Mount Sanitas Trailhead
Please take a little time to share your ideas to help Boulder ensure an inclusive open space future, with welcoming outreach and volunteer programming, and to help the community preserve and enjoy Boulder’s agricultural lands. Please provide your thoughts by midnight, Dec. 18. Your input will help identify strategies for the Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) Master Plan, which will guide the management of Boulder's open space over the next decade and beyond.
0.5 mile west of 4th Street on Mapleton Avenue.
Please check for Trail & Area Closures.
You are responsible for knowing and complying with all closures and OSMP rules & regulations.
Open Space and Mountain Parks Master Plan
Open Space and Mountain Parks has kicked off a long-term effort to establish a community-supported plan that will guide the management of the community’s open space over the next decade and beyond. Learn more about the OSMP Master Plan.
Parking is available in the Centennial Trailhead on the south side of Mapleton Avenue.
Please keep your car doors locked and your car windows rolled up at all times while leaving your vehicle parked at OSMP trailheads. Also consider leaving important valuables at home or take them with you while visiting open space. To report suspicious activity please call City of Boulder Dispatch 303-441-3333 or Boulder County Dispatch 303-441-4444. For crimes in progress, call 911 immediately.
Sanitas Valley Trail is a wide, graveled trail heading north up the valley between the Hogback Ridge and Mount Sanitas. It affords access to the Dakota Ridge Trail to the east, the Mount Sanitas Trail to the west, the Hawthorne Trail near its northeast terminus, and the East Ridge Trail at its northwest terminus. It is heavily utilized by people walking their dogs.
Mount Sanitas Trail is a moderate to difficult trail which meanders both sides of the ridge leading to the summit of Mount Sanitas. The southern portion of the trail is utilized as an access by climbers to several bouldering areas along the trail. Access points to these bouldering areas are clearly marked and we ask your cooperation that you only boulder in designated areas. This trail also provides beautiful views to both the east and west.
Dakota Ridge Trail meanders the west side of the Dakota Ridge through ponderosa pine stands. It is heavily utilized by runners. Hawthorne Trail is a steep and difficult trail leading down a narrow gully before leveling to a more moderate incline. Its terminus is at the access just west of Fourth Street on Hawthorne. East Ridge Trail connects the Sanitas Valley Trail to the Mount Sanitas Trail at the north end of the mountain. It is steep and difficult.
Lion's Lair Trail connects Mount Sanitas summit to two different access points on Sunshine Canyon Drive west of the Centennial Trailhead. The trail is not as steep and difficult as the Mount Sanitas Trail.
Centennial Trailhead, which is just west of the Sanitas Trailhead, accesses the Red Rocks Trail and Anemone Hill Trail. Both trails go south from the trailhead. The Red Rocks trail is 0.6 miles and gains 300 vertical feet. The trail climbs to a ridge, then to the fins of the Red Rocks. After it passes a historic marker, the trail ends at Settlers' Park. Anemone Hill Trail climbs 0.4 miles up the hill west of the Red Rocks.
An RTD bus passes very close to this trailhead. Learn about Taking the Bus to OSMP.
Restrooms are available at the Centennial Trailhead.
Three picnic tables and a small pavilion are available. 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.
Horses are allowed on most trails. On-trail riding is encouraged to protect rare plants and wildlife habitat. Learn more about riding your horse on OSMP.
Mountain lions inhabit this area. Coyotes, foxes, mule deer, and raptors are commonly sighted.
- Named for the sanitarium (health spa) that is now the Mapleton Medical Center.
- Sandstone quarried for original buildings on CU campus.
- Check out the self-guided Cultural Resources History Hike - Hiking in Mt. Sanitas.