Mesa Trail is not as extreme as the description makes it sound. If you begin at the Eldorado trailhead off of highway 93 & Eldo Spgs Dr., it is mostly open meadow and will be pretty hot and exposed in the summer, which is better for spring and fall when you want to warm up a bit by the sun. Hike as much or as little of it as you'd like. This area is good for older people who need less steep terrain and for running. If you approach the trail from Chautauqua, it is a short ascent through the open meadow, then you get into the forest and can take the Mesa trail accross the front of the foothills without much more elevation gain. It is one of the most mellow portions of Boulder's hiking system, very beautiful, and lots of options to add on additional portions of trail to your hike.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC