Trail Run Near Boulder - NCAR Hill Climb

NCAR - Table Mesa Trailhead, Boulder, Colorado, United States

  • Activities:

    Cycling, Running

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    2 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    700 Feet

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Groups
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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
Read More

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

Community Photos

+ Add Photos

Reviews

Overall rating: 

Leave a Review

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!

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

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

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

This is a nice, quick road bike ride too

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

That Which Drives Us

Ashley + Nathaniel -- Road lifers - Running - Hiking - Music composer - writing, content creation, aspiring digital nomads. IG: @thatwhichdrivesus

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Sugar Bowl Loop in Kings Canyon NP

Tulare County, California

First and foremost, to get to this trailhead you need to drive down a 2-mile, one lane dirt road that is quite steep.

3 Saves

Hike to Ehukai Pillbox

59178 Ke Nui Road, Hawaii

This hike starts directly across from Banzai Pipeline, the famous barreling wave at Ehukai Beach.

4 Saves

Winter Hike to Calypso Cascades

1046 County Highway 115, Colorado

While most people go snowshoeing near the Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge area in RMNP, Wild Basin is a much less trafficked option.

5 Saves