As I just got back from an amazing hike, I’m pretty exhausted but also on a little exercise high so figure I’ll use this time to finally write the post about hiking that’s been floating around my head for a while.
If you haven’t hiked in your life or just want start your hike session with something a bit easier, you can start with the Mount Sanitas valley trail. It’s the baby of the mountain and in my opinion it offers the 60% of the benefits (views etc) for 25% of the effort. It’s a comfortable 2 hour round trip with some amazing views and some unexpected wildlife. I would recommend going during the week so it’s quieter as it can get a little congested on the weekends. On your hike you might be able to see coyotes, foxes or various deer and will certainly see birds of prey and little prairie dogs and chipmunks. Sanitas also has a couple of other trails that are a bit more taxing and 100% worth doing, nothing dangerous or overly strenuous and the views! Did I mention the views? Doing this easy trail with my boyfriend was what really got me hooked on hiking.
The view from the top! You can see Boulder and Denver… Perfect place to bring some food, have a picnic and enjoy the view.
And this is the back side of the mountain. The trail is a loop so can come down here or you can just turn around and descend the way you came.
If you’ve hiked before and you can keep up with something a bit harder, there is an outrageous selection around Boulder. Head to Chautauqua park for a large selection of trails, offering something for everyone. The only trail I did here was the Royal Arch Trail, which I thoroughly recommend as the reward for getting to the top is another level. Views all the way to Denver, and of course the arch itself… which almost inexplicably doesn’t come into view until you’re literally underneath it. Warning though, this was definitely the most taxing of the hikes I completed, and it has some pretty steep stair like sections that played havoc with my knees. Still… Totally worth it!
As you can see, this is the beginning of many steps you gonna have to take. If possible, try to wear shoes that are a bit harder so you won’t hurt your feet cause they are no flat parts in this trail. You go up and up and up. Make sure you stretch your legs before and after the trail otherwise your knees will suffer the next day just like mine did.
The A R C H! This is where the trail gets its name.
…and what you see after crossing under the Arch!
The other Boulder hike I’ll mention is the Flagstaff trail. Starting a little west of Chautauqua it’s a fun little trail that basically runs straight up and over the road that winds up the mountain. If I remember right I think we crossed the road five times in total, the fifth time it very nearly afforded me an easy place to order an uber home from lol. About a 3 hour hike, gorgeous views and a lot of ups. Make sure your knees are ready for it. Oh and keep an eye out for mountain lions and bears.
15 minutes going up and you already have this view! AMAZE
The top of the Flagstaff Trail! We went for a late hike and this photo was taken at 8pm! When we got there, there was a few people hanging their hammocks and watching the sunset.
Now, if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous and ready for some sick views that will worth every step, you can head up to Rocky Mountain National Park. A good hours drive from Boulder, the national park has something for everyone, from gentle strolls around beautiful lakes to intense climbs that can go overnight. We choose to do the Odessa Lake Trail on our day trip which is an approx 5 hour hike which covers several different terrains and has views that change constantly. You can see rocks, forests, snow and lakes, it’s really quite crazy . After you’ve finished your hike, there’s an amazing restaurant called Smoking’ Daves BBQ & Taphouse just 15 minutes drive from the national park. The best reward ever!
Good place to film a horror movie…
So. Many. Rocks.
One of my favourite photos from this trail.
Odessa lake down there!
25 degrees and you can still catch a bit of snow 0n the top of the mountains.
and bear lake during the spring!
How cute are these dogs? They were so well trained they wouldn’t move untill their owner came back.
You can tell how happy I am seeing snow for the first time. I have been fortunate enough to visit many countries that snow, but never had the chance to actually see snow in any of them.
Chipmonks!!! You can find them all around the place.
Nothing better than ribs after a hike! After a 10 minutes drive, you will find Smokin’ Daves BBQ & Taphouse and it’s a must go. Best ribs in Colorado hands down.
Which one is which?