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3 Tough Hikes with Unbelievable Views in Boulder, CO

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When you're ready for adventure, you want an outdoor space that will push you to the limits. It's only by growing through these limits that we become better.

Boulder's an ideal place to push yourself to new heights. This outdoor-loving town is full of hikers, bikers, and climbers who love the outdoors more than anything else.

Looking to experience the outdoors like they do? Check out these three tougher hikes you can tackle right from Boulder, CO:
Sometimes, the best views are the ones you earn.Krivec Ales | Pexels

1. Green Mountain Summit

Looking for a short, tough hike you can knock out in half a day? The Green Mountain Summit is perfect for you. This 5.5 mile hike starts in Chautauqua Park, a beautiful little green space in the middle of Boulder.

This trail is a local favorite, and when you get to the top, you'll understand why. Green Mountain gives you an unbelievable vista to view the valley from above. Go on a clear, sunny day, and you'll be rewarded with a panorama not even a master could have painted.

If you're looking for exercise, this is a great place to get it. The trail rises quickly up to the peak. In the mornings and evenings, you'll see plenty of trail runners soaking in some natural beauty while getting their blood pumping.

2. 1st & 2nd Flatirons

A classic hike to do in Boulder, this 3.5 mile loop will give you some excellent views without making you sweat (too much) to earn them. You'll follow the trail through meadows that bloom with flowers in the spring and summer, and it will lead you to the ridgeline. From there, you'll follow the ridge around the two peaks known as the Flatirons. You can choose to rock-scramble up to a natural viewpoint on First Flatiron for a beautiful view of Boulder below.

This is an iconic hike for locals and travellers, and it's one you cannot miss when you're in Boulder. It's only a short drive out of the city, and the brief hike gives you some of the best views of the valley. These two summits are a part of every sunset that Boulder sees, and you'll love the difference in perspective you get from the top.

Pro Tip: If you want an incredible sunset, go for an evening hike on the Flatirons. The sun setting in the west casts unbelievable hues of pink, orange, and gold across these dramatic peaks.

3. Bear Peak Summit

Starting at the South Mesa trailhead, Bear Peak is a great one to get your limbs moving. You can do either a 7.4 out-and-back, or an 8.4 mile loop. Either way, this trail is rated as difficult - bring plenty of water, and plan for your trip in advance.

This trail starts out gradually, giving you time to warm up before the tougher stuff. Once it reaches the foot of the mesa, it starts to climb. You'll follow Fern's Canyon until the trail reaches the ridgeline. From there, it's a short rock scramble to get to the top of Bear Peak.

Take caution: the final scramble to the peak is a knife's edge trail. If you've got a fear of heights, you can stop at the ridgeline and still get incredible views.


Boulder's a place that's meant for people who love the outdoors. These tougher hikes will put you to the test, but their charm comes from pushing through and persevering.

Got a favorite hike on this list? They're all worth checking out the next time you're out and about in Boulder, CO. The question is, which one will you do first?

As always, Happy Trails.