Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
10.00 ft (3.05 m)
Trail type
0.80 mi (1.29 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.

Walden Ponds Wildlife Habitat is renowned among Boulder area bird watchers for its diversity of migratory waterfowl and other native birds. It is also a place for wildflower enthusiasts and any general lovers of nature. 

Reclaimed gravel pit mines from the 1960s are now ecologically restored to healthy wetlands. Ongoing restoration since the 1970s has left its former condition nearly unimaginable, but the adjacent manufacturing park is a reminder of the site's industrial legacy.

Today, it is an oasis of diversity as a wildlife sanctuary. A small network of trails weave around the numerous ponds, including Wally Toevs Pond, Cottonwood Marsh, and others. There are plenty of viewing platforms, interpretive signs, benches, and shelters along the way. Don't forget to bring a pair of binoculars for enhanced viewing.

Aside from the numerous birds, you may spot frogs, turtles, bluegill, carp, bass, gartersnakes, rabbits, beavers, muskrats, deer, coyotes, or even moose. Animals in this area have become accustomed to seeing people. Don't be tempted to approach too close or feed them, because they should remain wild. Be sure to look up, around, and down for all the area's natural residents, and to gaze across town at magnificent views of the mountains and the Flatirons.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required




Adjacent to industrial area.

Trailhead Elevation

5,140.00 ft (1,566.67 m)


Bird watching
Big vistas
ADA accessible

Typically multi-day




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