This totally fell off my radar, but on our last weekend in Colorado we got out and hiked South Boulder Peak. We initially set out to hike to Bear Peak, but when we reached the saddle some other hikers told us that South Boulder was less crowded so we changed course.
We started at the Mesa Trailhead just outside of Boulder. The trail winds its way through Shadow Canyon before climbing to the saddle where you can ascend to either Bear or South Boulder Peaks. The first part of the trail was very exposed; with no tree cover the Colorado sun can be relentless. Luckily the bulk of the hike was through a relatively forested area. The trail was quite steep and littered with boulders and pine trees as it wound it’s way up. We did lose the trail a couple of times, but enjoyed scrambling up the boulders and making our own way.
Towards the top, before the saddle, there is a section of fire-scarred trail from a fire that broke out in 2012. That section was strangely eery after coming from the pine forest. The climb to the peak was relatively short – and strenuous – and the views from the top were magnificent.
Once you summit, you are offered 360 degree views of the foothills and Eastern plains. We spent some time resting, taking photos, and trying to corral our mountain pup who loves bounding up rocks and going to edges and giving her humans a heart attack.
We made our way back down the mountain and treated ourselves to some beer and grub from Avery Brewing to celebrate another successful 6 mile hike and cheers to the end of our Colorado adventures (for now).