Hike Mount Sanitas & Settlers Park

Colorado Mount Sanitas Trailhead

Added by Brock DeHaven

  • Amazing views of Boulder, the continental divide, and the eastern plains
  • 3.1 mile loop hike to Mt. Sanitas
  • Perfect scenery for sunrise and sunset hikes
  • Endless bouldering opportunities at Settlers Park
  • Easy parking, easy to follow trails

First off, these are two different hikes but both stem from the same parking lot and Settlers Park is a mere 5 minutes away from where you park so why not kill two birds with one stone?

One of the more popular hikes in Boulder, Mount Sanitas is a 3 mile hike that quickly scales nearly 1,350 feet. From the parking lot off of Mapleton Road, cross the bridge and stay to the left at both of the forks up the Mt Sanitas West Ridge Trail. The trail climbs quickly for 0.85 miles before evening out on a ridge with views to the Continental Divide and Chautauqua Park. It will then bend north, taking you to the summit on a thin, but manageable path with panoramic views. After reaching the summit you will wind down the mountain through steep boulder fields for a little more than a half a mile before reaching the valley floor. The Sanitas Valley Trail will take you down all the way to the parking lot completing the Mount Sanitas Loop.

Once back in the parking lot, head south on Red Rocks trail for a quick, steep, 0.5 miles before coming to the amazing Settlers Park rock formations. Once you are done climbing or admiring the park, head back down Red Rocks trail back to the parking lot.

Pack List

backpack, water, snacks, camera, climbing gear (if desired), bouldering mats (if desired)

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Fitness, Hiking, Photography, Rock Climbing, Running

Skill Level:



Spring, Winter

Trail Type:



3.1 Miles



Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Picnic Area

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How to Get There

2 months ago


I come to visit my friend every year in Colorado, we try to do new hikes every time. We chose this trail on what we thought was a sunny day but a storm popped up on us which was a scary feat. We made it all the way to the top just to get bombarded with lighting we were so scared we practically ran back down. I would still come back and do it again. Amazing view over Boulder.

2 months ago

4 months ago

A Classic Boulder Hike

Mt. Sanitas is always a good choice if you are looking for a nice hike on an afternoon or morning in Boulder. It can get crowded, so get an early start if you can!

4 months ago

5 months ago

Sanitas time trials

This one is great if you like to race up the mountain, because that is what every else is doing. Relaxing: not really. Great for training: yes. SO what is everyone's best Sanitas loop time? 37:52 here for the whole loop. How fast can someone who trains for ultras do this??

5 months ago

7 months ago

Great Hike!

This is my go-to hike for when I have friends in town, not extremely aggressive, and a good length. Also nice if you want to do an easy solo-hike! It does get busy in the summer so go on the earlier side.

7 months ago

12 months ago

This is an awesome hike if you're looking to stick close to Boulder. It gets busy in the summer, but probably not as busy an Chautauqua, plus you still get great views of downtown Boulder as well as the Flatirons to the south. After the hike, be sure to stop at the new Avery taproom for food and beer!

12 months ago

about 1 year ago

Mt. Sanitas Loop

Great hike with fantastic views! Fairly easy hike - took two kids 8 and 11. Both made the full loop, although we did have to offer a small bribe to the 8 year old to get her to the summit. once there, it was all downhill! Easy to get too as it's in Boulder. Can get a little crowded, even on weekdays.

about 1 year ago

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