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5 Easy Front Range Hikes for Out of Town Guests

Warming Colorado days draw more and more out of town visitors to our picturesque mountain havens. Summertime in Boulder offers fabulous activities for friends and family to experience Colorado’s natural beauty. The elevation and dry climate can take its toll on the less prepared, lower elevation visitors. Here are a few of our favorite and easy hikes that out of town guests and Colorado locals will enjoy. 

Brainard Lake Recreation Area

The drive up to Brainard Lake Recreation Area through Boulder Canyon is almost as beautiful as the hike itself. Upon arrival, this outdoor excursion becomes a “choose your own adventure” by offering numerous hiking trails. Take the Sourdough Trail to South St. Vrain Trail and hike to the stunning  Brainard Lake. Or, hike to Long Lake via the Niwot Cutoff Trail. Trail grades slope gently and are well maintained and marked. 

Caribou Ranch 

This open space recreation area provides two distinctive paths. Blue Bird Loop is 1.8 miles of rolling, dirt-packed trail that climbs 155 ft. throughout its entirety. DeLonde Trail is even shorter and only gains 82 ft. of elevation. Both are fantastic for newcomers and out-of-town visitors. Trails take hikers through forests, meadows, and by an old mining encampment whose outbuildings are still mostly intact. Finish off the hike with a delicious lunch at the picnic area offering views of the Foothills Wilderness. 

Alderfer/Three Sisters Park 

Take your guests out of Boulder for the day without fighting traffic into Rocky Mountain National Park. Alderfer/Three Sisters Park offers scenic views and gentle, rolling trails. This hiking area provides plenty of shade to keep hikers cool, even during the hottest parts of the day. With the most trails per acre of all the foothills parks, Alderfer/Three Sisters has plenty of terrain for everyone.

Waterton Canyon 

Just outside of Denver, Waterton Canyon offers easy access and plenty of wildlife for those looking to experience Colorado’s natural scenery during a day trip. Waterton Canyon’s trail road cuts right through the heart of massive rock formations and meanders gently over 6.2 miles, finishing at Strontia Springs Dam. Hikers can hike as much or as little as they like, as this is an out and back trail. Bighorn sheep and bald eagle sightings are common in this area so keep your eyes peeled for a chance to witness wildlife in all its glory.  

Trading Post Trail 

Even though this trail is one of the more populated hikes along the Front Range, it earns a place on our list for good reason. Red Rocks Amphitheatre is considered one of the most beautiful outdoor concert venues in the country and the hiking trails that wind around it provide views of this prehistoric looking place. The Trading Post Trail is easy with enough rocky terrain to keep it interesting. It’s a 1.5 mile loop where hikers can spot views of Denver, Red Rocks, and the bright green foothills. 

Guests of our beautiful state are sure to love these trails and still have enough energy post-hike to stroll Pearl Street or catch a show at The Dairy. They will fall in love with Colorado’s serene forests, gentle meadows, and sweeping views of the Rocky Mountains. Expect them to want to make another trip out West. 😉 

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