I haven’t spent a ton of time in Boulder, despite its proximity, but a visit from my sister earlier this year took us up there for some hiking + time with a childhood friend of hers.
The Betasso Link Trail is a 1.3-mile trail that takes you from Boulder Canyon Drive into Betasso Preserve, which is an open space with great views of Boulder from above. It used to be a ranch, owned by former miners in the early 1900s, and sold to Boulder County in the seventies as their very first open space!
You gain about 600 feet of elevation over the course of this short trail, so it’s pretty steep but still manageable. Over the course of our hike, we saw a pretty good number of people heading down the trail on their mountain bikes, which I found pretty impressive.
I think my favorite thing about the Betasso Link Trail (+ the reason my sister’s friend chose this trail for us in the first place) is the variety of flora + terrain that you get to experience over a relatively short distance. When you reach the top of the Betasso Link Trail + connect to Canyon Loop Trail that takes you through the preserve, you leave the pine trees for open meadows, and the ground beneath your feet goes from sandy to rocky to grassy.
I’m amazed by the diversity of natural life there is in Colorado. The only other hike I’ve done in Boulder looked strikingly different than this one, and the trailheads are only a 15-minute drive apart. You can see the photos from that hike here.