This is a great after-work hike if you live nearby, or a mild weekend hike if you only have a couple of hours. You’ll find nice open areas with views of the mountains and a bit of ponderosa pine forest on the Spring Brook portion as well. These trails are very popular with mountain bikers, so be careful when coming around the bends.

Quick Facts

Hike Dowdy Draw-Spring Brook Loop
Highlights Open views, prairie with seasonal flowers, easy to access
Location Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, trailhead off Eldorado Springs Drive (170)
GPS, trailhead 39.938238,-105.25667
Overall Rating 3 of 5 3/5 – Pretty nice hike
Difficulty Easy
Distance, Round Trip 5.2 miles (8.4 km) – 1.5 to 2 hours
Starting Elevation 5,670 ft (1728 m)
Highest Elevation 6,242 ft (1902 m)
Animals Permitted No Dogs
Restroom Vault, 0.4 miles (0.6 km) from trailhead
Driving from Boulder 7.3 miles (11.7 km) – 16 minutes from Pearl & 28th
Entrance Fee $5 parking fee for non-Boulder County residents, payable at trailhead

Trail Map with Notes and Photos


View Boulder Open Space – Dowdy Draw-Spring Brook Loop in a larger map

Driving Directions

From Pearl and 28th in Boulder, head south on 28th St (36). Take the Baseline Road exit toward Colorado 93. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for CO-93/Baseline Rd/Broad Way and merge onto Baseline Rd. Turn left onto Broadway and continue as it becomes CO-93 S. Go 3.8 miles and turn onto Eldorado Springs Dr. Go 1.7 miles and turn left into the Dowdy Draw trailhead. It is located across the road from the South Mesa trailhead.

Navigating the Loop

  1. From the trailhead, head South on Dowdy Draw trail to the intersection with the Community Ditch Trail. Go straight over the bridge.
  2. When you come to the Spring Brook Trail take the North fork (right).
  3. When you get to another intersection part way up the hill, you can either go left or right; it is a loop.
  4. After completing the loop head back down the way you came.

Words of Warning

  • On Spring Brook portion of the trail, signs warn of mountain lion activity.
  • Mountain bikers on the trail are generally courteous, but watch out as sometimes they speed around bends.

For More Information

Photos