Shanahan/Big Bluestem Loop | Boulder OSMP
Boulder, CO | 05/12/20| 4.97 miles | 876′ gain
I met up with my friend Tori for a quick hike before work. Boulder is always convenient and there are infinite trails to choose from. This loop was perfect for a morning workout!
We met at the Shanahan Ridge Trailhead, which is in a neighborhood. We did the loop counter-clockwise and started by heading west on the North Fork Shanahan Trail. This trail ascends through the forest and into the foothills.
It was strangely foggy but the fog made the colors of the flowers pop. (So get ready for a LOT of flowers!)
This loop isn’t very difficult but I did stop every three feet to take a picture of yet another flower. There are a number of intersections along this route, some marked better than others. We turned left on the Mesa Trail and headed south along the base of the Flatirons.
We were only on the Mesa Trail for a mile before taking another left on the Upper Big Bluestem Trail. This trail was much more rugged and rocky, but still easy enough to follow as we worked our way east back to the plains.
As the forest turned into grassland, the fog dissipated and we could see more of our surroundings. We eventually connected with the Lower Big Bluestem Trail and Bluestem Connector Trail (two more lefts).
We went through a few gates, into and out of a cattle pasture. They watched us but didn’t seem bothered at all. (And Lady had no idea they were even there.)
We walked through the prairie/pasture for a little while longer before entering the forest again as we neared the Shanahan neighborhood. A perfect before-work hike!