Walker Ranch

A fire mitigation project will begin mid-May in the Meyers Gulch area. All trails will remain open. Learn more.

Walker Ranch has a diverse array of ecosystems to explore. 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.

Resident Ranger Tweets


Meyers Homestead Trail

2.5 miles
Leashed Dogs Allowed Bikes Allowed Hiking Allowed Horses Allowed

Walker Ranch Loop

7.8 miles
Leashed Dogs Allowed Bikes Allowed Hiking Allowed Horses Allowed
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

Picnic Areas

  • Several picnic tables located near each trailhead
  • Large group shelter located at Meyers Homestead Trailhead.


  • Located at each trailhead


  • 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


Keep in Mind

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

Upcoming Walker Ranch Heritage Events

  • July 16 from 5 - 7:30 p.m.
  • September 25 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Brochures & Field Guides

Management Plan

Maps & Graphs

Fire Mitigation Forestry Project Begins May 2016

Walker Ranch Fire Mitigation Project Map

Phase One is 25 acres along the north-west property line. Ladder fuels and tree density will be reduced by removing small (2-12" diameter at 4.5') ponderosa pine infested with dwarf mistletoe, and Douglas-fir. This will reduce the amount of available fuel in the event of a fire and raise thresholds for extreme fire behavior.

The project will have little impact of park visitors. All trails will remain open but visitors may hear equipment and see increased activity in the project area.

The Sheriff's Office Fire Management staff will use chainsaws to cut trees. This work will occur during daylight hours, including weekends. Wood generated from this project will be removed from the forest and made available through public firewood sales. The Boulder County Youth Corps will pile the slash from this project to be burned during winter months.

The project area was designated for fire mitigation forestry treatments during the Walker Ranch Management Plan update in 2013. The four planned phases of this project will link forest treatments along private and county open space lands, decrease potential fire intensity and create opportunities for fire suppression.

Contact Stefan Reinold, 303-678-6202 for additional information.

Residential Fire Mitigation & Defensible Space Resources

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.


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



  • Western terrestrial garter snake


  • Rainbow trout

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)


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


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


Woman Making Cornbread


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.


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


Parks & Open Space

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