Observatory

full-limited Icon
4.1/5 (15 reviews)
Nederland, Colorado (Boulder County)
Last Updated: 12/01/2023
Trail Types
Scout Route
Full Trail Guide

Preview Trail Icon
Preview Trails
easy
moderate
difficult
severe
extreme

Limited Trail Icon
Upgrade to Unlock
Limited Access/All-Access
Scout Route
Start a 7-day Free Trial

Trail Information

Highlights

Situated on the west side of Colorado Highway 119 between the quaint little towns of Nederland and Rollinsville is a small network of hiking, mountain biking and 4x4 trails known as West Magnolia. Like much of the Colorado Front Range, the area is rich in mining history and abundant in scenic beauty. These easy-to-moderate four-wheel​ drive roads can provide a quick outing or be strung together to make a whole day or more of fun in the woods. Camping is available in designated sites. Its proximity to the Denver area and ease of access make it popular for day trips or short weekend jaunts. Observatory is the main spine through the northern portion of this network. It is often combined with West Magnolia Road and Rollinsville to make a nice route to the town of Rollinsville.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Check out our Switzerland Trail (7.72 mi away) trail guide for an All-Access Preview!

Trail Reviews

4.1/5 (15)
User Avatar
Official Crew
inline-aa Icon
50100
Seasonal Closure
Visited: 12/01/2023

The trail is closed for the season.
User Avatar
inline-aa Icon
1900
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/03/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Easy trail to gain access to camping. A couple of fun spots.
Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 08/27/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Ran this today in a 100% stock Outback Wilderness. One larger pool that was over a foot deep that I drove around fine and otherwise easy going. The climb at the end required some good line choice and a bit of throttle to let X-mode figure it out. Certainly more difficult in this than in the Xterra I had up here a few years ago. No scrapes or rubs though, but not sure anything with much less ground clearance would make it without rubs/scrapes. Also not sure how any 2WD would make it up that without a lot of momentum and risk. I'd give the trail a 2 rating up until the last climb which is closer to a 3, due to inconsistent traction.
User Avatar
inline-aa Icon
7600
Open
Rated 2/5
Visited: 07/16/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Mostly easy access road for campers, bikers and hikers. There are a couple moderate spots.
User Avatar
Official Crew
inline-aa Icon
50100
Open
Visited: 06/25/2023

Trail should be open now

From the Community

Start a free trial and get this level of detail on every trail guide
Start Free Trial