Although it has recently become a very popular area for Mountain Biking, the Dowdy Draw Trailhead offers access to great hiking and spectacular views. From the trailhead, which is located 1.8 miles west of Highway 93 on Eldorado Springs Drive, one can hike to the Flatirons Vista Trail, the Community Ditch Trail and the Spring Brook / Goshawk Ridge Trail system.
The hike up to Flatirons Vista provides big-sky views of the Flatirons and Boulder to the North. Follow the signs for Flatiron Vista and it is about a 2 mile hike to the top of the ridge. From the top, it is a flat walk for a mile to Highway 93. You can cross Highway 93 and take the Greenbelt Plateau trail north to the Marshall Mesa area. From here, take an immediate left and walk until you reach Highway 93 again. Then use caution crossing 93 and pick up the Community Ditch Trail back to your car. In spring and early summer, there is water in the ditch for dogs to cool off in. This is about a 6 mile hike which is mostly flat or moderate other than the climb up to Flatirons Vista.
If just doing an out and back hike, there is not much reason to walk to Highway 93. I’d turn around when you reach the gate at the top of the ridge.
The Spring Brook trail system looks interesting but I have not gone over there. Dogs are only allowed on the Spring Brook North trail, and must be leashed. It is rare that I am hiking without my dog, so this is on my list of unexplored hikes.