South Boulder Peak via Homestead Trail

Posted: January 18th, 2022



On Monday, January 17th, 2022, I hiked to the summit of South Boulder Peak via the Homestead Trail. The summit is 8,458 feet high with 3,000 feet of elevation gain from the parking lot to the summit. South Boulder Peak is the highest peak in Boulder, Colorado.

Starting around 11AM from the paid parking lot on the other side of the street, which costs $5 for about 17 hours using the ParkMobile app, the hike took approximately 5 hours and was 8.7 miles round-trip. There is no bus stop near the trailhead so one needs to drive to it instead.

The full route I did consisted of Mesa Trail to Homestead Trail to Shadow Canyon Trail then South Boulder Peak Trail to the summit. Returning, I took South Boulder Peak Trail to Shadow Canyon Trail then stayed on Mesa Trail all the way back down.

The trail had snow, which was at times slushy and icy. Near the ridge line, there were many downed trees, presumsably from recent high speed winds. Once at the summit, there were views of the surrounding area, including Denver, Bear Peak and Longs Peak. The summit was much windier than it was going up the trail, which was mostly in the trees and not exposed.

It is important to arrive early at the trailhead. Although there are two parking lots, both fill up quickly. The hike is heavily trafficked. Microspikes and poles were helpful on this trail, otherwise it would have taken much longer and possibly resulted in a fall. A small amount of scrambling is required to reach the true summit.

Overall, this hike offers commanding views of Boulder area. It's helpful to have microspikes when there is snow present. As a day hike from Denver, this hike is a must do.

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