Anemone Hill, near Red Rocks


Branching off behind Boulder, Colorado’s Red Rocks, there’s a trail that leads up Anemone Hill.  I didn’t know anything about this trail, but after hiking around the red sandstone fins, I decided to give it a try.  I was hoping it would lead to a nice viewpoint of the Red Rocks, with the city in the distance.

And starting off, it did.  After just a few hundred feet on the Anemone Hill Trail, I had a good view of the back of the Red Rocks.  That trail you see in the middle-left of the photo leads through the middle of the rocks, while another circles around them.

But it didn’t take long for me to wonder why I had decided to hike the Anemone Trail.  The path circled around the side of the hill, and the view of the Red Rocks quickly disappeared.  In fact, the view of just about everything was gone, except for the moderately steep trail ahead of me — which at times looked more like a staircase.

A map of the trails in this area says the Anemone Trail is just 4/10 of a mile, one way.  It felt like a lot more.  Despite the surrounding trees, most of the trail was in direct sunlight.  It was hot, and the climb was wearing me out.

There were some wildflowers springing up alongside the trail.  I was here in mid-June, but I imagine there would be more flowers blooming, just a few weeks later.

A break in the trees allowed me to catch a glimpse of the mountains to the south — most likely, that’s Flagstaff Mountain in the distance.  But those views were short-lived.

Once at the “top”, more or less, I discovered that the only thing to see up here were a few pipes and manholes protruding from the ground.

The “top”, as it turns out, was more of a ridge than a singular hill, and it just kept climbing.  The main trail ended at another trail…

… somewhere around this spot.  There’s a glimpse of part of the city of Boulder in the distance, but it wasn’t the sweeping view that I had been hoping for.

I took a sharp right on that other trail, and thought it would most likely lead to a nice view…

… but when I got close to the place where, I think, I could have seen the city, the trail was closed for restoration.  If I wanted to keep searching for something special, I needed to keep climbing, up the spine of the ridge…

… through this opening in the fence (the opposite direction from the “restoration area”).

I trudged on, a short distance, then gave up and turned around.  There was nothing on the trail in front of me that looked promising — just a journey that continued through trees, uphill.

I found a few more patches of wildflowers, but soon I put my camera away, and made the descent, back the way I came.  The Red Rocks were impressive, and I highly recommend the loop trail that circles around them.  But, I don’t suggest you take the Anemone Trail, unless you’re primary goal is to get some exercise.

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