Boulder is a stylish, modern, and affluent city that is worth visiting for its own sake. But it just happens to be set against the stunning backdrop of Colorado's Front Range, where the Rocky Mountains jut dramatically skyward from the vast flatness of the Great Plains. This juxtaposition of urban and rugged environments is embodied most perfectly by Settler's Park and the Red Rocks Trail, located just off of Pearl Street, the main thoroughfare of downtown. At Pearl Street's east end you can walk among Boulder's classy shops; at the west end, you can hike among Boulder's classic rocks.
The Red Rocks Trail is a series of interconnected loops around the large, reddish rock fins. Getting here from downtown takes only minutes by car or public bus, and it is a great destination for the whole family. Well-maintained trails of gentle to moderate slope access the rocks and surrounding open space, giving kids endless opportunities to scramble and run around. Views from this low hill include downtown Boulder, Mount Sanitas, Sunshine Canyon, Flagstaff Mountain, and the Royal Arch Hike on Green Mountain. The park is a central hub for many other trails. There connections to the Mount Sanitas Trail at the north end of Red Rocks Loop, and by continuing south and passing under the highway you can connect to Eben G. Fine Park and the Boulder Creek Greenway.
Settler's Park is named to honor some of Boulder's first European inhabitants. Along one of the trails, a historic marker denotes the spot where the first prospectors in the area were thought to have camped in 1858. They stayed in the foothills through the winter and struck gold in January 1859, solidifying Boulder's future as a coveted destination.
Note: This is a Voice and Sight Trail, which means that dogs are permitted off leash with the following conditions: (1) Guardians must be registered in the Voice and Sight Tag Program, (2) Voice and Sight Tags must be displayed on the dogs, (3) Guardian has a leash for each dog, with no more than two dogs.