Boulder locals know a thing or two about celebrating mother nature’s beautiful outdoor spaces. However, July gives us even more of an excuse to head for the foothills, the mountains, and the lakes in search of adventure. It’s national “Parks and Recreation Month”, and fortunately for us, legendary state and national parks lie just a stone’s throw from our city. Here’s a list of our favorites.
Eldorado Canyon State Park
Climbers and hikers frequent Eldorado Canyon State Park because of its breathtaking crags, winding trails, and scenic overlooks. Arrive early as Eldo sees a lot of visitors in the summer months. Pack a picnic, bring plenty of water, and hit the trails to enjoy Colorado in summertime swing. For ambitious recreators, plan to bike to Eldorado from Boulder letting the rolling hills set the pace.
Valmont Bike Park
This 42-acre, natural surface bike park is a favorite amongst Boulder’s mountain biking community and kiddos looking to learn this heart-pumping sport. Open daily from dawn ‘til dusk, Valmont Bike Park is located in East Boulder off of Airport Road and welcomes riders of all ages and skill levels. Try out a new set of wheels or take your well-loved iron horse on the stairs, the pump track, or thrilling jumps.
Rocky Mountain National Park
No parks and recreation list would be complete without the inclusion of Rocky Mountain National Park. Reservations are required at the moment as the park is experiencing high volumes of visitors. However, Boulderites can take advantage of their close proximity and snag a spot the day before. Hike to stunning alpine lakes that look like they were pulled from a postcard. Sleep under a starry night sky and swap that morning cup of coffee for a dip in a crisp alpine stream. One of America’s most scenic and visited national parks is right in our backyard, so let’s get out there and enjoy it.
Brainard Lake Recreation Area
For stunning alpine lake hikes, plan to visit Brainard Lake Recreation Area, just an hour outside of Boulder. Stop in Nederland for a bite to eat, then drive along the scenic Peak-to-Peak Highway until you reach Brainard Lake Recreation Area. Hike a few short miles to the gorgeous Lake Isabelle or really push yourself to reach Blue Lake, a stunning, turquoise-colored alpine lake situated in a cirque of mountains. The adventure is yours at this recreation area just outside of Boulder.
Twin Lakes Off Leash Dog Swim
Take your pup to Twin Lakes Off Leash Dog Swim and cool off in the chilly waters while frolicking with other neighborhood dogs. Enjoy a jog around the lakes afterward on well-maintained gravel trails and watch the sunset over the Flatirons.
Part of what makes Boulder so wonderful is the outdoor access it so easily provides. Hiking trails, mountain bike runs, and kayak play parks are within a short walk from downtown. Take some time in July to explore uncharted waters, trails, and mountains to see even more of the great state of Colorado.