Living in Boulder comes with many benefits, including access to some of the best places for hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities. If you’re planning a trip to one of the nearby parks or trails, keep these tips in mind.
Whether it’s your first hike or you’re more experienced, choose a trail that matches your fitness level. You can check online resources to see which trail is best for you by reviewing distance, elevation, ratings, trail conditions and more. You can also talk to local guides, view regional maps, or visit the Adventure Resource Center at the main CU Recreation Center for additional assistance. Here are some other online resources we recommend:
Pack the essentials
No matter what type of hiking you’re doing – a leisurely day hike or climbing a 14er – there are a few essential supplies you’ll want to carry with you in your bag.
If you plan to go into the backcountry, consider packing extra items like a headlamp, navigation device, fire starters, and an emergency shelter kit.
Check the weather
Check the forecast before you go and keep in mind that the weather in Colorado can change in an instant. Prepare for less than ideal weather by dressing in layers. This will allow you to cool down when it’s hot and bundle up if it’s raining or getting colder at higher altitudes. Synthetic materials like polyester and nylon are the best because they retain less moisture than regular cotton clothes and dry quickly. Pack a windbreaker or rain jacket for extra protection. It’s also important to wear proper shoes that fit you well, provide adequate support, and have good traction. If you plan to wear a new pair of hiking shoes or boots, break them in several times before embarking on longer hikes.
Leave no trace
Leave No Trace principles help minimize our impact on the outside. Here are some ways you can help protect our parks and wildlife while hiking:
Use the buddy system
If you’re going on a hike, bring a friend (or a few) with you. Accidents happen more often than you think, so it’s a good idea to have someone around to call for help or provide assistance, especially on less traveled trails. If you decide to go alone, tell someone where you are going and how long you expect to be gone. Have a plan in place in case they don’t hear from you. That way, if something happens, they can call for help.