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Boulder

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Overview

Situated at the base of the iconic Flatirons, Boulder is known for its outdoor activities and abundant sunshine. From hiking to running to climbing to biking to just soaking in the scenery, Boulder has something for everyone to enjoy. Conveniently located at the base of the mountains, the city itself is home to a thriving entrepreneurial community, some of the best restaurants in the region, the historic Pearl Street Mall, and the bustling campus of the University of Colorado. Additionally, the city boasts more than 45,000 acres of open space, more than 60 urban parks, and 300 miles of bike paths, making it a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. To learn more about what Boulder has to offer, visit the city's website.

Local Info

Whether you are looking for an easy day hike from town or a more challenging outing with some serious altitude gain, the trails in Boulder will not disappoint. A great place to start is Chautauqua Park, one of the remaining few functioning Chautauquas left in the country. From here, you can access trails like Mesa Trail and Royal Arch Trail to get an up close and personal look at the Flatirons. If you are looking for more of a challenge, try all or part of the well-known Boulder Skyline Traverse. Other popular hikes in the area include Flagstaff Trail, Mount Sanitas Loop, Bear Peak, and Eldorado Canyon Trail.

Visiting Tips

The best time to hit the trails tends to be March through November, with a few exceptions. During the winter, some trails are accessible, especially at Hall Ranch, the Boulder Reservoir, or in the Marshall Mesa area as snow and ice will melt quickly during warm spells. There are times in spring or fall when rain or snow storms can make trails too muddy to use. While Boulder is well-known for its sunny weather, be aware that weather in Colorado can be unpredictable, and afternoon thunderstorms are a common occurrence in the summer.

Camping & Lodging

While there is no camping in the city of Boulder or on City of Boulder open space, there are several nearby camping options just outside the city. A quick drive will get you to the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests located west of Boulder and offer some great campsites and more spectacular trails to explore.

The Boulder Adventure Lodge (A-Lodge for short) is only 5 minutes up Boulder Canyon from downtown Pearl Street. Strategically located for adventure enthusiasts, the A-Lodge provides easy access to Boulder's climbing, biking, fishing, hiking and trail running. The A-lodge includes an onsite slackline park, outdoor fire pits, two hot tubs, private rooms & suites, a hostel room, and even some camping options.

Boulder offers a variety of accomodations from hotels to bed and breakfasts, and a list of local lodging options can be found here.

Food & Drink

Boulder has a vibrant local restaurant and microbrewery scene, all located so close to the trails that you can easily find a place to dine and relax in between activities. Visit Boulder's website for a list of the best restaurants that downtown Boulder has to offer.

Other Activities

In addition to awesome hiking, running, and riding, Boulder is blessed with an amazing amount of rocks with decent variety of rock type for cragging minutes from downtown. At one point in history, some might argue that the rocks around this town were a focal point for the advancement of American climbing. Still, these crags are rich with history. Today, with perhaps the exception of the high-end climber, nearly every climber can find something nearby to satisfy their climbing desires.

To learn more about rock climbing in Boulder, check out the Mountain Project page.

Gems in Boulder - 2

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gem Favorite Colorado is THIS AWESOME!

Royal Arch

(87) Boulder, CO
gem Favorite Hills while going up Anemone from Red Rocks

Red Rocks

(24) Boulder, CO

Recommended Routes in Boulder - 30

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Favorite Sunrise from Mt Saintas
Difficult

Boulder Skyline Traverse

17.3 mi 27.9 km 5,446' Up 1660.02 m Up 5,524' Down 1683.61 m Down

Superior, CO
Favorite Bear Peak panorama
Difficult

Bear Peak Out and Back

5.7 mi 9.2 km 2,541' Up 774.37 m Up 2,540' Down 774.25 m Down

Boulder, CO
Favorite Sunrise from Mt Saintas
Intermediate

Sunshine Lion's Lair Loop

5.3 mi 8.5 km 1,261' Up 384.48 m Up 1,282' Down 390.64 m Down

Boulder, CO
Favorite Snowy Boulder from Saddle Rock Trail. with permission from BoulderTraveler
Difficult

