Trail Tuesday: Marshall Mesa to Spring Brook Loop

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The Trail Tuesday featured trail is in partnership with the Trail Run Project.

It’s spring in Colorado – that time of year when the weather in Boulder likes to taunt runners with a glimpse of summer. One lovely April afternoon you are basking in a 70-degree day and the next afternoon you’re shoveling your car out from under two feet of snow, dreaming of dry trails and sunny days. The good news is that Boulder has a host of lower altitude trails that you can still indulge in even when the Flatirons and trails at higher elevations are still covered in snow.

The Marshall Mesa to Spring Brook Loop is a classic South Boulder run that is a great option for the early season, and will have you coming back year round. What makes this loop great is the variety of terrain, the great scenery, and the feeling of solitude you get on the trails even though you are not far from town. It might not be an epic backcountry trek, but it certainly has plenty to challenge the beginner as well as plenty to please the expert trailrunner.

Route Details

  • Distance: 11.1 miles
  • Rated: Beginner/Intermediate
  • Highest Point: 6,236′
  • Average-Max Grade: 3-14%
  • Total Elevation Gain/Loss: 893′ /-893′
  • Singletrack: 90%
  • Runnable: 100%

There are a couple options to make a shorter or longer loop as desired.


Runners wanting to avoid the harder section of the Springbrook Loop can cut from Doudy Draw straight back to the Community Ditch Trail for a shorter run (9 miles). Or starting the run at the Dowdy Draw Trailhead affords you all the beauty and challenge of the Springbrook Loop, Goshawk Trail and Fowler with a few less miles to get you there.


The more adventurous runners looking for a longer outing can connect to Goshawk Ridge for some more climbing, and the Fowler Trail for a scenic extension back toward Eldorado Canyon (highly recommending if you have the extra mileage in your legs).

The trails can be closed when muddy so be sure to check trail conditions with the City of Boulder website before heading out in the Springtime/Fall. 

View more route details, descriptions and photos click the map below.

Photos of the Marshall Mesa to Springbrook Loop

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