Boulder Area Hikes

 

Switzerland Trail
Sugarloaf Trailhead

 

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The Switzerland Trail is one of my favorite winter hiking/snowshoe trails. The trail is really a single lane dirt road that used to host a narrow gauge railway back in late 1800,’s and early 1900’s, when small mining operations dotted the mountians of Boulder County. The terrain is easy but with the added element of snow and solitude it becomes a great place to brave the elements and bring your dog.

The Switzerland Trail connects Eldora (near Nederland)and Ward and run’s a full 25 miles. But thankfully, you can hook-up at many trailheads and sections along the way. I like the section that runs from Sugarloaf Mountain to the Sunset Townsite. This section is about 4 miles each way and has many small trails that reach the valley floors and let’s you discover and explore the remnants of the area’s mining heritage. The side trails don’t get much use in the winter and they are a great place to get the snowshoe’s out and test the snowpack. During the summer, these side trails provide a challenging (steep and rocky) hike or ride.

As I mentioned, the walking (or biking in the summer) is fairly easy so you can soak up the view and enjoy the wooded forest. During the fall there is quite a bit of color visable in the turning trees.

The trail is usually fairly empty in the winter but I have been passed by four-wheelers. During the summer slow moving four-wheel drive vehicles make the trek.

 

Directions: Take Canyon Blvd. out of town into Boulder Canyon toward Nederland. Just over 5 miles and after Magnolia Road take a right on Sugarloaf Road. Continue 5 miles up and then take a right on Sugarloaf Mountain Road, continue .9 miles up to the trailhead.

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