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8 Ways to Spend Summer Outside in Boulder, CO


8 Ways to Spend Summer Outside in Boulder, CO

The best way to see what a neighborhood has to offer its residents is to get outside and walk. Hiking paths, parks, and the spaces in-between reveal what it’s like to live in a new place. You get a slower and closer look at what life is like in a given place while also getting some fresh air and meeting potential neighbors. Boulder, Colorado, is one of the best small cities to take a walk anywhere in the U.S., and below are eight must-see outdoor attractions.

1. Mesa Trail

If you want to get outside and get moving, you can’t go wrong with a hike. The Mesa Trail offers an ambitious but attainable path with a stunning reward at the end. The hike remains relatively flat but stretches over thirteen miles of terrain. Hikers who want to experience the bursting wildflowers and breathtaking views without the commitment of the full trail can branch off at a number of connected trailheads that offer a shorter jaunt. This trail is popular, so you’re sure to see some friendly faces. Dogs and horses are welcome! Many reviews do warn, though, that it can get muddy at times.

2. Royal Arch Trail

If you’re looking for a hiking trail that’s a real challenge, look no further than the Royal Arch Trail. While this trail is only about three miles, it gains elevation quickly and features steep flagstone steps. Many hikers comment that the last quarter is the most brutal. Make no mistake — the payoff is glorious. After traveling through flourishing meadows and a fragrant pine forest, ascend to the Royal Arch and witness a spectacular view of the Boulder Valley and Denver skyline (on clear days).

3. Eldorado Canyon

The Eldorado Canyon gives a unique balance of vigorous activities or leisurely pursuits. While the best way to utilize the wonders of this park is through rock climbing, you can also picnic, hike, and fish. The golden glow of the cliffs attracts many visitors, and the park does note that capacity is reached quickly on holidays and weekends. You’ll get the most out of your visit on weekdays.

4. Boulder Reservoir

If you need a way to relax and cool down after a strenuous hike, or a hard week, check out the Boulder Reservoir. Lounge on the shore and soak up the sun, or hop in for a refreshing swim. The reservoir welcomes paddleboarding, swimming, boating, and picnics. The stunning views also offer the ideal inspiration for still-life artists! It’s the perfect way to relax and unwind for a day trip or an afternoon respite.

5. Valmont Bike Park

The Valmont Bike Park is a great way to get off your feet but still experience the wonders of Boulder’s active outdoor attractions. This park expanses 42 acres of lush foliage that guarantees an enjoyable ride. A variety of natural biking paths make sure that there will be a path for just about anyone’s style and ability level. Best of all, entry is free.

6. Thorne Nature Experience

Thorne Nature Experience is fun for the whole family. They offer program-based attractions geared towards families and children. Members of the EdVenture Club are able to enjoy events like “Wine and Wildflowers” and “Birds and Bagels.” Thorne Nature Experience also offers a summer camp for children in fourth to eleventh grade. There are two-day camp programs that span two weeks in the summer that give children a deeper awareness of the Boulder natural setting. Regardless of age, families are sure to have a fun, inclusive environmental education experience.

7. Fair Winds

Take to the skies with Fair Winds Hot Air Balloon Flights and get a bird’s eye view of the best of Colorado. Travelers experience wondrous views of the Rocky Mountains as they sail over the scenic views of the city. The personal touches they provide ensure everyone has an unforgettable experience. The breathtaking views are sure to put even the most height-conscious clients at ease as they glide over the rolling plains of Colorado.