A stair stepper hike that will leave your legs feeling like jello.. Great workout hike with beautiful views of the Boulder Valley!! went clockwise, veering off to the left at the fork. You start climbing right away, and there are few flat spots as you make your way to the top. The ascent is over 1300 feet, after all! The trail alternates between boulder steps and man-made log steps, and doesn’t let up much except for a few spots where you’ll get great views of the city. The top is marked with a metal pole and a little plaque commemorating the area. Its an exposed spot that allows some great views. To continue on the loop, look for the sign that points the way to East Ridge. A few yards down this trail is a nice rock outcropping with more great views. After this, the trail gets a little more technical as you navigate down and around larger boulders, but at no point was I unsure where to step next. Pretty quickly after that, you hit the well-maintained section of the very flat Sanitas Valley Trail as it guides you back down to the trailhead. There are several spots along the way where you can cut over to the Dakota Ridge Trail for a similar, but different descent. EQUIPMENT RECOMMENDED: Ankle hiking boots + trekking poles. There’s about a million ankle twister rocks on this trail. I felt much better tackling it in boots that provided more support. Especially if you choose to do the trail counter-clockwise, bring poles if you have tricky knees. The downhill portion of this hike is steady and challenging at some points – expect to have your knees at a 90 degree angle for most of it.
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