Trail Zealot

Colorado hiking, Appalachian Trail thru-hiking, and more...

Centennial Trailhead

Getting There

From north Boulder, head south on Broadway. Turn right on Balsam and follow it until it dead-ends. Turn left on 9th street, then right on Mapleton. Follow that until you get to 4th street and start looking for parking.

From south Boulder, head north on Broadway. Just north of downtown, turn left on Pine Street, go a block, and turn right on 9th street. At the top of the hill, turn left on Mapleton. Follow that until you get to 4th street and start looking for parking.


The only "official" trailhead for Mount Sanitas is the Centennial Trailhead. There are plenty of options though, so do not despair if it feels overwhelming when you pull up.

Even when this hike gets busy, parking is not a horrible ordeal. The trail network bumps up right against the west end of the Mapleton Hill neighborhood, so there is plenty of street parking to supplement the limited space in the Centennial Trailhead lot.

I don't usually check the Centennial lot anymore; it can fill up even when the trail is a tiny bit busy. I parallel park next to Mapleton, before or after 4th Street depending on availability. It is never a long walk to the trailhead. Don't overthink it just because everyone else is. If you park in a paved parking lot, you are using a parking spot meant for the occupants of 311 Mapleton.
If you do decide to park in the Centennial lot, drive a bit further up Mapleton Avenue as it becomes Sunshine Canyon Drive. The trailhead is on the left after you pass a crosswalk and a sign for parking. The rest of this info is for you.
If you don't luck out on a spot in the gravel lot, head back to Mapleton Avenue for street parking. Otherwise, park and head towards this luxurious bathroom facility. A connector trail begins behind this building, and takes you to all the Sanitas trails.
Right behind the bathroom is an info sign. Always good to at least take a quick look.
Follow the connector trail and used the marked road crossing.
Take a left at this fence and pass through a picnic pavillion.
The route splits at this trail junction. Left takes you to the Mount Sanitas Trail, right takes you to the Sanitas Valley Trail and the Dakota Ridge Trail.

Destinations reachable from this trailhead

Mount Sanitas

Routes reachable from this trailhead

Mount Sanitas Trail

Sanitas Valley Trail to East Ridge Trail

Dakota Ridge Trail to East Ridge Trail

Sunshine Canyon Trail to Lion's Lair Trail