Tenderfoot Loop Trail, Flagstaff Mountain, Boulder - Denver - Golden - Fort Collins - Lyons, Colorado
Tenderfoot Loop Trail - 2.2 Miles
|Round-Trip Length:||2.2 Miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||6,785' - 6,785' (trailhead is loop's max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+366' total roundtrip elevation gain|
The Tenderfoot Loop Trail circles the west flank of Flagstaff Mountain on mild grades suitable for families, running, and winter recreation. A short spur branches off to the Divide Overlook, a worthwhile excursion with excellent views across the Continental Divide. The following description travels counter-clockwise from the Realization Point Trailhead :
Bear left toward the picnic tables to pick up the Tenderfoot Trail. The trail drops gradually on a mild, well-groomed path with views of Arapaho Peak, Arapaho Glacier and Mt Audubon. Green Mountain's 8,144' summit rises prominently just to the south.
Ponderosa, Juniper and Douglas Fir dot rolling hillsides, with sage, yucca, cacti, kinnickinnick and summer wildflowers filling the sparse understory. Look for mule deer, blue grouse, bobcat, bear, mountain lion, fox, and coyote in this transitional ecosystem.
At .7 miles (6,560') a short spur branches west to the Divide Overlook. The spur climbs a few dozen yards off the main trail to unabated views of the Continental Divide.
From the Divide Overlook spur the Tenderfoot Trail takes a well-marked turn south to resume the loop. It drops into a shallow gully and levels to another junction at .9 miles (6,362'). Bear left on the fire road for a steady 1.3 mile climb back to the trailhead.
This final segment travels through a notably taller, denser forest. Views are limited here but the vicinity is pleasant, highlighted by a variety of summer wildflowers and attractive autumn colors. The loop ends just a few steps away from the Inspiration Trailhead sign and parking lot.
- The Tenderfoot Loop is ideal for running, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
- Mountain Lions and bears inhabit this area. Remain vigilant, especially at dawn and dusk.
Rules and Regulations
- Bikes are not permitted on the Tenderfoot Trail.
- Dogs must be on a hand held leash unless they meet Voice and Sight Control Standards and display a City of Boulder Voice and Sight Tag.
The trailhead is located on the north (right) side of Flagstaff Road, approximately 3 miles beyond the end of Baseline Road.
In Boulder, take Basline Road west until you pass the official entrance to Boulder Parks and Open Space. The road now becomes Flagstaff Road. Exercise caution as you drive the 3 miles up Flagstaff Road along steep, hairpin turns.
City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks