Shanahan Ridge

Boulder, Colorado

There are so many hikes around Denver, like Shanahan Ridge, that I’ve been avoiding because they get very crowded. But recently it occurred to me that the winter is the perfect opportunity to tick some of these off since the cooler air and mild snow helps keep the crowds away!

Getting There

Shanahan Ridge is located right outside Boulder, CO.

The roads are all paved so no vehicle restrictions!


There is plenty of street parking along Lehigh Street around the trailhead.

The Trailhead

Shanahan Ridge Trailhead is right off the side of the street and well marked.

Shanahan Ridge Loop

Shanahan Ridge is a 4.2 mile loop trail that steadily rises 807 feet through a spacious evergreen forest.

The incline is relatively mellow but fairly persistent throughout the trail.

This hike is great in all seasons. I recommend microspikes or Yaktrax in the winter. 

The trail is well groomed with minimal rocks and roots making it great for both hiking and trail running.

Dogs are allowed (and the joy exuding from each dog I encountered was palpable).

Views include peeps of mountain peaks, Boulder, and Denver.


Shanahan Ridge_Boulder Colorado_Day Hike_Hiking_Winter_Dani's Drive
Shanahan Ridge Loop

The Stats

Stats (per All Trails):

  • Distance:  4.3 mi
  • Elevation gain: 814 ft
  • Total time: 2:01:40 min
  • Moving time: 1:56:13 min

The Details

  • Trailhead: Shanahan Ridge Trailhead
  • Car driven: Subaru Impreza hatchback
  • Day of the week hiked: Sunday
  • Trailhead arrival time: 10:30 am
  • Parking: plenty of street parking
  • Restroom at the trailhead? No
  • Crowd count: 20-30

If you like to follow along on the GPS while you hike, I recommend the All Trails app.

Gear Recommendations

Trekking poles recommended? Not necessary, but could be used.

Shoe verdict: Hiking boots or trail running shoes. Add traction in the winter.

Post-Hike Refuel

After your hike, stop in Boulder for some lunch! Walnut Cafe has great sandwiches (gluten-free bread available) and they’re reasonably priced.

Love Dani - Dani's Signature - Dani's Drive

Want to read my journal entry from hiking Shanahan Ridge? Check it out here.

Looking for other things to do around Denver in the winter? Check out this list of 11 irresistible things to do near Denver this winter!

Did you hike this trail? I'd love to hear how it went! Leave a comment below!

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I invite you to join the adventure!
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