The Lost Gulch Overlook is a popular hiking spot located only minutes from Downtown Boulder, CO. Situated in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, this viewpoint offers a stunning panoramic view of the city of Boulder and the surrounding mountains. This stop is a common spot for people to take in the amazing sunset and sunrise views.
The Lost Gulch Overlook sits at an elevation of 7,333 feet inside Boulder County, and offers a 180-degree view of the Front Range of the Rockies. From the viewpoint, you can see the city of Boulder and the jagged, nearby mountains of Mount Meeker, Flagstaff Mountain, and Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park.
The Lost Gulch faces west toward the Continental Divide, so it’s a great place to watch the sunset.
Getting to Lost Gulch Overlook
Physical Address of the Lost Gulch Overlook: 4300 Flagstaff Road, Boulder, CO 80302
Getting to the Lost Gulch Overlook cliff is relatively easy. From downtown Boulder, head west towards the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Turn left on Baseline/Flagstaff Road. This winding road is fun in the summer, but could be dangerous after a snowfall, so be careful if you’re traveling here in the winter. Note that the no vehicles over 30 feet in length are allowed on Flagstaff Road.
The parking lot is just less than 4 miles from the Baseline-Flagstaff Road junction.
The Lost Gulch Trailhead is immediately to the back of the parking lot.
The dirt parking lot at the overlook is well-maintained and has space for around 10 to 12 vehicles. The City of Boulder’s website says there is space for 24, but I just don’t see it.
There is a fee/permit to park here, which can be attained at the ParkMobile website, or at the self-service kiosks at the overlook. The ParkMobile code for the Lost Gulch Overlook & Trail is 24700. The cost for one vehicle’s parking pass is around $6 as of February 2023.
It should be noted that if you purchase a parking permit in advance online, it does not guarantee a space for you at the overlook. The parking spaces are first-come-first-served. This is a popular hiking spot in the area, so it would be best to get here early and to avoid midday on the weekends.
The Lost Gulch Overlook & Trail
The Lost Gulch Trail is actually a slightly longer trail, but most people simply take the easy route to the overlook. If you just want to get to the overlook, the path will be less than 1/10th of a mile long one way. While the walk is very short, it does cover some very uneven ground with steep rocks.
|Hiking Distance||0.2 miles (0.3 km)|
|Hiking Duration||0.5 hours|
|Route Type||Out and Back|
|Elevation||7,333 feet (2,235 meters)|
|Trail Type||Dirt, uneven and rocky|
|Pets Allowed||Yes. Must be on a leash.|
|Fees||Parking Fee (see above)|
The trail is well-maintained and has an easy grade that should be relatively easy for hikers of all ages. The overlook is a popular spot for engagement, wedding and senior pictures.
From the overlook, you can see the Indian Peaks Wilderness, and the tallest mountain peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park.
The Lost Gulch Overlook is located in the Western Mountain Park section of The City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (Boulder OSMP) Habitat Conservation Area. That just ends up being a lot of government terms for “public land”.
Other Nearby Attractions
You could easily spend a whole day in the area, with everything to do here. In addition to the Lost Gulch Overlook and Trail, there are several other trails nearby that are worth exploring. The Boulder Creek Path is a popular trail that runs along Boulder Creek and offers great views of the city. The Chautauqua Park Trail is another popular trail that offers great views of the city and the mountains.
Just past the overlook is Realization Point on Flagstaff Road. It’s another scenic point that offers some of the best views of Flagstaff Mountain.
The typical weather in Boulder is mild and sunny, with high temperatures averaging around 75°F in the summer and 40°F in the winter. The park is open year-round, but the best time to visit is during the spring, summer, and fall when the weather is mild and the wildflowers are in bloom.
Winter will bring snow and ice, which could be pretty dangerous on the switchbacks driving up the mountain on Flagstaff Road, as well as on the rocky terrain of the overlook. Visiting Lost Gulch is certainly possible in the winter, just use added caution when driving and hiking in the area.