Winter has arrived, and we are now moving into the season of chillier outdoor adventures. With the appropriate hiking gear, winter can be a wonderful time to experience many of the 155 miles of trails Boulder offers.
Here are three winter hikes to check out during the colder months:
Flagstaff Summit: There are many hiking opportunities around Flagstaff summit: the Ute, Boy Scout, Tenderfoot and Chapman trails, and the Sensory Trail where you can explore nature without using your eyes. Every snowstorm changes the summit road and parking areas into a cross-country ski experience with gentle grades, no cars, and lots of beauty.
Sawhill Ponds: Sawhill Ponds, located on 75th Street near Valmont Road, is an extraordinary place to experience winter's calm. The trails are flat and smooth, providing a break from the steep icy trails of the mountains.
Enchanted Mesa / Kohler Mesa Loops: Enchanted Mesa provides a variety of trails winding among ponderosa pine forests and small meadows, while providing stunning views of the Flatirons. The adjacent Kohler Mesa offers many options to lengthen your hike. These trails are relatively flat, and many are free from slippery ice - but take strap-on boot traction, like Yak-tracks or Micro-spikes, just in case.
Winter hiking can present its own set of challenges. Here are a few tips to keep in mind before hitting the trail.
- Always practice responsible recreation.
- Wear proper footwear: Trails can be slick from snow and ice during the winter months. To avoid an accident on the trail, use strap-on boot chains for extra traction.
- Get muddy: When trails are muddy or icy, walk right through the mud without leaving the trail. Off-trail detours to avoid muddy spots causes enormous damage to the trails and plants that grow alongside.
- Announce yourself when passing others from behind.
- Remove your trash and pick up after your dog.