Flagstaff Mountain is Boulder’s 4th highest peak at 7,283 feet and its summit offers incredible views of the Continental Divide, the Boulder range, and the plains. It’s also a fantastic spot for wildlife watching. Deer, wild turkey, raptors, bears, bobcats, and even mountain lions are regularly spotted here. Rocky outcrops provide opportunities for bouldering and the summit area is replete with perfect picnicking posts.
So why is Flagstaff the least popular mountain for hikers to tackle from bottom to top? There are two main reasons: (1) It’s the only peak in Boulder that features a road to the summit. (2) The true summit is an unmarked lump of dirt and rocks. This apparently deters many hikers, but their loss is your gain. Flagstaff’s supposed shortcomings actually make it a very appealing summit hike for those willing to adjust their expectations.
Yes, there’s a road, and you’ll cross it 6 times on your way up. But when you’re on trail, you’ll see very few people until you reach the summit area. And while it’s difficult to escape the occasional sound of cars or chatty bikers, you’ll find beautiful pockets of solitude in between.
To make up for its unmarked summit, Flagstaff’s summit area offers multiple overlooks with vistas rivaling those on Boulder’s more popular peaks. In addition, the Flagstaff Trail provides multiple opportunities to connect with other parts of Boulder’s trail system.
The hike from street level to Flagstaff’s summit is not particularly popular with either locals or tourists, and that’s all the more reason for it to become popular with YOU. Read on for everything you need to know about this rewarding summit hike.