Green Mountain via Ranger/Saddle Rock Loop

4.9 mi 7.9 km 2,305' Up 702.5 m Up 2,277' Down 694.11 m Down

Boulder, CO
Favorite South Boulder Creek
Intermediate/Difficult

Walker Ranch

7.6 mi 12.3 km 1,594' Up 485.95 m Up 1,585' Down 483.03 m Down

Coal Creek, CO
Favorite A snowy start of the Mesa Trail looking at the first Flatiron.
Difficult

Royal Arch Out and Back

3.3 mi 5.3 km 1,311' Up 399.74 m Up 1,312' Down 400.04 m Down

Boulder, CO
Favorite Sunrise from Mt Saintas
Intermediate/Difficult

Mount Sanitas Loop

3.2 mi 5.2 km 1,281' Up 390.4 m Up 1,280' Down 390.22 m Down

Boulder, CO
Favorite Cruising along Benjamin Loop, look off to the side to enjoy great views.
Intermediate

Betasso Preserve

6.7 mi 10.7 km 776' Up 236.5 m Up 778' Down 237.18 m Down

Boulder, CO
Favorite The "sighting disc" at the top of Green Mountain.  Line up the pins so you know what mountain you're looking at.
Intermediate/Difficult

Green Mountain West Ridge

3.9 mi 6.3 km 633' Up 193.08 m Up 634' Down 193.23 m Down

Boulder, CO

Boulder Hiking

  • 598 Miles 962 Kilometers of Trail
  • 30 Recommended Routes
  • 2 Gems Gems
  • 116 Easy Trails Easy Trails
  • 96 Intermediate Trails Intermediate Trails
  • 12 Difficult Trails Difficult Trails
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Areas Within Boulder

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Trails in Boulder - 194

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2.3 mi 3.7 km #1Rattlesnake Gulch Trail
Intermediate
Coal Creek, CO
Intermediate
Coal Creek, CO 57 
0.6 mi 1.0 km #2First-Second Flatiron Trail
Difficult
Boulder, CO
Difficult
Boulder, CO 50 
6.3 mi 10.1 km #3Mesa Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Boulder, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Boulder, CO 32 
2.2 mi 3.5 km #4Lion's Lair Trail
Intermediate
Boulder, CO
Intermediate
Boulder, CO 22 
3.1 mi 5.0 km #5Eldorado Canyon Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Coal Creek, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Coal Creek, CO 40 
1.3 mi 2.0 km #6Mount Sanitas Trail
Difficult
Boulder, CO
Difficult
Boulder, CO 23 
1.9 mi 3.1 km #7Ceran Saint Vrain Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Nederland, CO
Easy/Intermediate
Nederland, CO 15 
0.9 mi 1.4 km #8Royal Arch Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Boulder, CO
Intermediate/Difficult
Boulder, CO 19 
1.4 mi 2.2 km #9Fern Canyon Trail
Difficult
Boulder, CO
Difficult
Boulder, CO 16 
1.2 mi 2.0 km #10Forsythe Canyon Trail
Intermediate
Coal Creek, CO
Intermediate
Coal Creek, CO 22 

Photos of Boulder - 557

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Foothils sunset
Apr 8, 2015 near Superior, CO
The Third Flatiron from near the top of the First-Second Flatiron Trail
Oct 1, 2017 near Boulder, CO
Sunrise from Mt Saintas
Nov 3, 2017 near Boulder, CO
Boulder Reservoir
Feb 18, 2015 near Gunbarrel, CO
Experience impeccable views from Sugarloaf Mountain.
May 28, 2017 near Boulder, CO
A snowy start of the Mesa Trail looking at the first Flatiron.
Apr 14, 2015 near Boulder, CO
Snowy Boulder from Saddle Rock Trail. with permission from BoulderTraveler
Jan 11, 2015 near Boulder, CO
South Boulder Creek
Oct 31, 2017 near Coal Creek, CO