Hike the South Boulder Creek - Mesa Trail - Lower Big Bluestem Loop

South Boulder Creek Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Improvised Journeys

The views of the Flatirons from South Boulder are amazing from this trail. Very open and gently graded. Perfect for nature lovers, especially in Spring when native birds are active and nesting in the area and the sound of frogs in the peaceful creek are abundant.

This 4 mile loop ascends only a slight amount in elevation, making for a pleasant loop in which opportunities for appreciation of the nature around you and broad vista photography are in plentiful supply. A great hike for those who may still be building their fitness, as so many trails in Boulder are just straight UP. Also great for the fitness buff trail runner who wants something to run in the area that is relatively flat and picturesque. The trail is rocky in many sections and can be narrow, as well as muddy. Excellent trail shoes are a must.

Park at the trailhead just off Hwy 93, signed Thomas Ln., but don't park on this road. You'll see the dirt parking area. Free for Boulder County registered vehicles, otherwise $5. Take the trail that starts directly from the lot, that's South Boulder. It will split very shortly, so bear right. Down the other trail looks just like a maintenance shack for OSMP. From here on you can't really get lost. The first junction will be about 2 miles in, at Mesa trail. Turn right here, and then only stay on Mesa for a few hundred yards, then you'll see the Lower Big Bluestem trail as your first right. Take it back to the parking lot, making sure you don't veer up to the upper trail. You should feel you are headed back down in elevation and toward the east. The trail will dump you on Thomas Ln., northwest of where you parked by a few hundred yards.

No bikes. Restrooms at the trailhead.

Abundant flowers can be seen in Spring. Coyotes and foxes inhabit the area, and mountain lion prints can also sometimes be found. The sound of frogs and birds, as well as the buzz of many grasshoppers is with the hiker almost all of the way (In May, when we hiked).

On a bright and sunny day, the colors will pop and this is truly one of the places that you can feel you are in Colorful Colorado! Morning photography of the mountains can be especially good.

Distance

4 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

300 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Fitness, Photography, Running, Hiking

Easy Parking

Nearby Lodging

From $149/night

Boulder A-Lodge Cabin

Boulder, Colorado

From $40/night

Boulder A-Lodge Camping

Boulder, Colorado

From $99/night

Boulder A-Lodge Hotel

Boulder, Colorado

From $39/night

Boulder A-Lodge Hostel

Boulder, Colorado

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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Drizzle And Cool!

Felt like a fall day! Beautiful loop with great views of the Flatirons and nice wildlife especially around dusk. Alway see plenty of deer near the Flatirons!

Summer, a season not to be missed in Aspen!

"I came for the winter, and stayed for the summer," is a phrase you'll often hear around town.  The weather is one of the highlights. During the day the temperature hovers in the 70's and 80's, and by evening the mercury will drop into the 60's. Arts & culture enthusiasts will be just as fulfilled as the adventure junkie during summer in Aspen.  The events calendar abounds with activities for everyone, from cultural events to athletic pursuits.

Experiencing all Aspen has to offer is as easy as opening the front door. Join us for a summer adventure that’s anything but ordinary.

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