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Day hike recommendations near Boulder, CO

My teenage daughter and I will be visiting Boulder the end of March. We are looking for 4-5 challenging hikes about 3-7 miles each. Any suggestions of the best ones to check out while there? We do have a car so we can travel to other areas if there is another great hike you would recommend. Also, any cool suggestions of places to stay in or near Boulder? Trying to entertain a teenage and make it fun!

4 Replies

Hi @dianakeely - Thanks for reaching out! It's great to hear that you're planning on doing lots of hikes while you're in Boulder. It's such an incredible spot for it! 

Some of my favorites that meet your criteria are:

Hopefully other members of the community will weigh in with their suggestions as well. @Ppatti@Alyse7@seekristentravel@Kristin25@MattyP@johnt@kandace_maf - do you all have any favorite hikes or places to stay in the Boulder area?

We hope you and your daughter have lots of fun on your vacation. We'd love to stay updated on where you end up hiking!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

One more quick question would you spend all 8 nights in Boulder or would you city hop to explore more? If so, what other cities/towns would you recommend for a great outdoor experience? Not skiing though this time just hiking. 


Hi @dianakeely - Thanks for the follow up question! I think that choice will be impacted by personal preferences and making sure you're able to stay within current travel guidelines. If you two will not be bothered by packing up your bags and moving around a bit, it could be really fun to see another town or two. If consistency feels more relaxing or works better with accommodations, the drives between towns are also beautiful on the trek back and forth! 

The towns of Golden (near Clear Creek Canyon) and Estes Park (the 'base town' for Rocky Mountain National Park) stand out to me, but there are countless that can provide the same excitement, accessibility to the outdoors, and charm! 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

The Boulder area is a great base for doing some fabulous day hiking.  It also has Pearl Street Mall which would be of interest to both you and your daughter.  Realize that the end of March could still have a significant amount of snow on the mountain trails.  That said, @REI-CarterC has good suggestions.  I'd also recommend Walker Ranch Loop and Golden Gate Canyon State Park.  

For going further afield, Salida or Buena Vista, where I live, has many incredible trails that I could clue you in on if interested.  Interlaken Trail at Twin Lakes has a great historical aspect - even a hexagonal outhouse!  In its day there was even a live orchestra every night.

Happy hiking!  PM me if interested in the Salida/BV area.


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