Heil Valley Ranch
Date Hiked: March 3, 2012
Distance: 1.6 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 200ft
Elevation Min/Max: 5,878 to 6,169ft
Managing Agency: Boulder County Open Space
Heil Valley Ranch Trail Map (BoCo)
Lichen Loop Trail Map (Google Maps)
Directions: From Boulder head north on Hwy 36 and make a left (west) on Lefthand Canyon Drive. Turn right onto Geer Canyon Drive and take this road into the park and the main parking area.
Heil Valley Ranch is a park made up of long trails. Most trails are at least 8 miles long. The Lichen Loop however, provides for a short, easy, and pleasant 1.6 mile hike. The hike most stays within evergreen forest but does provide some views of the surrounding foothills.
From the trailhead, cross a small footbridge and turn left on the trail that heads uphill through an open meadow. When you get to the trail junction, you can go either way, I went right and did the loop counter clockwise. The trail head into sparse forest and in and out of open meadows. When it starts to head back to the start of the loop, you get great views of Green Mountain and Bear Peak in the distance behind Boulder. Proceed down-valley through forests and in between huge boulders back to the trailhead. You just got a taste of this park, there is lots more to explore here...