This is only one of many routes in the array of hiking trails west of Boulder, part of the city's unique Open Space and Mountain Parks system. The trailhead is easily accessed on the edge of town, and in turn links up with many other trails in the area, including Enchanted Mesa, Skunk Canyon, Royal Arch, and Chautauqua.
This trail ascends a shallow canyon on the flanks of Enchanted Mesa, and though the hillsides limit much of the Front Range views that nearby trails have to offer, the real beauty here is in the lush greenery that grows in this sheltered streambed. Wildflowers bloom throughout much of the summer, and they are mixed in with a variety of grasses and flowering shrubs. Many varieties of deciduous trees take root in this corner of a landscape otherwise dominated by pine, and they love to show off their colors in the fall. Trees provide shade along much of the hike, which is more than welcome while climbing the trail's steady incline. Along the way you will catch glimpses of the famous Flatirons, huge rock slabs that define the Boulder skyline.
The trail ends at the intersection with the Mesa Trail, which you can take either north or south to access more terrain, including steeper hikes that work their way up to spectacular views. You can make a nice loop back through the canyon by turning right at this intersection and following Bluebell Road to the parking area.
Parking is very limited, especially on summer weekends, but you may find a spot on any of the surrounding neighborhood streets, or take a city bus from elsewhere in town.
Note: Dogs are not permitted on the McClintock Trail.