Eldorado Canyon State Park is small yet so big is its rugged mountain beauty. Located near Boulder, CO in the town of Eldorado Springs you don’t have to go far to experience scenic mountain trails. Eldorado Canyon Trail within the park is one of the more challenging trails and the one we chose to hike.


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Driving through the Canyon alongside the frozen South Boulder Creek beneath the sheer canyon walls was an incredible snowy, icy wonderland. At the end of the Park, we found the Visitor Center and we were the only car. Wow, unusual for front range hiking so close to Boulder and Denver.




Here we found Eldorado Canyon Trailhead. Surrounding the Visitor Center, it’s snow-packed and cold but within minutes of climbing the trail, the warmth of the sun was upon us.



Lots of wooden stairs that definitely got our heart pumping from the start as we ascended upward then onto switchbacks that became a single track.





Looking out towards the west we started having views of the Continental Divides snow-capped peaks, which always entices me to keep going and see more.



In and out of snow-covered trails when hiking through forested areas and out again to the views as the trail starts to level off.



This hike has views in every direction of the canyon and mountain ranges.




This is the highest point of the trail when reaching the Walker Ranch signpost. If you continue downhill for another 3/4 of a mile you’ll descend down to South Boulder Creek and a footbridge that links up with the Walker Ranch Loop. Add another 7 miles for a longer day hike.

A trail you want to be prepared for with appropriate hiking gear. Please check out “What’s in Your Day Pack” for a list of recommended items anytime hiking.



Stopping at the highest point we sat gawking at the views and soaking up the sun. Always nice when the weather is perfect on a winter day because it isn’t always like that. Wasn’t long the winds picked up and the chill started.



If your looking to commune with nature then coming in the winter months is a better bet. It was becoming busy even on our day out as we headed back and I would imagine in summer it is ridiculous! However, I highly recommend this trail for an energizing winter hike. 

WANT MORE TRAILS? Colorado Hike, 23 Awesome Trails!



New to Colorado? or to winter hiking? Bring spikes (Cramp-ons) on all winter hiking trails. (They easily attach to the bottom of your hiking boots and make a considerable difference in your winter hiking experience!) Even if it looks like the trail is clear of snow and ice you will run into areas that are shaded and find yourself slipping and sliding when least expected. I’ve made this mistake on countless hikes and have learned the hard way! I now always have them in my backpack.

LOCATED:  9 Kneale Rd, Eldorado Springs, CO 80025: Go through the town of Eldorado Springs and enter the State Park.  Follow the park’s road to the visitor center and the trailhead.


Eldorado Canyon Trail

7.5 miles out and back

Rated: moderate

Add 7 more miles with Walker Ranch Loop

Fee: $10 per vehicle, $4 for walk-in, or purchase $80 annual permit.

Restrooms at Trailhead

Open to dogs on leash

Nearest Town: Boulder, CO

More information: Eldorado Canyon State Park

Trail Map

No camping – Park is open Sunrise to Sunset

Vehicle entry is denied when parking capacity is reached. No public parking nearby.

Note: Many of the links are affiliate links which means I receive a very small commission (at no added cost to you).