Living in Boulder comes with a lot of perks, including access to some of the best spots 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.
Ease into it
Whether it’s your first time hiking 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 looking at distance, elevation gain, ratings, trail conditions and more. You can also talk to local guides, check out regional maps or visit the Adventure Resource Center at the The main CU Rec Center for additional support. Here are some other online resources we recommend:
Pack the essentials
Regardless of the type of hike you’re doing—a leisurely day hike or summiting a 14er—there are a few essential supplies you’ll want to bring with you in your pack.
If you plan on going into the backcountry, consider packing additional items such as a headlamp, navigation device, fire-starters and an emergency shelter kit.
Check the weather
Look at the forecast before heading out, and keep in mind that weather in Colorado can change in an instant. Be prepared for less-than-ideal weather by dressing in layers. This will allow you to cool off when it gets hot and bundle up if it rains or gets colder at higher elevations. Synthetic materials like polyester and nylon are best, because they hold less moisture compared to regular cotton clothing and dry quickly. Pack a windbreaker or rain jacket for extra protection. It’s also important to wear appropriate shoes that fit you properly, provide adequate support and have good traction. If you’re planning to wear a new set of shoes or hiking boots, break them in a few times before committing to longer hikes.
Leave no trace
Leave no trace principles help minimize our impact on the outdoors. Here are some ways you can help protect our parks and wildlife while hiking:
Use the buddy system
If you’re going for a hike, take a friend (or a few) with you. Accidents are more common than you might think, so it’s a good idea to have someone around to call for help or provide assistance, especially on less frequented trails. If you do decide to go it alone, tell someone where you’re 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 does happen, they will be able to call for help.