The 8mi loop at Walker Ranch is a local favorite for Mountain Biking and trail running due to its technical and scenic trail and to its proximity to Downtown Boulder.
But the often overlooked Meyer’s Homestead Trail, adjacent to the parking area for Walker Ranch, can offer a quiet and splendid experience for those looking to run something a little less traveled.
I finally considered trying this trail when I was looking to do a mellow run with some altitude, close to home and this was just the ticket.
The wide and relatively smooth trail lulls you in as you gently descend into a wide meadow. An old homestead barn to the west and interpretive signs along the trail pointing out historical and ecological places of interest, dot the tranquil landscape. But just a half mile into run, the trail just as slowly reels you in to the start of the 2 mile climb to the summit and overlook.
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Starting at 7,344 feet of elevation, the trail climbs through pine forests and a small aspen grove before reaching the summit at 8,000 feet, where you can rest on benches that either overlook the meadow and the trail in which you just followed or looking west over the Roosevelt Forest to the snow capped peaks along the divide.
On the way back, you can extend your trip by taking the connector trail over to the Walker Ranch loop, or along the road to Gross reservoir.
Follow Baseline road up Flagstaff Mountain 8.5miles. The drive is about 20minutes from Chautauqua Park and parking is on the right just before the trailhead for Walker Ranch.
The trail is shared with mountain bikers, equestrians and hikers and is well suited for family outings.