Easy Hikes, Gorgeous Views
When we have guests in town, we have a few go to hikes/nature walks for gorgeous views without too much work. Most of our friends and family come from sea level, so a fourteener would just be cruel! Even for those of us who are already acclimated, sometimes you just want a leisurely hike with rewarding views. Here is a list of our top 3:
Trailhead: Long Lake Trailhead
Distance: 4.5 miles with 462 ft elevation gain
This gorgeous hike is in Indian Peaks Wilderness. The hike is easy, with a small incline at the end. The views at the lake are seriously amazing. The hike to the lake isn't too shabby, with waterfalls and wildflowers scattered throughout. We couldn’t believe something like this is so close to Boulder! It is under 30 miles from town, but it takes about an hour due to winding mountain roads. You’ll have to go early if you want a spot at the trailhead! We arrived at 7am on a Thursday and the lot was already full, so we had to park about a half mile away. Not a big deal just something to be aware of. It starts to get busy and buggy as it gets warmer, so we HIGHLY recommend going early. Also worth noting - you have to pay $11 in cash to park!
Trailhead: Gross Reservoir Parking Lot
Distance: 2.2 miles
Driving past Chautauqua up Flagstaff Rd, Gross Reservoir is a hidden gem about 25 minutes into the mountains. The road is mostly uphill to get there, but all paved roads so a car can access it easily. This is less of a hike and more of a nature walk, with the exception of the first little bit. After parking in the lot, you walk downhill about 5 minutes to get to the reservoir. From there, there is a dirt path around part of the lake to the right. We typically stop and picnic on the rocks since the views are crazy good from start to finish! There is no swimming allowed but SUP, kayaks, and boats are allowed. We lived in Boulder for four years before finding this little oasis and have been back countless times since! One of our favorite things to do is stop at Lost Gulch Overlook on the way back for another amazing view.
South Boulder Creek Trail
Trailhead: South Boulder Creek Trailhead
Distance: 4 miles with 302 ft elevation gain
This walk is one of our go-tos, as it is in town and provides unobstructed views of the Flatirons. If you're lucky, you can even catch the cows grazing in the pasture adjacent to the path! Just about 5 minutes south of Table Mesa on Highway 93, the trail starts out flat with some subtle elevation gain towards the end. This trail can go for quite a distance, but we typically walk about a 3-4 miles round trip (out and back). We’ve never had trouble finding parking, even on the weekends, and the trail is never crowded. This path is suitable for all ages and is very dog friendly!
What are some easy hikes/walking paths that you love? Share them with us in the comments below!