Many Coloradans head to the mountains each winter in hopes of fresh powder, alpine panoramas, and exhilarating ski runs. However, there’s plenty of snowy fun to be had around Boulder County for those who aren’t afraid to hit the trails. Winter hiking offers outdoor enthusiasts the chance to see the landscape from a whole new perspective. Here are a few hikes we’ll be tackling this winter.
Known for its stellar mountain biking terrain, Betasso Preserve also offers moderate, maintained hikes that trekkers can have all to themselves on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The long 3.3 mile loop moseys up at a gentle gradient until the last mile, but remains a great option for winter. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife along the trail, especially during snowy days as the trail will surely be less trafficked by bikers and hikers alike.
While lesser known to Boulder’s winter tourists, this hike is in fact a classic amongst locals. The 2.6 mile trail can be accessed one of two ways – start at the ranger cottage at Chautauqua and head south on Bluebell Road, or take the alternate route starting at NCAR. This hike treats ramblers to a special view of a once-operational quarry and is gentle enough for hikers of all skill levels.
This 4.2 mile loop is heavily trafficked during the spring and summer months. Its wildflowers catch the eyes and lenses of nature enthusiasts, creating a stunning, colorful display. However, fans of Shanahan Ridge Trail should check it out just after a fresh coat of snow. Evergreens and pines line the trail leading toward the Flatirons, immersing hikers in an epic winter wonderland.
From Marshall Mesa, hikers can link a variety of other trails together by foot, but the main thoroughfare is about 4 miles. This hike is a great winter option due to its gentle grade and ample sunshine. Hit this path midday and pack a picnic. There are plenty of spots to stop, rest, and take in the panoramic view while basking in the sun.
This flat, rolling trail shows off nature’s bounty by leading hikers through forests, fields, and giving them glimpses of Eldorado Canyon. Wander over gently sloping meadows and crunch over well-packed snow for a safe, easy hike on this 3.6 mile route.
Layer up and pack an extra pair of socks for these winter hikes. Boulder is beautiful in all seasons but the snow makes her Flatirons, evergreen trees, and rocky outcroppings really pop. Enjoy the solitude and peace of a wintery hike along any of these approachable trails.