Total Drive Time: 40 minutes
This route is a great low-elevation option with views of Boulder’s Flatirons. From Boulder, head south on Hwy. 93. At the junction of Hwys. 93 and 128, you'll find a trailhead on the right. This is Flatirons Vista Trailhead, with a network of trails branching out through the ponderosa pine-dotted prairie and into the foothills. The northward-looking views to the Flatirons are legendary.
Next, backtrack slightly to turn east on Hwy. 128. The road here is fit for a luxury car commercial. It snakes its ways through halcyon meadows and rolling hills, and you will pass several impressively large wind turbines at the National Wind Technology Center on your right.
Photo: Photo by Dennis Schroeder/NREL
After three miles, stop at the pull-off at the top of the hill and look back to the Flatirons — a full, panoramic effect you can’t get while in town. Continue on, making a left at McCaslin Road to connect to Hwy. 36 (also called the Boulder Turnpike).
On Hwy. 36, pull off at Davidson Mesa (follow the signs for visitor information) for photo ops of Boulder Valley farmland, the red rooftops of the University of Colorado and the snow-capped Rocky Mountains beyond.
Continue back into Boulder to complete your loop.