Hogback Ridge Trail
ElevationAscent: 675' 206 m
Descent: -636' -194 m
High: 6,399' 1,951 m
Low: 5,725' 1,745 m
GradeAvg Grade: 14% (8°)
Max Grade: 41% (22°)
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“This pleasant North Boulder loop offers views, wildflowers and solitude.”— Megan W
The trail ambles north, gradually gaining elevation as it covers open fields of tall grass and wildflowers. The narrow trail has many large embedded rocks with some sections of loose stones. There is little shade on the trail, so be prepared. The trail passes a spring and numerous boulders, providing sweeping views of the eastern plains. Travel along the benches of the foothills, until the northernmost point after which the trail steepens noticeably. Here the ascent begins in earnest, climbing several challenging sections around the northern end of the ridge.
Next, the trail skirts the western side of the hogback and you begin to see down into the next canyon which holds Olde Stage Road. Here you can also see remnants of the Olde Stage Fire (1990 and 2009). If you stay on the official trail you won't reach the "summit" of the hogback, so if you want the best views, scramble up the rocky backside or look for one of the faint spur trails.
Once back on the Hogback Ridge Trail, continue south along the ridge taking advantage of shade provided by the pines. Pop back out into the open and descend into a picturesque meadow surrounded by rocky outcrops. This pretty spot in the saddle between the two hogbacks feels very inviting! Contour around grassy hillsides and then prepare for the final downhill, taking advantage of the rock and log steps. These help you shed elevation in a hurry. Be sure to appreciate the wonderful views to the south of the Flatirons and Bear Peak in the distance. After briefly passing through some more prairie terrain, close the loop and retrace your steps back down the "stem" of the lollipop to the Foothills North Trail junction.
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Land Manager: Boulder County, CO - Parks and Open Space