The Rockies: Hiking Mt. Sanitas Loop

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What a gorgeous weekend in Denver! It called for a short hike, despite my pesky ankle. JB, Chelsea and I set out for Boulder to hike the Mt. Sanitas Trail Loop. My Google Maps tried to take me to the summit, so we took a slight detour before we found the trailhead. Luckily, we were the most directionally challenged in the car. Once we found the trail, it was relatively simple to follow the loop as it was well marked and somewhat populated, though not too bad given we arrived at 9 am, and it was glorious.

I started out in a jacket and hat because I was cold standing in the shade, but I shed those once I started walking in the sun. Within 20 minutes of climbing the log and rock stairs beneath ponderosa pines, we were shedding our long sleeves. JB was the only one to start in short sleeves and remain that way…no wonder he likes winter so much!
We maneuvered along the winding trail through large sandstone formations as we gained 1,323’ over 1.2 miles to the summit. The summit provided a panoramic view of snow capped mountains to the west, the eastern plains, as well as the City below.

After enjoying a small snack and petting countless unleashed dogs (made me miss mine), we descended down Sanitas Valley Trail…more climbing through giant rock formations. It was pretty cool! Once we reached the valley, we found the trail was closed from the floods, we were diverted to the Dakota Ridge Trail. This trail ran somewhat parallel to the Valley Trail though it wasn’t quite as level as the valley floor, and it undulated through the trees. The small detour may have added a little distance to the 3.1 mile loop, but I don’t think it added as much as the “Map My Hike” App calculated. Map My Hike claims we hiked 4.4 miles, and estimated that I burned 850 calories! Regardless, I don’t really hike for exercise. I hike for my zen experience of the week. I just love it! ETB


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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned award winning travel blogger and photographer sharing the earth's beauty one word and image at a time.

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