Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,647.00 ft (502.01 m)
Trail type
4.70 mi (7.56 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Nugget Hill is a hidden gem of a hike close to Boulder, with fantastic summit views and an uncrowded trail. On a clear day the summit offers nearly 360-degree views over Boulder, the Flatirons, the Indian Peaks, and Rocky Mountain National Park, with minimal crowds.

The Nugget Hill trail starts at a small parking lot off Lefthand Canyon Drive. The trailhead is unmarked, but offers parking for 2-3 cars on the north side of the road and room for a few more across the street. The trail departs from the north side of the road, heading up the very rough 4x4 road FS 509.1, immediately starting with a steep uphill grade. After a few minutes, head through the gate and continue following the road uphill. Views of the canyon start to appear as the trail gains elevation steadily. The trail switchbacks at about 0.9 miles and continues climbing to an obvious junction at 1.5 miles. At this point the forest road continues left up to the west, but the Nugget Hill trail heads right (east) up another heavily washed-out, rough road.

Although the trail is still mostly in the trees at this point, there are some viewpoints off the trail in this section. At 1.8 miles the trail levels off then heads downhill gently for 0.3 miles through the forest, at which point the true summit is visible ahead. After a final, steep 0.2 mile climb through a grassy slope filled with wildflowers, the trail reaches the summit, marked with a cairn.

The large summit, which is fairly flat, offers beautiful views in all directions. A spectacular view of Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park especially makes this hike special. Wildflowers abound, attracting butterflies, bees, and other insects. You may even find cacti, including prickly pear and spinystar.

After enjoying the summit views, descend via the same route.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Beautiful views. Abundant wildflowers. Low crowds.


Very rocky trail. No signage.

Trailhead Elevation

7,193.00 ft (2,192.43 m)

Highest point

8,589.00 ft (2,617.93 m)


Big vistas
Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day


Permit required




Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.