Elevation Gain: 800 ft
This spring I was in full summer hiking training mode. My three favorite after work training hikes are Gregory Canyon, Royal Arch, and Mount Sanitas. All three of these trails have significant elevation gain and are guaranteed to strengthen your quadriceps. Of the three, Gregory Canyon is the easiest.
The start of the trail is a lush riparian environment. Beware the Poison-ivy!
The main trailhead for Gregory Canyon is at the $3/per car parking lot at the base of Flagstaff Mountain. This fee is waived for cars with Boulder license plates. Be advised, that the parking lot is small and fills up early. An alternative is to park at Chautauqua and walk an extra mile across a pleasant meadow.
Typical Trail Segments
Gregory Canyon starts out low along Gregory Creek where the lush vegetation and Poison-ivy create a humid micro-climate.
It is not long, however, before the trail begins to steadily climb up the canyon wall. The trail alternates between steep step-ups, rock scrambles, and level dirt. As the trail switchbacks upwards the views of Boulder and the surrounding plains become more expansive. It is easy to see how high one has risen by looking down into the canyon itself or marking how high one is in relation to the neighboring flatirons.
Views along the trail