Mount Sanitas: Boulder’s daily delight

Boulder’s favorite heart-racer

By Isabella Scarpelli Jul 5 2019

Editor’s note: This kicks our BLDRfly Afield series where we profile some of the local adventures Boulder has to offer and that we’re so lucky to have at our doorstep. Follow along and consider submitting your own to us at

Last December, I traded in my MetroCard for a ski pass. It was not until my lover (and now husband) David, shared with me Tony Perrottet’s article in The New York Times entitled “In Boulder, Where Inner Peace Meets Outer Beauty,” that I began drafting a new vocabulary of experience for myself.

Part of that vocabulary includes Boulder’s geography and perhaps its most accessible, heart-thumping aspect has become a friend: Mount Sanitas.

Mount Sanitas Trail System. Source: Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks.

With its trailhead just steps from downtown, Mount Sanitas offers the perfect mini Boulder adventure: 1.1 miles straight up its southern ridge spine for the most intense route; perhaps Boulder’s perfect, gently sloping, non-rocky 2.2-mile run to the peak in Lion’s Lair (trailhead about a mile up Sunshine Canyon); or its scramble, rocky straightline up its east face in East Ridge.

No matter how you get up, you’re blessed with a glorious view of Boulder valley to the east and the glacier-scraped Indian Peaks on the western horizon.

Also you have the glorious, gently-sloping, wide-tracked Sanitas Valley Trail to enjoy a bit of a chiller Sanitas experience.

However I use it, it beats the gym hands down. It has become a staple in my workout.

And today, as on many days before and hope after, I take a breath of cool mountain air at the base of Mount Sanitas, and my sentiments and hopes validate themselves one by one.

Okay, now it’s time to get up the mountain.

Feature image: View of Sanitas Valley Trail east to the Flatirons. Photo: Isabella Scarpelli