As a haven for outdoor recreation, the Denver metropolitan area is a magnet for weekend warriors and other active types. While one might assume skiing and snowboarding have a monopoly on wintertime sports, enthusiasts know that hiking has no off season. Many trails and its views are even more beautiful with a coat of snow and some hikers even enjoy the added challenge the cold weather brings. Here are four recommendations for winter hiking trails that will have you dusting off your snowshoes in no time.
Green Mountain is not for the inexperienced or faint of heart. A 5.4-mile loop that starts at the Gregory Canyon Trailhead, the Green Mountain Trail has a total elevation gain of nearly 2,400 feet and will probably feel more like a 15-mile hike than a five-mile one. Should you choose to tackle it, however, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views and an exceptional workout. The hike is accessible from the Gregory Canyon Trailhead, just a half-mile from the LoDo apartments at AMLI Riverfront Park.
Located in South Boulder, the Flatirons Vista Trailhead is a 3.3-mile loop that will take you through fields and forests with clearings that offer exceptional views of the entire Boulder range. For a longer adventure, you can double your distance by adding a stint on the Spring Brook Loop. With an elevation gain of only 200 feet, this one’s rated fairly easy compared to other hiking trails, unless there’s mud. But as long as you avoid warm days after a heavy snow, when mud is most likely, this trail should be no problem for novices.
One of the area’s most beloved non-loop hiking trails, the Mesa Trail spans 6.7 miles from Boulder to Eldorado Springs. This easy-to-moderate trail undulates up and down and contains a few steeper segments, but the elevation at the highest point is only 700 feet higher than the trailhead. The Mesa Trail is manageable, but keep in mind that it is more than 13 miles out and back. Should you wish to add even more distance to the hike, you can venture out on one of the many trails that intersect it.
Wrapping up our list of recommendations is one of the easier winter trails in the Boulder-Broomfield area. Running alongside the South Boulder Creek, the BoboLink Trail offer seven miles of stunning scenery and a well-maintained path. It can be hiked in just about any non-blizzard condition.
Residents of Denver and Broomfield apartments have access to one of the finest hiking trail systems in the U.S.. And with the right clothes, shoes and maybe a little special equipment at times, the area’s scenery can be easily and safely enjoyed during the winter.
Do you have a favorite winter hiking trail in the Denver – Boulder – Broomfield area? Write about it in the comments!
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