Walker Ranch Loop

Located to the west of Boulder, Colorado off of scenic Flagstaff road sits Walker Ranch Park. It is a part of the Boulder County Parks & Open Space System and you do not have to pay a fee to hike here.

On a Tuesday afternoon, I set out to do this hike and it turned out to be one crazy adventure! With only a couple of scattered showers nearby, the weather was even holding up longer than I thought it would. But of course, this would change rather quickly. Nonetheless, here are some other details:

Date: June 4th, 2019

Miles Hiked: 7.6 Miles

Trail Conditions: Perfect

I started out my hike around 2pm that afternoon. Because this trail is a loop, I decided to go left at the beginning and was soon treated to views of the surrounding mountains and also Eldorado Canyon. Once I got about a mile and half out, I noticed that it was starting to get cloudy. And before too long, I was hearing thunder and trying to figure out just how far away this storm was.

Towards the beginning of the trail.
Looking east in the vicinity of Eldorado Canyon. Windmills are also faintly visible.
This storm pretty much formed out of nowhere.

Luckily for me, I was heading both downhill and into a pretty heavily forested part of the trail. The last place I really wanted to be was in a meadow so I started to pick up the pace a bit. Upon finding a safe place underneath some large rocks and by a small stream, I sat there and waited it out for what seemed like an eternity. But I’m a really big fan of being alive so it’s all good!

After walking down the mountain, I reached South Boulder Creek. The water was absolutely raging with all of the recent snowmelt. It also started raining at this point too.

South Boulder Creek in its raging glory.
Nice little rocky staircase.

Once I climbed up the rocky staircase, it surprisingly stopped raining like crazy and the sun started to come out.

Higher up view of South Boulder Creek.
The only way to go is up!
The sun shining on South Boulder Creek.

After hiking back up towards the top of the mountain, the weather really began to move off towards the plains and it became mostly sunny again. I reached this nice meadow and heard a train horn far off in the distance and didn’t think too much of it. Shortly thereafter, I found myself with a front row seat to watching the California Zephyr Amtrak train make its descent down through the mountains.

The California Zephyr.

After watching the train go by, I came to the top of a ridge and was treated to a view of some snow capped peaks.

Snow capped peaks.

After another downhill section, I reached the creek yet again and stopped for a minute to just take everything in. Looking back at it, I was pretty glad that this part of my hike back to the trailhead was uneventful. I definitely got my adventure fix for the day after all that!

The creek goes right next to the trail at one point.

Author: David Higham

Spending time in nature calms my soul.

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