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Guide to Winter Hikes in Boulder

As we say goodbye to the fall season in Boulder, the magic of winter arrives. Here are a few winter hikes to add to your list

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.  

Remember to keep each other safe

  • Stay home if you are sick or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Only recreate with members of your own household.
  • Keep the space in open space! Always stay at least 6 feet from non-household visitors.
  • Always bring a face covering. Wear it when you can’t maintain 6 feet of physical distance.
  • Visit OSMPTrails.org to see current trail closures, historical data that shows areas of high and low open space use and trails that are wider than 6 feet. See when trails are busiest through our Visitation Data Explorer .
  • Protect first responders. Know your limits and don’t take unnecessary risks.

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.

For current trail conditions, including trail closures, visit:  https://bouldercolorado.gov/osmp/current-trail-conditions   

Published: Dec. 17, 2019. / Updated: Dec. 1, 2020