Eldorado Canyon State Park
Tucked into a dramatic setting south of Boulder, Eldorado Canyon State Park is the outdoor recreation mecca for anyone with a passion for rocks and nature.
Climbers from all over the country flock to the park for its more than 500 technical climbing routes, while streamside trails and picnic areas engage non-climbers as well. Read on to learn more.
Tucked into a dramatic setting south of Boulder, Eldorado Canyon State Park offers day-use recreation opportunities with a spectacular backdrop. Watch climbers scale towering cliffs, wander streamside trails with scenic vistas, and fish for trout in Boulder Creek.
The Fowler Trail snags views of the gorge from its entire length, and is a great trail for families on foot. The Rattlesnake Gulch Trail is more challenging, offering a 1.4-mile climb to the ruins of the Crags Hotel (which burned down in 1913).
Mountain biking and horseback riding are allowed on appropriate trails but note that horses must be on a leash at all times. Weekends and holidays can fill the park to capacity.
Climbers from across the country flock to Eldorado Canyon to test their mettle on its towering sandstone walls. The canyon offers classic climbs that include the infamous Bastille Crack, which starts right off the road. The park is home to wildlife such as mountain lions, black bears, and golden eagles. It’s essential to follow Leave No Trace principles, as the canyon is a natural habitat and some crags are closed to protect nesting birds.
Rock climbing is a dangerous activity and accidents can happen. Many routes at Eldorado Canyon pass over loose or suspect rock and the canyon’s location in a high-pressure weather zone can create a variety of hazardous conditions. A great place to also visit is Eben G. Park.
Eldorado Canyon State Park is a hidden gem right in Boulder’s backyard! This 885-acre park protects an awesome gorge carved out by South Boulder Creek. The main attraction is rock climbing, with more than 500 technical routes. Other activities include fishing, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and picnicking.
The Streamside Trail is a great hike for kids. It walks along South Boulder Creek, offering up-close views of the canyon walls. The Fowler Trail is a good choice for a longer hike. It only goes 0.7 miles within the State Park, but it connects to Boulder Open Space so you can keep walking for as long as you like!
The park is best known for its rock climbing, but it also has miles of hiking trails, mountain biking, and trout fishing. The park is split by South Boulder Creek and includes spectacular sandstone canyon walls.
The Streamside Trail offers an easy hike and is perfect for families, while the Fowler Trail travels along the creek and canyon walls. The Rattlesnake Gulch Trail is more challenging, gaining 1,000 feet in elevation over 3.6 miles one-way and connecting with Walker Ranch Loop. Go on a weekday, as the park can reach capacity on weekends.
Eldorado Canyon State Park features campsites that offer amazing views of sandstone cliffs and picnic areas that make it great for spending the day. The park is renowned for rock climbing with more than 500 routes. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife and many species of birds.
There are four main trails at Eldorado Canyon State Park. The Fowler Trail is an easy trail that loops through the campground, while the Rattlesnake Gulch and Walker Ranch Loop are mountain biking trails that take you to the ruins of the Crags Hotel. The best time to hike the park is during weekdays as the park reaches capacity on weekends.
This park is a hidden treasure tucked away near Boulder. The trails are well-maintained and have great views of the canyon walls. It can get crowded during the weekend on the trails, especially in spring and fall.
The parking lot closest to the trail can fill up on weekends; it’s best to arrive early. All vehicles are required to pay a $10 entrance fee at the park entrance. If you plan on visiting frequently consider an annual pass. Kids under 12 are free. Check out the Junior Ranger Program for a kid-friendly adventure.
The stunning park is a popular spot for technical rock climbing (with over 500 routes) and beautiful stream-side picnic areas. But there are plenty of other ways to enjoy it, too!
Hikers can explore the Fowler and Rattlesnake Gulch trails, which offer great views of the canyon walls. The Streamside Trail at Crescent Meadows is stroller-friendly and walks along the South Boulder Creek.
Visitors can fish for trout in the South Boulder Creek, which runs through the park and offers spectacular scenery. Mountain biking is permitted on the Walker Ranch Loop and Rattlesnake Gulch Trail. Discover more interesting articles.
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