South Mesa Trailhead
Stay on trail and walk through mud. If needed, step off to maintain distance. Please avoid stepping on vegetation. If possible, step onto a rock or a bare spot to let others pass, then step back on the trail. Politely announce yourself if you need to pass others. Traveling off trail, whether hiking, running or biking, can permanently damage vegetation and widen trails. Learn more.
Protect people, stay home. If it’s essential to go outside, practice responsible recreation. Maintain more than 6 feet of physical distancing from people not your household, follow face-covering guidelines and avoid unnecessary travel. Learn more about how OSMP is responding to COVID-19 and increasing visitation. View OSMP closures and cancellations related to COVID-19. Shelters and picnic areas are closed.
Proteja a las personas, quédese en casa. Si es indispensable salir, practique la recreación responsable. Mantenga 6 pies de distancia física, use cobertores de cara y evite viajes innecesarios. Las áreas de refugio y picnic están cerradas. Para más información.
1.7 miles west of Highway 93 on Eldorado Springs Drive (Highway 170).
Please check for Trail & Area Closures.
You are responsible for knowing and complying with all closures and OSMP rules & regulations.
Parking lot with parking fee on the north side of Eldorado Springs Drive. Information on parking permits & fees. Parking is not allowed on Highway 170.
Mesa Trail can be taken to Shadow Canyon Trail and to South Boulder and Bear Peaks, or north to NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) and six miles to Chautauqua Park. The Mesa Trail also connects to the Towhee Trail, Homestead Trail, South Boulder Creek Trail and Big Bluestem Trail. The South Boulder Creek and Big Bluestem Trails meander through tall and mixed grass prairie. The other trails lead through ponderosa pine savannah. As you hike upward and westward the montane zone becomes evident in the area of South Boulder and Bear Peaks.
This area is identified as being popular with people using wheelchairs. See the Accessible Trails Page for details.
Located at the trailhead.
Seven picnic tables at parking lot. Grills and stoves are prohibited.
No bicycles are allowed in this area.
Learn about bringing your dog to OSMP. All dogs must be leashed in the Trailhead Leash Area. Beyond the trailhead, dog control requirements vary from trail to trail, so carefully watch for dog regulation signs at trailheads and trail intersections. On most OSMP trails in this area, dogs must be on a hand-held leash at all times unless they meet the voice and sight control standard and display a City of Boulder Voice and Sight tag. Dog excrement removal is required by law. A dog station is available to aid in the collection of dog excrement.
Allowed on most trails. Off-trail riding is discouraged to protect rare plants and wildlife habitat. Learn more about riding your horse on OSMP.
Black bears and mountain lions inhabit this area. The area is rich with wildlife including Peregrine Falcons, Red-tailed Hawks, songbirds, mule deer, and coyotes.
Historic Dunn House. McGillvray Cabin on Towhee Trail at Shadow Canyon. Old Schoolmarm Cabin on Mesa Trail. Stockton Cabin on Shadow Canyon Trail at S. Boulder Peak Trail.
Check out the self-guided Cultural Resource History Hike - South Mesa Cultural Landscape.