Overview

Full Route

What we're calling the “Boulder Ale Trail” is an unofficial extension of The LoBo Trail, with stops at microbreweries that lie within easy walking distance of the trail.

The full route is 14.7 miles, beginning at Boulder Beer in Boulder and ending at Oskar Blues Liquids and Solids in Longmont (or vice-versa).

The trail is quite flat. There is only about a 300-foot elevation gain going toward Longmont.

Bike, Bus, Walk

Walking LoBo near Gunbarrel

Biking the route might take about 2 hours each way. The trail condition is generally very good for bicycles. I wouldn't ride a bicycle with skinny road-bike tires because there are segments of dirt or cinder. But a mountain bike, a commuter bike, or even a cruiser should get you there and back.

If you are walking, it might take 6 or 7 hours each way.

If you're only looking to go one way, you can catch the RTD Bolt back to your starting point. The Bolt runs between Longmont and Boulder, generally once an hour, for $5 (as of Fall 2014). And yes, you can generally bring your bike onto the bus (but consult RTD's web site for their policies).

Flora, Fauna, Geography, Architecture

The LoBo Trail, which connects Boulder and Longmont, showcases some of the prettiest plains geography in Boulder County. Nothing against the many hikes that go up into the mountains west of Boulder, but some of us prefer something a little flatter with wider views.

Boulder has more than mountains

At the Boulder end of the Boulder Ale Trail you will see red-winged blackbirds perched on cattails in the wetlands of Goose Creek. You quickly come to a prairie dog town (your first of several) where coyotes have been spotted (including some aggressive ones).

The Cottonwood Trail north of Boulder is an open plain where it's not uncommon to see redtail hawks or flocks of geese.

You will pass through residential neighborhoods on the outskirts of Boulder and Niwot. Horned owls nest in these neighborhoods, and if you come in the spring, you might see fledglings in a hollow trunk.

Those neighborhoods gradually give way to older farms, some with cattle and fields of grass for hay. Near Longmont you will walk for a mile along a large field of corn.

Bear Peak has a distinctive shape

When you go south on the trail from Longmont, you will be walking straight toward the mountains west of Boulder. You will have frequent gorgeous views of the distinctively shaped Bear Peak. Closer to Longmont, and perpendicular to the trail, you can see views of Long's Peak that gives Longmont its name.

Take a look at the map page, or read our suggested itineraries.

* Okay, we admit it. There are segments of the trail where there are cars. See the Route Overview page for more details.