Foothills Bench Trail
ElevationAscent: 108' 33 m
Descent: -100' -30 m
High: 5,690' 1,734 m
Low: 5,657' 1,724 m
GradeAvg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 10% (6°)
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“This under-appreciated trail rambles along the base of the foothills covering unique terrain.”— Megan W
Continue north on Foothills Bench Trail as it dips into shallow ravines and rises up over narrow spines. The trail is usually very skinny and sometimes becomes flooded by side streams in spring. This mostly level route is not very taxing and affords good views to the east of Boulder Reservoir, Haystack Mountain and the plains. One downside is the constant traffic noise from highway 36. There are a few small ponds formed behind the banks of the trail.
Follow the contours of the hillside and across sunny fields, occasionally reaching a brushy gully with running water. In spring especially, these flooded areas wash out the trail, sometimes necessitating a nervy leap across a deep hole or rock hopping through a cascade. Mostly the route is easy going. Be sure to stop at the rocky outcrops to take in the views.
Depending on the weather, you may see paragliders swooping around in the updrafts near the Wonderland Lake area. Other views to the south include side-on flatirons, Bear Peak and Green Mountain. The trail terminates unceremoniously at a small industrial park area, most commonly known for the McGuckin's storage facility nearby. Turn around here and retrace your steps.
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Land Manager: Boulder County, CO - Parks and Open Space