Walker Ranch

Flagstaff Road will be closed Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. due to construction. Walker Ranch can be accessed from Gross Dam Road, which connects to CO Highway 72, during those times. Learn more.

Sporting a diverse array of ecosystems to explore, it's virtually impossible to get bored at Walker Ranch. From the great staircase to South Boulder Creek to the open view across Crescent Meadow to the historic homestead, Walker Ranch is a cultural and natural treasure.  

 Your Visit

Resident Ranger Tweets


Trails

Trails

Meyers Homestead Trail

2.5 miles
Leashed Dogs Allowed Bikes Allowed Hiking Allowed Horses Allowed
Moderate

Walker Ranch Loop

7.8 miles
Leashed Dogs Allowed Bikes Allowed Hiking Allowed Horses Allowed
Moderate
Equestrians are discouraged from using the eastern leg due to extremely steep staircase conditions

Walker Ranch Link

0.7 miles
Leashed Dogs Allowed Bikes Allowed Hiking Allowed Horses Allowed
Easy

Picnic Areas

  • Several picnic tables located near each trailhead
  • Large group shelter located at Meyers Homestead Trailhead.
    • June 1 - November 30: shelter is only reservable on Saturdays and Sundays due to construction on Flagstaff Road
    • June 1 - November 30: shelter is available on a first-come, first-served basis Monday through Friday
    • Reserve the Shelter

Restrooms

  • Located at each trailhead

Parking

  • Ethel Harrold parking lot can accommodate 18 cars
  • Meyers Homestead Trailhead can accommodate 39 cars and 2 horse trailers
  • Walker Ranch Loop parking lot can accommodate 28 cars

Fishing

Keep in Mind

  • Hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and dog-walking (on leash) are allowed on all trails

 Map & Directions

 Special Events

Summer Heritage Evening

July 19
5 - 7:30 p.m.

Enjoy an evening at the homestead. Bring your family and a picnic supper (please bring a blanket if you plan to picnic – there are no tables at the homestead). Visit costumed volunteers as they demonstrate various chores associated with rural living in the late 1800s. Take a tour of the homestead. Participate in many activities and kids can play children's games from the olden days.

The event is free and open to all ages. Dogs and bicycles are not permitted on the site.

Contact Sheryl Kippen for more information.

 


Autumn Heritage Day

September 28
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

The historic Walker Ranch Homestead will come to life as costumed cultural history volunteers demonstrate the lifestyle and daily chores of a working 1880s ranch. Every year a highlight of the event is the vintage "base ball" game. Once again, the Walker Ranch Boys will take on their rivals, the Denver Bluestockings. This game is a favorite activity of visitors year after year.

More information will be posted before the event.

 Documents

 Plants & Animals

Along Colorado's Front Range the sweeping grasslands of the Great Plains rise to meet the rugged peaks of the Southern Rocky Mountains. Where they meet we find the foothills – a zone of geological and biological transition. Foothills ecosystems are made up of myriad landforms such as cliffs, canyons, hills, and plateaus. Plant communities range from grasslands to shrublands to forests which provide a variety of habitats for a rich diversity of animals.

Mammals

  • Abert's squirrel
  • Bobcat
  • Coyote
  • Elk
  • Golden-mantled ground squirrel
  • Least chipmunk
  • Mountain cottontail
  • Mountain lion
  • Mule deer
  • Northern pocket gopher
  • Raccoon
  • Red fox

Birds

Reptiles

  • Western terrestrial garter snake

Fish

  • Rainbow trout

Wildflowers

White Wildflowers

  • Blazing star (Liatris punctata)
  • Fleabane (Erigeron spp)
  • Nodding onion (Allium cernuum)
  • Yarrow (Achillea lanulosa)

Yellow Wildflowers

  • Blanket flower (Gaillardia aristata)
  • Gumweed (Grindelia squarrosa)
  • Hairy golden aster (Heterotheca villosa)
  • Heart-leaf arnica (Arnica cordifolia)
  • Western wallflower (Erysimum asperum)
  • Whiskbroom parsley (Harbouris trachypleura)

Orange & Red Wildflowers

  • Indian paintbrush (Castilleja spp)

Pink Wildflowers

  • Mountain ball cactus (Pediocactus simpsonii)
  • Wild geranium (Geranium caespitosum)
  • Fleabane (Erigeron spp)

Purple & Blue Wildflowers

  • Horsemint (Monarda fistulosa)
  • Chiming bells or bluebells (Mertensia spp)
  • Harebells ( Campanula rotundifolia)
  • Lambert's locoweed or Colorado locoweed (Oxytropis lambertii)

Green Wildflowers

  • Western ragweed (Ambrosia psilostachya)

Shrubs

  • Boulder raspberry
  • Common chockecherry
  • Oregon holly grape
  • Mountain mahogany

Trees

  • Aspen
  • Douglas fir
  • Narrowleaf cottonwood
  • Ponderosa pine
  • Rocky Mountain juniper

 History

Woman Making Cornbread(click for larger image)

Homesteading

Settler James Walker, from Missouri, moved to Boulder in 1869. He and his wife Phoebe filed a homestead claim for 160 acres in 1882. The next year, he moved his wife and young son into the newly built ranch house.

Expansive Ranching

Over the next 80 years, the Walker family amassed over 6,000 acres. When the property was sold in 1959, it was one of the largest cattle ranches in this region of Colorado.

Walker Ranch Homestead

The homestead consists of original buildings from the 1880s, except a newly reconstructed ranch house. The original ranch house burned to the ground in 1992 and has since been rebuilt using environmentally friendly techniques while remaining faithful to 1880s architecture, design, and materials. The homestead is closed to the public, but group tours may be scheduled by contacting Sheryl Kippen at 303-776-8848.

Wildfire

In 2000, the Walker Ranch/Eldorado Wildland Fire burned through 1,062 acres and lasted five days. Remnants of this fire can be seen today in the form of burned trees that are still standing.
Walker Ranch Fire


Contacts

Parks & Open Space
303-678-6200

Staff Directory
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Parks are open sunrise to sunset
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