Hike the Shanahan Ridge Trail

Shanahan Ridge Trailhead

This is a scenic walk on the edge of Boulder that leads through the forest and to the base of the foothills.

Starting on the edge of a neighborhood in South Boulder, this 3.8 mile loop begins its 869 foot elevation gain by meandering through a pine forest. You can 'choose your own adventure' by exploring the handful of trails that meet up with the Shanahan Ridge Trail, such as the South Mesa Trail, Shadow Canyon Trail, and Fern Gulch Trail. If you keep heading west, the trail will pass by a large slab of rock at the base of Bear Peak that is great for bouldering. With its flat grade, this trail is great for people of all skill levels and perfect for both walking and running. It's a great way to escape to the Boulder open space!

Pack List

  • Walking shoes
  • Clothing layers
  • Water bottle
  • Snack
  • Camera
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
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RT Distance 3.8 Miles
Elevation Gain 869 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Running, Hiking, Fitness, Rock Climbing
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Romantic
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Good day hike

Moved to Denver a month ago and hadn't yet gone on a solo hike. Thanks to Madison's encouragement, I decided to try the Shanahan Ridge Trail since I'm out of shape. It's a fun day hike in a beautiful area with wildlife aplenty. Notably, I came across Bluejays and had a black bear run in my direction about 30 feet below the hiking path. The trail is nicely forested, so most of the time you're not exposed to the heat. I'm looking forward to going back when Mallory Cave opens Oct 1st, which another Outbound Explorer recommended.


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