From the crest of Gunbarrel Hill, you may see all the best way from Longs Peak to Pikes Peak with the Indian Peaks and the foothills in between. The 360-degree view encompasses many lakes, reservoirs and wetlands in addition to the cities of Boulder and Erie.
The northwestern finish of East Boulder Trail climbs gently to Gunbarrel Hill (5,423 toes) and connects the Heatherwood neighborhood to the White Rocks Trailhead on ninety fifth Street and to the North and South Teller Farm Trailheads. It’s comparatively uncrowded and used largely by residents from the neighborhood. It additionally serves as an entry highway to a water tank, however solely official autos are allowed.
At the trailhead a number of neighborhood trails intersect the primary path that heads gently up to a viewpoint and a serious intersection at an inviting bench. Turn proper at this level and proceed a brief distance to the “main” viewpoint above the White Rocks Nature Preserve. You can flip again right here for a straightforward spherical journey of about 1½ miles. If you’re feeling like exploring, you too can make a 1½-mile loop by connecting with one of many unmarked, intersecting trails.
Or, you may backtrack to the bench, flip proper, and maintain happening the East Boulder Trail to the White Rocks Trailhead on ninety fifth. Or, you may go all the best way to both of the Teller Farm Trailheads passing a number of lakes enroute. For a one-way hike, you may spot a automotive at two totally different trailheads. Check a web based map for particulars in the event you select these choices.
The first time we hiked this path it was summer time and very popular, and we weren’t impressed. Even although there aren’t any wildflowers now, we favor it in wintertime. Fields of yellow and pink grasses topped with ornamental seedheads and interspersed with dagger-like yucca crops stretch out from the huge gravel path in all instructions. Watch for raptors, deer, and coyotes.
It’s thought that the identify “Gunbarrel” was used to describe the straightness of the previous highway between Boulder and Longmont. Winter wheat was raised right here from the early days till the mid-Nineteen Eighties, when the town of Boulder bought the land. Howard Morton remembered hitting buffalo wallows along with his plow when he turned below the final sod in 1938. After turning into a part of the Open Space program, the eroded land was reseeded and allowed to revert to native grasses similar to sideoats grama, blue grama, and little and large bluestem.
To attain the trailhead take seventy fifth Street north to Heatherwood Drive and switch proper. Turn onto Cambridge Street and park alongside the highway on the intersection of Cambridge and Boulderado.
Ruth Carol and Glenn Cushman are the authors of “Boulder Hiking Trails,” revealed by West Margin Press.