Boulder Falls Trail Reopened!

Last November I  reported on the indefinite closing of the Boulder Falls Trail. The area was closed  March 2009 after a  large rock injured a visitor while she was viewing the falls. The boulders above the trail were deemed to be unstable creating a rock fall danger.

Boulder Falls captured 30 June 2008 2:00 pm @ 40.007155,-105.405364


This sign at the bottom of the Boulder Canyon announced the closure of the trail to this treasure for over a year…   

Disappointment In Boulder Canyon


After the accident, the city considered two options for reducing the rock-fall risk: install a well-anchored concrete wall that would have to be flown in by a helicopter; or hire a yearly “scaling” crew to dislodge loose rocks that might be in danger of coming down on their own. The city chose the scaling option, spending about $8,000 to have the area above the trail professionally scaled. Since scaling is only a temporary fix the Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) department has also decided to close Boulder Falls each year between Nov. 1 and May 1.  Now, as reported in the Daily Camera and thanks to Boulder’s green legacy, the Boulder Falls Trail has reopened for the season! Mountain Mandy and I were happy to return there today.    

The Boulder Falls Trail is located 11 miles west of Boulder, on the north side of Boulder Canyon Drive (SR 119) between Boulder and Nederland @ 40.007155,-105.405364. We drove up the Canyon to this sign which marks the need for a left turn signal…   

Parking On Left


Remembering Frogger, we carefully crossed the highway… 

Look Both Ways


…and took a few minutes to read this trailhead sign which has lots of interesting information about the area’s history, fauna and flora… 

Boulder Falls Trail Sign


The Falls area was given to the City of Boulder by Charles G. Buckingham, president and co-founder of Buckingham Brothers Bank (which became Norwest Bank). Buckingham had held a U.S. Patent since 1881 on the American Mill site that included the Falls. He donated it to the City of Boulder for recreational purposes in 1914, hence “saving this beautiful spot from the encroachment of the great tungsten boom.” 

For many years the Boulder Falls (sometimes referred to as the “Yosemite of Boulder Canyon”) was the popular destination for picnic groups looking for a  getaway from the city. Eventually the railroad diverted tourist travel to places like The Switzerland Trail and the popularity of Boulder Falls as a day trip destination declined. Now thanks to Boulder’s taxpayers and the efforts of the Open Space and Mountain Parks Staff this trail has regained its popularity. The trains are gone but the covered wagons (and convertibles) are back…  

The Covered Wagons Have Returned (15 August 2010)


 The damaged path has been carefully restored…   

Unblocked at Last


So it’s just a short walk down to the cool (but potentially dangerous) falls…   

A Short Walk To The Falls


 …where evaporative cooling makes this a nice place to be on a hot day…   

Nature's Evaporative Cooling


The Falls have regained their popularity…  

Another Very Popular Boulder Roadside Attraction (15 August 2010)


The view downstream…   

A View Down the Middle Boulder Creek


Here’s some protection from Boulder’s bouncing boulders…   

Boulder Retaining Wall


It’s time to go back up the short trail to the parking lot. It’s great having this tiny gem back in the Boulder portfolio…   

Back to the Car


3 Responses to “Boulder Falls Trail Reopened!”

  1. Barbara Neulight Says:

    Great pictures! Very interesting history. Miss going hiking with you guys!

  2. Barbara Neulight Says:

    From the pictures it still looks a bit slippery! The falls do seem like a perfect place to go on a hot day!

    Maybe we could all do the hike with you sometime soon.


  3. Roslyn Kaiser Says:

    Another beautiful item – don’t know, about thelast picture, which is prettier, the falls or the dog.

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