This beautiful state park is a hiker’s and climber’s oasis, and it’s located near Boulder and Denver. One of the great things about this park is that most of the trails are open to both hiking or biking. It is important to note that there is no camping allowed inside of the Eldorado State Park, but there are great options close by. A few camping options nearby include Golden Gate Canyon State Park, St. Vrain State Park, Peaceful Valley, and Boulder County Fairground.
Eldorado has a variety of trail options; there are short, paved and wheelchair accessible trails and there are long, rough, and blood pumping mountainous routes.
Eldorado Canyon Trail
3.5 miles in and out (7 RT), moderate/strenuous
This phenomenal trail gains over 1,000 feet in elevation and climbs through lush green forests and over mountains. If you are looking for a trail that gives a great sweat with rewarding views, then this is the route for you. I highly recommend this hike! We did this in the early morning which provided cool weather and less time in the hot sun. We also saw only a handful of other hikers which provided intimacy with these mountains.
Rattlesnake Gulch Trail
~3.6 miles loop, moderate/strenuous
This shorter hike has it all; spectacular views of the canyon, historical remains of the Crags hotel, wildlife, viewpoints of the continental divide, old railroads, and some elevation gain to bring out the sweat. This trail is perfect for those with less time to spend in this park or if you want a shorter mileage trail while still experiencing the canyon.
.9 mile, wheelchair accessible, easy
This is a nice and easy trail that provides educational information through signage along the trail and you can also do a nature guided walk using a brochure. Along this path there are fixed binoculars for watching wildlife and the rock climbers, as this is a great spot to see them in action.
There are a few other short hikes in this area, and if you are looking for more of a challenge then you can add the Walker Ranch Loop to the Eldorado Canyon Trail for a ~14 mile RT hike. Also, be aware that this is a state park so you must pay for parking, but it only supports the existence and protection of beautiful places like these.