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Day Trip Alternatives to Hiking Around Boulder, Colorado

Hiking along Colorado’s Front Range and in the Boulder Foothills is one of the best ways to experience the outdoors. But perhaps you’re itching to get outside in a different way and see the world from a new perspective. There are plenty of things to do in the wilderness that require almost no extra planning or preparation. Here are a few hiking alternatives in and around Boulder. 

Paddle Board at Boulder Reservoir

Just bring sunblock and a bathing suit – Rocky Mountain Paddleboard will provide the rest. Upon arriving to Boulder Reservoir, head to the boathouse to rent gear for the day. RMP offers paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes, and XL paddleboards that give guests the chance to get in the water and soak up the sun.

Traverse the Via Ferrata in Manitou Springs

Via Ferrata, or iron roads, were commonly used across Europe during WWI to aid soldiers in crossing through the war-torn front lines between Austria, Hungary, and Italy. These “iron roads” offered safe, easy-to-navigate passages through the rugged mountains. 

Now, Colorado’s mountains are home to its own system of Via Ferrata, including one in Manitou Springs, just a short drive down I-25 from Boulder. At Cave of the Winds Mountain Park, inexperienced climbers have the chance to gear up and traverse beautiful rock walls safely on iron foot holds using harnesses designed to keep climbers on course. This is fun for the whole family so make a day trip to this distinctive Colorado town.  

Bike in Vedauwoo, Wyoming

Known for its climbing access, sharp rock, and wind-swept landscape, Vedauwoo is also home to numerous mountain bike trails that provide the perfect terrain for intermediate bikers. Wyoming is only a few hours away from Boulder and visitors need not fight traffic on I-70 to see some truly beautiful terrain. 

Vedauwoo is a less trafficked area of our country so if you’re looking to escape crowds and get on relatively isolated trails, this area is perfect for you. Camping sites are available if you want to make a weekend trip out of this fun bike excursion.

Tube the St. Vrain Creek in Lyons

With Boulder Creek’s water levels at record highs, tubing this swift channel can be precarious this time of year. Instead, check out Lyons, Colorado just north of Boulder for an alternative and fun tubing destination. The whitewater park in town offers convenient access to short and lively stretches of river, perfect for cooling off during the hot summer days. 

Fly Fish at Gross Reservoir

This quiet body of water is tucked high up in Boulder’s Foothills and is home to some fantastic fish species. Rent fly fishing poles from Rocky Mountain Anglers or Front Range Anglers and ask for a few tips before heading up to Gross. Pack a picnic and practice your cast from the shores of this reservoir. Even if you don’t catch anything, Gross Reservoir’s scenic views are a thing of beauty. 

Get creative this summer and take your family and friends on alternative day trips to experience the Front Range in a whole new way. From paddling its waters to climbing its mountains, there are numerous, exciting ways to experience our state’s natural beauty.

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