With over 300 days of sunshine, it’s no surprise that most Boulderites want to spend their time out of doors. So I’ve compiled the top 10 hikes, bike trips and (for those like myself that are less physically inclined) leisurely strolls in and around Boulder.
1.Hike Flagstaff Mountain – This hike is steep with tons of switchbacks and crossing the road a handful of times. This doesn’t stop it from being one of the busiest trails in Boulder. Start early though and you will have less car/people traffic to slow you down. At the top are restrooms, picnic tables and the amphitheater.
2. Hike Full Mesa Trail – Rock formations, thick forest and amazing views make these 7 miles a treat. But be forewarned, it’s an end to end hike so unless you want to turn right back around and do another 7 miles, arrange for a pick up or something. It’s mostly shaded by forest but be prepared for the beginning and end, as they can be quite sunny. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
3. Hike Mount Sanitas Mountain – A popular hike in Boulder not only because it’s a relativity easy hike (with the exceptions of the large areas of high steps up, up, and up!) but it’s also the trailhead is located close into town. Beautiful views and especially green and full of flowers in the spring time. Like all hikes, start early to beat the traffic!
4. Ride NCAR Hill – This bike ride is a classic climb that’s short and close to town which is why it’s so popular. Only about 30 minutes long for slow-pokes like me and with amazing views, who wouldn’t want to try it at least once?
5. Ride Flagstaff Mountain – A beautiful and quite challenging ride but a must if your fit and willing. Amazing views, challenging and coming back down with the wind in your hair make it all worth while. You can stop once you make it to the amphitheater or keep going for another 4+ miles that might just bust a lung. Either way, you’re a better cyclist than me! But I’m not kidding when I say you need to fit. This ride was the 2012 USPro Cycling Challenge Stage 6 Finish and it can be a doozy. Not just from the sheer effort but also you need to keep your wits about you for passing cars and other bikes. Stay safe!
6.Ride Nelson Loop – Starting on 36 (that has wide shoulder making it bike friendly) then turning onto Nelson where there are much fewer cars and you truly feel far away from any city. Great for novice riders who want to try a solid half-day ride.
7. Stroll to Dushanbe – Pearl Street is a given in Boulder with it’s funky yet old town feel but I like to tell people to to take a left on 13th and head to Central Park and arguably one of the most beautiful buildings in Boulder, The Boulder Dushanbe Tea House. Have a pot of tea, a light snack then head into the park. On a warm day you’ll see families picnicking, hula-hoopers, teen hanging out, kids playing and one or two people playing guitar. Never a dull moment!
8. Stroll Boulder Creek Path – Just north of CU campus meanders a lovely crick (did I mention I was from the south?) that moves throughout Boulder. Someone smart decided that they should build a path that follows the creek and it makes for a lovely stroll, especially in the summer when a little breeze off the water can really cool things off. If you wish to dip your toes in the water, just make sure it’s low enough as the current can be strong and even deadly during certain times of year.
9. Stroll through campus – Especially in the fall, when Colorado dishes out some beautiful colors, the campus at University of Colorado is a great place to wander with a hot cup of coffee and appreciation for some of the older buildings in the city, like the “Old Main”, the first building built for CU in 1876.
10. But the few days when the weather is poor, snowing/sleeting, raining, too windy to even open your eyes, do what I do and hit our wonderful library, get a few tapas and a glass of wine at The Med or while away the hours at one of our great coffee shops like Ozo or The Cup. You really can’t go wrong!
So get out of the house as the weather turns warm again and enjoy Beautiful Boulder!