There’s a state park out by Boulder called Eldorado Canyon. I feel like it’s less talked about, mostly because the people I work with who’ve been in Colorado their whole lives don’t know much about the park. Which is a shame, because it’s got some spectacular views..

Trail: Rattlesnake Gulch Trail

Park: Eldorado Canyon State Park

Location: Boulder, Colorado

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: I clocked it at about 5 miles if you walk the whole lollipop trail instead of just out and back.

Incline: 958 ft

Shade and Seating: Most of the trail is fairly shaded. There are some benches at the Continental Divide and at the hotel ruins.

Wheelchair Accessible: No

Parking: Easily accessible, but be there early

Shuttle Service: No

Price: $9 for vehicle pass, $4 for pedestrians/cyclists

As usual, we got to the park super early, just before sunrise.

If you do decide to hike this trail, be very careful. There are rattlesnake and bear sightings. Bring some bear spray…we didn’t and risked it, and we did just fine. But just in case?


There are lots of various plants and animals on the trail. We saw some stellar jays and blue jays, as well as these fruity little plants.

Towards the top of the trail, you run into the ruins of what used to be the Crag’s Hotel, which burned down in the early 1900s. The most you’ll see is this fireplace:

There is also lots of beautiful moss…luxurious and soft.

A little ways after the ruins, you run into the lookout point for the Continental Divide. You can see it below…that kind of zigzaggy line..

And in the distance at the lookout, you can see a couple taller mountain peaks. We honestly can’t decide which mountains these are, if you know, let me know!


The entire park gets fairly busy later in the day. There is also a lot of other trails and several spots for rock climbing. A visually pleasing hike for the entire duration. Short and sweet, too. Highly recommend (:


Mary Jane xx

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