Hike details: Total mileage – 7.7 miles (6.2 on my iphone, 7.9 on my friends) Trail Head is at the NCAR in boulder – great large parking lot, not shimmying your car off the side of the road Level of effort – STRENOUS – yup, no kidding. And do not bring a dog!!! Seriously, there is very little shade, the rocks are hot and sharp – leave them at home! ——— I’ve had this hike on my radar for a while – but since it was over 7 miles, depeding which book and website you read. A girlfriend asked me to hike, her hubby bailed so that let my hubby of the hook. Due to bridge/I-70 I wanted to stick to this side of the Idaho Springs on a sunday! I talked her into this long hike! This is a loop hike, but the first half is much longer than the down! Up to the summit is over 4 miles, just a little over 3 to get down! I found this hike in the “Hiking Colorao’s Front Range” The first half is a bunch of switch-backs, then meandering, you go thru a multitude of climates, water, desert, fire recovery… You start of seeing the flat irons – oh my goodness – so amazing, beautiful and cool! There are a couple splits in the trails, but this is by far one of the best marked trails i’ve been on in ages! Close to the top after you make the final turn back toward to top – you come across one of the results of the fires a couple years ago. It looks like a crazy halloween on the side of a mountain! Once you reach the top, if you can find it!! There is a quick u turn close to the top, you need to go around to a sign that indicates the top is to your right. Basically scrambling up some rocks – that are SUPER HOT!! – and hard to manage! We got close enough to the top to call it good in our book! The views were AMAZING!! Then we had the HARD part – down, the down was basically a giant boulder staircase. Big steps for us gals with little legs! This was the deal for about 1.5 miles… The trail is hard to follow at the point, basically just keep going down… and down, and then down a little more. After that it was just a bunch of switch backs – y’know, like a million! I definitely sweated my bootie off, but had a great time and am really proud of myself for doing it! IT did take till Wednesday night for my thighs to return to normal and able to use stairs without looking like a fool!