It’s not hard to call Boulder the best sports town in Colorado. This small city, with a population just over 100,000, sits in a magnificent setting with high mountains pasted against its western sky. Boulder, home to the University of Colorado, is perfect for any multi-sport athlete. Go for a run on Mesa Trail at sunrise, and then climb the Third Flatiron or Castle Rock in Boulder Canyon for a mid-morning workout. Grab a healthy lunch on the Pearl Street Mall and spend the afternoon hiking up South Boulder Peak or fly fishing in Boulder Creek. In the evening, take a stroll out Flatirons Vista Trail to catch a sunset at the end of another day in paradise.
It’s easy to get out hiking and biking in Boulder. The city boasts over 45,000 acres of parks and open space lands and over 300 miles of trails. Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks protects much of the city’s scenic assets, including the mountain escarpment above the town. These parklands offer 151 miles of trails, including the area’s best hikes. The most popular trails begin in Chautauqua Park and include Mesa, Royal Arch, Bluebell, and Third Flatiron trails. On the south side of Boulder are plenty of great trails. The South Boulder Creek and Big Bluestem Trails make a fun loop. A great leg-stretching hike is heading up several trails to Shadow Canyon and on up to the 8,461-foot summit of Bear Peak. Expect great views. The three-mile roundtrip trail up Mount Sanitas on the north side of town is a perfect hike on a summer evening.
Boulder is a renowned rock climbing area, with climbers heading to Eldorado Canyon State Park, The Flatirons, and Boulder Canyon. Eldorado is one of America’s great climbing arenas. Its soaring sandstone walls, including Redgarden Wall, The Bastille, and Wind Tower, offer hundreds of superb routes of all grades. The Flatirons, tilted sandstone slabs above town, attract climbers for their long moderate routes. The regular route up the Third Flatiron is one of the best beginner climbs in the country. Numerous granite cliffs of all sizes and shapes fill Boulder Canyon west of town. The classic routes are on The Dome, Castle Rock, Cob Rock, Animal World, and Happy Hour Crag.
The area also boasts hundreds of miles of in-town bike paths, singletrack mountain bike trails, a network of mountain dirt roads, and paved roads for long-distance days. A good leisurely ride is Boulder Bike Path along Boulder Creek. You got singletrack fantasies? Ride the steep Walker Ranch Loop, enjoy mountain vistas on the Marshall Mesa trails, or ride Canyon Loop Trail at Betasso Preserve. Valmont Bike Park is popular with its cyclo-cross park and kid bike track.
If that’s not enough stuff to do, Boulder has more to amuse you. Eldora Mountain Resort up Boulder Canyon is the local ski area. Expect affordable tickets and good skiing close to town. Fly fishermen enjoy hunting trout in Boulder Creek, South Boulder Creek, and mountain lakes. Boulder Creek is perfect for tubing on a hot summer afternoon, while kayakers head to Eben G. Fine Park and its slalom-gate course on Boulder Creek.