South Boulder Creek – Walker Ranch Loop

I was looking for something close to home and found this section of South Boulder Creek about an hour from Denver. The entire drive in both directions is beautiful with a good variety of sweeping views, canyons, and thicker wooded areas. The drive took a few dirt roads but was very accessible. The trail head had plenty of parking and was free. The walk down to the water was about a mile and 1,000 vertical feet. The trail is almost entirely downhill to the water and plenty of mountain bikers head down at a good clip. It looks like a lot of fun, but it means you have to keep an ear out as not all of them are paying attention.

Once down to the water, there’s about a mile of trail that goes in both directions. To the north (toward the dam) there weren’t too many good spots and about 1/4 mile down the trail there’s a no trespassing sign and a gate as the trail follows the creek onto private property. In the other direction the trail is near the water but far enough away that you can feel fairly secluded if you climb down to put a line in the water. There are quite a few trees along the sides and unless you’re willing to hop rocks, not too many good casting spots, not that they’re really needed as most of the time I was just dropping a nymph into the stream and letting it run for a bit.

I ended up only catching one fish, but the hike and drive were beautiful. The area doesn’t have too many people around and most seem to be mountain bikers passing through. On the south part of the trail there is a cleared area near a calmer section of water with a couple picnic tables and a great place to hang a hammock. I’d like to check out other segments of South Boulder Creek as this one was beautiful and the area in general is easily accessible and not too crowded.

Dirt Road
The dirt road in had a ton of great views of the dam upstream. Unfortunately those pictures didn’t come out well.


Trail Sign
The sign at the trail head. I only went down to the first intersection with the creek, but the trail crosses a few more times if I wanted to really get some hiking in.


The trail
The trail starts wide and flat but quickly gets narrower, rougher, and steeper. Still a pretty moderate walk though.


Caught fish
My only catch


I fished this same nymph the whole time. Got quite a few bites but only one fish.


The river
This was one of the calmer parts in the river. I had to work a bit to find calm pools.