Tucked into a dramatic setting south of Boulder, Eldorado Canyon State Park is a great place to spend a day amongst nature. While small in size, the Park caters to anyone with an interest in beautiful rock formations, creekside trails, and abundant scenery. It’s also very accessible, an hour from most parts of Denver north to Fort Collins.
Primarily known as a rock-climbing destination, the park also provides some excellent trails with options to extend into neighboring areas like South Boulder Peak and Walker Ranch. By starting at Eldorado, you can combine trails to take your day anywhere from 6-26 miles. It’s the trail options, stunning rock formations and ease of access that really set Eldorado apart.
Like most Colorado State Parks, Eldorado Canyon is a pay-to-play area, and therein lies another potential advantage. While it’s never fun paying to recreate, paid areas usually fill later than free areas, especially near big cities like Boulder and Denver. In short, paying opens up a slew of possibilities and combinations that are not accessible to recreationists who start from trailheads outside of the Park. See our detailed trail review article.
Here’s my photo essay from my hike on May 27, 2021.