Tenderfoot Loop Trail, Flagstaff Mountain, Boulder - Denver - Golden - Fort Collins - Lyons, Colorado

Tenderfoot Loop Trail - 2.2 miles

Flagstaff Mountain

View of the Indian Peaks mountain range from the Tenderfoot Loop

View of the Indian Peaks mountain range from the Tenderfoot Loop

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
Skill Level: Easy
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Tenderfoot Loop Trail - 2.2 Miles Round-Trip

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.

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Worth Noting

  • 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.

Directions to Trailhead

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.

Contact Information

City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks
Phone: 303-441-3440

Trip Reports

There are no trip reports on this trail.


"Road closure to begin Monday, June 16"
OSMP Hiker  -  Boulder  -  Date Posted: June 1, 2014
"Be aware Flagstaff Road will have daily closures from June 1 until November for flood damage repair. All trails will remain open, however, access via flagstaff rd wont be possible. "
Hiker  -  Boulder, CO  -  Date Posted: May 29, 2014
"Nice easy trail...great for the kids. Pretty good views of divide, as stated, when not cloudy, of course. "
Jim  -  longmont  -  Date Posted: July 14, 2013


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