Just outside of Boulder through the canyon lies the sleepy mountain town of Nederland, Colorado. This rustic outpost has charm in spades while also housing some of the most beautiful terrain in the state. Get away for the weekend or zoom up for the day to enjoy all that this eccentric mountain locale has to offer.
World Class Terrain
Nederland offers truly stunning trails that wind their way through pine-shrouded forests across steep, alpine terrain, and let out on the banks of high-elevation lakes. Fourth of July Trailhead is a popular spot for those looking for a killer workout and scenic route. Spot the Continental Divide from the summits of many Ned hikes while leaving Boulder tourists behind.
Trail runners will find their footing amongst gently sloping trails that criss-cross through the Indian Peaks Wilderness territory. Spice up any training schedule with a muscle-melting run through the woods just outside of Nederland.
Cross-country skiers love to spend the day quietly sliding through Nederland’s numerous snow-covered trails. This spot is great for mid-season runs as it’s much colder than Boulder and receives plenty of snow that sticks around. Spend time at Caribou Ranch and Brainard Lake, right outside of Ned, then finish off the day with a beer at the local brewery.
Casual and Delicious Restaurants
Nothing beats a hearty meal after a long day playing in the mountains. For a small town, Ned certainly boasts plenty of restaurants with tasty eats. Kathmandu’s lunch buffet serves diners steaming plates of Tikka Masala, flakey samosas, and creamy Saag Paneer. The Himilayan-style restaurant is a favorite among locals and warms the soul during chilly winter days.
Crosscut Pizzeria and Taphouse hosts a crowd every weekend night. Its extensive selection of beer and eclectic pizzas make this a hit with everyone. Saddle up to the bar and chat with locals or reserve a table for a group and make an evening out of it. The Branding Iron, Ubon Thai Cuisine, and Backcountry Pizza are other favorites that serve up mouth-watering dishes.
Quaint Coffee Shops
While the township of Nederland is smaller, it certainly doesn’t lack coffee spots. New Moon Bakery’s house-made pastries provide the perfect fuel for a day spent outdoors, while Salto Coffee Works attracts cyclists and mountain bikers due to its close proximity to Ned’s only bike shop. The Train Cars coffee shop occupies two historic red train cars that sit in the city’s main shopping plaza- hence its name – and serves up fresh, hot coffee, cocoa, and homemade, deep fried donuts.
Before COVID-19 restrictions, Nederland was known for its Frozen Dead Guy Days spring festival and its communal feel. While the city has had to postpone and limit some of its happenings, the town still communicates a welcoming, inclusive vibe. People know one another here and stop to talk on street corners or in grocery store aisles, catching up on the latest town happenings. Ned is a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of Boulder while also offering swoon-worth scenery.
Take the 45-minute drive out of Boulder and jet up to this town 8,000 feet above sea level. Summers are crisp and windy, while winters dump heaps of snow on this sleepy little village. Spend a day in the mountains or simply enjoy strolling around the town.