• Activities:

    Photography, Running, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    1 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    400 Feet

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildlife

Take in great views of the front range to the East and the Indian Peaks to the West. Sugarloaf offers a great vantage point for watching a sunrise and getting 360 degree views with minimal effort.

To get there from downtown Boulder, head west on CO 119 and almost 4.5 miles after you have left Boulder, turn right onto Sugarloaf Road. 4 miles after the turn from CO 119, turn right onto Sugarloaf Mountain road (located at the top of the road). If the road starts descending, you've gone too far. Take the dirt Sugarloaf Mountain Road 1 mile to the large parking area for the Switzerland Trail.

From the parking lot, look to the east, and you will see a rocky trail heading up to Sugarloaf, with a gate some yards up. Take this trail, and it will wrap around the hill and lead you to the summit. The trail to the top is just over 1/2 mile one-way, gains about 400 feet, and takes about 15-20 minutes

Once at the top make sure to stare off in all directions as the views are amazing!! There are some really interesting sections of the trail that go through areas of older fires that harbor really interesting trees and photographic compositions. Enjoy!!

Pack List

  • Due to the short length of the hike you need little more than the your clothes and a camera
  • In winter, micro spikes may come in handy as the trail can hold slick sections that are shaded
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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I was on the road by 5:00am to make it to the top before the sun rose. It was a fairly easy incline, but I was running off adrenaline to make it before the sun started poking over the mountain. It was by far the widest view I had during my time in Colorado. Once the sun starts making its way up, there is a scramble as a photographer. From the west to the east side, it's a beautiful yet different view on each side. The colors are constantly changing until the sun is all the way up.

9 months ago
9 months ago

This was such a beautiful hike! Short and sweet... and the sunrise was well worth the early wake up call. Wore crampons for the snow which worked nicely. Would definitely do again!

12 months ago
12 months ago

I hiked up to watch the sunrise today! It was no less than incredible. Being January though, it was pretty cold with a good amount of snow and ice. I wore crampons and had no issues. Just bring layers and be prepared for wind! The view from the top is well worth it.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

The views are totally worth the early morning (in the dark) hike up. Be sure to take warm clothes in the winter it's very windy. Try to be quite on your way back down in the morning and you may be as fortunate as we were and have a herd of deer cross the trail about 20-ft in front of you.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

My husband and I went on this hike on our honeymoon. It is a short little jaunt to the top with breathtaking views!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Easy to find. What a gem!!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

This is a great area to drop a tent and primitive camp before heading up to Sugarloaf. Nice suggestion!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Thanks for sharing, Eric! Went up to see the sunrise this morning and had a great time. The trail is mostly covered in snow but snow spikes weren't necessary. It was also extremely cold so many warm layers were a must! I would definitely recommend

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

This is a great spot to catch a quick sunset. It's a short drive from Boulder, and the hike can be done in 20 minutes. You get a great view of the plains to the east and Indian Peaks to the west.

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

This was such a great way to start the day! Perfect directions and great 360 views. Highly recommended to anyone near Boulder to catch a sunrise or sunset!

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

Thanks Eric, I did this hike this morning and it was beautiful & easy!

almost 3 years ago
almost 3 years ago

Eric Schuette Explorer

I love adventure and exploring. Currently a school psychologist who tries to spend my free-time hiking, climbing, fishing, and celebrating with a good beer in Colorado. On Instagram @ericschuettephotography Cheers!!!

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