Trail Run Near Boulder - NCAR Hill Climb

NCAR - Table Mesa Trailhead

This is a great running route with stunning views of the Flatirons, rolling hills, wildlife, and trees. The average grade is about 5.7.

The NCAR Hill Climb, so named because it ends at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, is popular with cyclists, but is a great choice for runners as well. Follow the NCAR - Table Mesa Trail to the top, with beautiful views of the Flatirons and surrounding hills during any season.

Make sure to stop in at NCAR when you reach the top! The facilities have free entry, and feature interesting information and demonstrations on local weather oddities, including summer thunderstorms, hail events, and wind currents.

For an extended run, start near the intersection of Table Mesa Drive and South Broadway Street, then follow Table Mesa Drive in the direction of the Boulder Public Library, until you reach the trailhead. You can also continue your run on the trails past NCAR, into the foothills. The ambitious runner can even go on to the Bear Peak summit, the highest point in Boulder (elevation of 8461').

Getting there: The NCAR - Table Mesa trailhead is located in South Boulder, near the intersection of Table Mesa Drive and Vassar Drive. Head west on Table Mesa Drive and pull over on the left hand side immediately after crossing Vassar Drive - the trailhead is clearly marked.

Pack List

  • CamelBak or hydration vest with at least 2L of water
  • Snacks
  • Good running shoes
  • Summer: brimmed hat
  • Winter: layers, gloves, Yaktrax
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RT Distance 2 Miles
Elevation Gain 700 Feet
Activities Cycling, Running
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Groups
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Beautiful Run

This is a great workout and probably the best view you can get in Boulder. It's really fun to go inside NCAR and learn something while you are at it!

Great spot, Incredible Views

This is a terrific spot for a run or a hike. Incredible beauty as you are right up in the Flatirons. Highly recommend.

This is a nice, quick road bike ride too


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