Explore Colorado

Easy Sunset Hike at Flatirons Vista Near Denver

With cold mornings here, you might opt for a late afternoon hike instead of a sunrise outing. Flatirons Vista is a great option and the trailhead is only 30 minutes from downtown Denver. It’s an easy and fairly flat trail with two loop options. It would also make for a great snowshoe outing when there’s snow.

Trail Stats: We did a loop starting on Flatirons Vista North, veering left at the Doudy Draw trail junction to continue on Flatirons Vista South. Mileage was about 3.3 miles. There is a shorter loop option for 1.9 miles

Getting Here: It’s off of Highway 93 north of Golden, south of Boulder, and near the Greenbelt Plateau. It’s just north of the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge. Takes about 30 minutes to get there from downtown Denver. The parking lot is on the west side of Highway 93 and there is a parking fee. You can purchase a daily parking permit for $5 or an annual one for $25.

My friend and regular hiking partner Mindy suggested we do a sunset hike from Flatirons Vista Trailhead. The wide open space where the trail starts was dotted with cows, a few folks taking holiday pictures, and a few other hikers and bikers. We said howdy to the cows as we walked through them and cruised along on the easy trail traversing the meadow.

As we got to the Doudy Draw trail junction, there’s a great spot to take pictures with the Flatirons in the distance.

The sun was just tipping over the peaks as we veered left onto Flatirons Vista South which took us through a lovely pine forest before hiking back across the meadow.

It was a bit hazy and the sunset wasn’t a spectacular array of colors, but we did get some cotton candy pink popping in the sky as we got back to the cows near the trailhead.

Author Jennifer Broome has traveled and hiked extensively across Colorado. For other easy to moderate hikes in the Foothills, check out blogs on Castle Ruins in Colorado and Hike to Forgotten Valley.