Get Outside! Hiking Betasso Preserve

A Short Hike In Boulder County Open Space Area

Boulder Open Space, May 2007 Loop Hike, 3 miles Price: Free Directions: From Boulder, take the Canyon Drive (Highway 119) west. Watch for the sign for Sugarloaf Road and take that right. Look for the signs on the right for Betasso Preserve. Watch for the trailhead signs. History: In the 1970s, this was a sawmilling and mining area. In 1912, it was homesteaded by the Blanchard family. Steve Betasso and his sons bought it in 1915 with their mining money and became cattle ranchers. In 1976, Boulder County began buying the property. Hiking partner: Kim

The good? Close to town, cheap on gas Easy to Moderate trail Short trail

The bad? The trail is down/up It’s a very busy trail. Don’t come here for solitude.

After a 7.5 mile hike yesterday, a short hike was in order today. Betasso Preserve is just up Boulder Canyon, easy to get to and a pretty short hike. Plus my hiking partner today, Kim, was on call and short on time. This seemed like a good choice.

Betasso Preserve is popular with bikers. Some of them do the loop more than once. The trail is very small in some places, so be prepared to step off trail to let the bikers go by. Or hike the Canyon trail on a Wednesday or Saturday, when bikers are prohibited.

This is a loop trail; you can go right or left. Since the bikers are required to start right, we went left so we’d see the bikers ahead of us and not just hear them behind us.

The hike left starts with a short climb, then it begins to drop. The elevation change here is minimal; about 250 feet down over a mile and a half, then about 250 feet up over a mile and a half. The trail goes through some nice forested areas. It is a bit of a surprise so close to the city. You can see why someone would want to live in this area.

Near the halfway point, there was a bench in an open meadow area to take a break and enjoy the view. And you can pick your view: Hills with trees and grasses or even a view of the city below.

This is a nice, simple hike in a pretty area. You get a taste of the forest without driving too far away. Just remember there are a lot of bikers, so you won’t find a lot of peace and quiet.

It took us about an hour and 15 minutes to do the loop with quite a few short stops to let bikers go by.

If you want to add a little more mileage, consider a hike up Bummer’s Rock trail. That trailhead is just a ways down the road from the hiking trailhead. We didn’t do it since it was storming and starting to rain. If you’ve done it, send me a note and I’ll be happy to put your description here.

You can also e-mail me with questions, comments or hiking trail suggestions, Please understand that I have a deadline every day, so it may take me a day or two to get back to you.

Previous hiking reports:(lower elevation hikes have a star) Boulder: Caribou Ranch*, Mallory Cave*, Marshall Mesa,Heil Valley Ranch* Forsythe Canyon*, South Boulder Peak*, The Boulder Flatirons*, Walker Ranch*, Bear Peak*, Rabbit Mountain*, Bald Mountain*, Wonderland Lake* Golden area: Forgotten Valley, Chimney Gulch*, Apex Park* Jefferson County: Mt. Falcon*, Elk Meadow* I-70 area: Herman Gulch, Chicago Lakes, Chief Mountain Rocky Mountain National Park: Granite Falls, Twin Sisters, Bierstadt Lake, Chasm Lake, Lulu City & Little Yellowstone, The Loch, Andrew's Glacier, Sandbeach Lake Indian Peaks/James Peak Wilderness: King, Bob & Betty Lakes, Forest Lakes, Arapaho Lakes, Mitchell & Blue Lakes, James Peak Area, Heart Lake Northern Colorado: Homestead Meadows, Devil's Backbone*, Lake Agnes Summit & Eagle Counties: Booth Falls, Missouri Lakes, Mohawk Lakes & Continental Falls Grand County: St Louis Lake, Waterfall At Snow Mountain Ranch, Granby Ranch Other: Exploring Fulford Cave, Our Favorite Hikes, Our Favorite Bike Rides

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