Doudy Draw - Spring Brook Loop Trail, Doudy Draw Trailhead, Boulder - Denver - Golden - Fort Collins - Lyons, Colorado
Doudy Draw - Spring Brook Loop Trail - 5.2 miles
Doudy Draw Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||5.2 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||5,670' - 5,670' (6,242' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+572' net elevation gain (+712' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Doudy Draw - Spring Brook Loop Trail - 5.2 Miles Round-Trip
The Doudy Draw and Spring Brook Loop Trail join to form a lollipop loop at the base of Eldorado Canyon. This space once marked the western shore of a massive inland sea that stretched from the Gulf of Mexico to the Hudson Bay.
Waves carried debris that settled in this area, forming a layer of soft rock over a mile thick. This nutrient-rich layer, called Pierre Shale, now spans the juxtaposition of the Eastern Plains and Rocky Mountain upslope.
The Doudy Draw and Spring Book Loop run along this transition zone, where plant and wildlife communities from each meet in one of the most diverse biological communities found in Colorado. Hikers, runners, cyclists and skiers will enjoy mild grades and excellent views of the Boulder Flatirons, Eldorado Canyon and Eastern Plains.
The Doudy Draw Trail heads south on a graded path to the Community Ditch Trail split (.45 miles : 5,765'). This narrow riparian corridor supports wild plum, chokecherry, hawthorn and hackberry, which provide food and cover for deer, bear and nesting birds.
The trail eases up the draw to the Spring Brook Trail (1.2 miles : 5,958'), where you'll bear west to reach the Spring Brook Loop (1.45 miles : 6,020'). The following description travels clockwise on the loop (see dog restrictions below):
The trail edges away from open space and bends west into a thick forest (2.3 miles : 6,245'), pockets of which bear scars from controlled burns. Ponderosa pine are darkened but largely unaffected, while grasses and wildflowers were quick to fill the glades.
The trail reaches the Goshawk Ridge Trail (2.55 miles : 6,242'), where the 'South' Spring Brook Trail merges seamlessly with the 'North' Spring Brook Trail to begin the second half of the loop.
Follow signs carefully, as the North Spring Brook Trail also forks northwest from this point and leads up into Eldorado Canyon. The trail bends north from this junction and shifts quickly through dense pine into open space on a broad mesa above the entrance to Eldorado Canyon (3.4 miles : 6,020').
Enjoy up-close views of Front Range rock formations before curling back east to the complete the loop (3.75 miles : 6,020'). Follow signs back to the Doudy Draw Trail (4.0 miles) and the trailhead (5.2 miles).
- N39 56.279 W105 15.392 — Doudy Draw Trailhead
- N39 55.916 W105 15.408 — .45 miles : Community Ditch Trail junction
- N39 55.439 W105 15.583 — 1.2 miles : Spring Brook Trail junction
- N39 55.432 W105 15.772 — 1.45 miles : Begin Spring Brook Loop
- N39 55.014 W105 15.923 — 2.0 miles : Enter pine forest
- N39 55.188 W105 16.127 — 2.55 miles : Spring Brook - Goshawk Ridge Trail junction
- N39 55.432 W105 15.772 — 3.75 miles : Finish Spring Brook Loop
- N39 56.279 W105 15.392 — 5.2 miles : Doudy Draw Trailhead
- The Eldorado Mountain area is one of the few places left along the Front Range where elk can still complete their annual migration from the mountains to the plains without encountering human development. Look for signs of elk activity between November and March.
- Dawn and dusk travelers should be mindful of bear and mountain lion activity in this area.
- Pierre Shale, from which these trails are cut, turns into a slippery clay when wet. Cyclists should avoid the Doudy Draw and Spring Brook Loop trails during and after storms to minimize trail rutting and erosion.
Rules and Regulations
- Dogs are permitted on the Doudy Draw Trail
- Dogs are permitted on the North Spring Brook Trail but must be leashed at all times.
- Dogs are not permitted on the South Spring Brook Trail.
Directions to Trailhead
The Doudy Draw Trailhead is located 1.8 miles west of State Road 93 on Eldorado Springs Drive. It's on the left hand side (south), across the street from the South Mesa Trailhead.
Directions from Boulder
Take Broadway south out of town, where it will turn into State Road 93. Continue on State Road 93 until you reach Eldorado Springs Drive. Turn right and continue west for 1.8 miles. The Doudy Draw Trailhead will be on the left.
City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks