are from the western and eastern ends. Waterfowl paddle about and you can hear frogs croaking from the shoreline. Follow the rim of the reservoir around, peeking though the trees, but do not venture off the trail- this area is protected.

All to soon, the Mesa Reservoir Trail leaves the shore and dips along the backside of the hill following a fenceline. Continue on the Mesa Reservoir Trail past the junction with the Hidden Valley Trail. Travel west over flat, grassy terrain, then through a more open area to where the Degge Trail cuts across the valley. A slight uphill climb brings you back to the starting point at Broadway Street.

Flora & Fauna

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

History & Background

The Silverlake Irrigation Ditch used to feed Mesa Reservoir, but this connection has since been abandoned. Mesa Reservoir is now only intermittently filled by rain. The 1990 Olde Stage wildfire burned in this area. The Boulder Valley Ranch is a currently working and historic ranch.

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Sep 29, 2019
Clark Winters
Feb 14, 2019
Jasmine Hansen

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 3 votes


  4.0 from 3 votes
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in Colorado


42 Views Last Month
1,376 Since Apr 30, 2015



From Mesa Reservoir looking west
Apr 30, 2015 near Boulder, CO
Enjoyable running on the Mesa Reservoir Trail
Apr 30, 2015 near Boulder, CO
Layered shelves of rock along the western end of the Cobalt Trail
May 11, 2015 near Boulder, CO
Looking east over the fields and Mesa Reservoir
May 11, 2015 near Boulder, CO
Ambling the western end of the Mesa Reservoir Trial, hikers in the distance are on the Hidden Valley Trail
May 11, 2015 near Boulder, CO
The marshy Mesa Reservoir - don't enter, it is a protected wildlife area
Apr 30, 2015 near Boulder, CO


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