Betasso Preserve Trailhead is a beautiful foothills park in Boulder County, only minutes away from downtown Boulder, Colorado. This beautiful foothills park is adjacent to Boulder Canyon Dr. and Fourmile Canyon Dr. and is best accessed via Betasso Rd. from Sugarloaf Rd. Managed as part of the Boulder County Park and Open Space system, Betasso Preserve Trailhead is extremely popular among hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers, equestrians, and picnickers. Indeed, this park can become quite busy on the weekends, so early arrival is always recommended to have a bit more space. With approximately nine miles of trails over 1,181 acres, Betasso Preserve Trailhead visitors are treated to splendid mountain vistas and foothills scenery, abundant wildlife, and an expansive open space surprisingly close to town.
Betasso Preserve Trailhead has a fairly extensive history most notably dating back to the 1910s when the area was homesteaded by the Blanchard family. The Betasso family eventually acquired much of the land here and Boulder County purchased the property for preservation purposes in the 1970s. Boulder County later added adjacent parcels of land through subsequent acquisitions, including the 391-acre Benjamin Property, the 19.5-acre Tinsley Property, and other smaller properties. Today, Betasso Preserve Trailhead is an expansive 1,181-acre open space enjoyed year-round by many in the nearby Boulder/Denver metropolitan area.
As rich as the property’s history is, the natural landscape and recreational opportunities are what truly shine at Betasso Preserve Trailhead. Outstanding mountain views, an incredibly diverse array of plants and wildlife, and approximately nine miles of trails linking access points on Boulder Canyon Dr. and Fourmile Canyon Dr. are just a few reasons for hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers, and equestrians to visit.
With elevations ranging from 6,900ft. to 7,700ft., visitors will traverse through open meadow grasslands and woodlands of Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir. In addition, among the wildlife in Betasso Preserve Trailhead, it’s common to see Stellar’s Jays, Downy Woodpeckers, and the phenomenal Abert’s Squirrel. There’s so much nature to enjoy at Betasso Preserve Trailhead, that it’s hard to believe its proximity to downtown Boulder.
Betasso Preserve Trailhead’s trail system encompasses nine miles of trail spanning 1,181 open space acres. With trail elevations ranging anywhere between 5,900ft. to 7,700ft., hikers and trail runners will enjoy open meadows to dense pine woodlands along steeper terrain. Almost all of the park’s trails are designated as multi-use, so hikers and trail runners will share this popular area with mountain bikers and equestrians. Accordingly, park management recommends pedestrians visit Betasso Preserve Trailhead on Wednesdays and Saturdays when the trails are closed to mountain bikes. On all other days of the week, however, mountain biking is permitted along designated trails. Do note, that because Betasso Preserve Trailhead’s trails are multi-use and see a heavy foot and equestrian traffic, the park strictly enforces directional patterns for mountain bikes. Visitors are advised to watch for signs indicating which direction to adhere to on the trails.
Betasso Preserve Trailhead has three parking areas off of Betasso Rd., with a total of 44 spots across all lots. The main trailhead parking area has a restroom and picnic area, with direct access to the Canyon Loop. If the main trailhead lot is full, further up Betasso Rd. is an overflow lot with a spur trail to the Canyon Loop. Finally, there is also parking at nearby Bummer’s Rock, which accommodates horse trailers.
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