With access to amazing mountain parks and a love of outdoor fitness, it’s no surprise that Boulder is consistently ranked as one of the healthiest cities in the country. The city’s outdoorsy and athletic community has fostered a culture that values both nature and wellness.
In Boulder, sharing the open trails with other hikers is a favorite activity for both residents and visitors. There are several local clubs and wilderness organizations dedicated to assembling group hiking and camping outings. Here are five of the best wilderness guides and clubs in Boulder:
Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides
For novice hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides offers guided tours throughout Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Based in Boulder, Denver and Estes Park, the wilderness organization leads a wide selection of group trips that range from 2-hour hikes to weeklong vacations in various parts of the state. All guided expeditions emphasize personal safety and environmental consciousness so that participants can enjoy a comprehensive experience.
CWRAG offers a variety of group activities and trips year-round, including sightseeing hikes, rock climbing, mountain biking, skiing, horseback riding, fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, as well as avalanche protection and outdoor medical courses.
Experienced wilderness buffs looking for a more informal and less guided hiking group should consider joining Boulder CHAOS, a friendly clan of local backcountry enthusiasts who prefer self-organized and motivated outings. CHAOS members schedule numerous outdoor activities throughout the year, which can all be accessed on Meetup. The group is geared toward adults ranging from 20 to 40 years of age looking to make lifelong connections with fellow mountaineers.
Colorado Mountain Club
Another local outdoor society that brings adventurers together is the Colorado Mountain Club. Since 1912, the club has been dedicated to promoting a deep respect and admiration for the state’s mountains. The Boulder Group of the CMC has about 1600 members and schedules group trips regularly, ranging from casual after-work social hikes to 6-hour hiking excursions on weekends. The Boulder chapter offers many opportunities to go mountaineering with friends or make new ones on the trails. Membership is open to all local residents, with special rates for families and young adults.
The Hiking Club at CU
CU Boulder also hosts a long established outdoor fitness club. The Hiking Club was founded in 1919 and is one of the university’s oldest student organizations. It is open to the local community, although most members are current students and alumni. The Hiking Club aims to be accessible for all hikers, with trips scheduled on weekends around the academic school year and a large selection of free gear available for borrowing.
Boulder Valley Inner City Outings
The Sierra Club’s Rocky Mountain Chapter is also dedicated to making hiking more accessible to local residents. Its outreach program, Boulder Valley ICO, gives kids throughout Boulder and Denver counties the opportunity to explore the outdoors. Boulder Valley ICO provides urban-based youth free and safe outings so that they can appreciate the nature that surrounds their cities. The program relies almost entirely on its adult volunteer guides and financial donations. It is a great group to get involved with for those with young children interested in or in need of wilderness experiences, or for adults interested in being wilderness mentors.
Whether you are a budding adventurer or an experienced mountaineer, there is a local wilderness group or guided tour that is well suited for you. Boulder’s numerous outdoor fitness organizations allow plenty of chances for you to connect with locals and forge new relationships, while enjoying breathtaking scenery and having a great workout.