Trail Run Project Logo

Foothills Bench Trail

Intermediate
 4.0 (9)

This under-appreciated trail rambles along the base of the foothills covering unique terrain.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

2.0

Miles

3.2

KM

98%

Runnable

5,690' 1,734 m

High

5,657' 1,724 m

Low

108' 33 m

Up

100' 30 m

Down

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

10%

Max Grade (6°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

No bikes or dogs.

Runner Notes

Slow way down for a couple of wet and slippery ravine crossings. Good surface. Trail is very narrow for most of its length. Standing water and mud after snows and heavy rain.

Description

This trail is typically done as an out-and-back starting at the southern end. From where the Foothills North Trail turns sharply south, look for a faint path heading uphill just east of the rail fence. This initial part of the Foothills Bench Trail climbs a short ridge to overlook the Foothills Trailhead and the brushy creek that parallels the Foothills North Trail.

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.

Flora & Fauna

Wildflowers, soaring hawks

Contacts

Shared By:

Megan W

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 9 votes

#5

in Boulder

#9481

Overall
  4.0 from 9 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
44%
3 Star
11%
2 Star
11%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#5

in Boulder

#792

in Colorado

#9,481

Overall
10 Views Last Month
919 Since May 11, 2015
Intermediate

11%
0%
89%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Along the Foothills Bench Trail
May 12, 2015 near Boulder, CO
Nice evening for a run
May 12, 2015 near Boulder, CO
Rolling along in the Boulder foothills
May 12, 2015 near Boulder, CO
Looking south from the Foothills Bench Trail
May 12, 2015 near Boulder, CO
Typical rolling terrain on the Foothills Bench Trail
May 11, 2015 near Boulder, CO
The trail won't stay this green and lush in the summer!
May 12, 2015 near Boulder, CO

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 75 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Sep 15, 2017
Courtney Peck
2mi