/ 2 days near Boulder and Denver (Colorado)

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Steff 02 Aug 2019

Hello, an appeal to the combined travel wisdom of UKC.

I have to spend a few days working in Denver at the end of August and have decided to arrive a bit early to make the most of the time. I have booked accommodation in Boulder, will have a hire car and a two full days to explore. Any recommendations on what to do and see?

I am quite a keen trail runner but not terribly fit at the moment, so I am currently thinking to get a run in in the morning of both days (up to 10 miles) and then spent the rest of the day exploring by car with maybe some very light hiking. Not a big fan of museums and city stuff but enjoy small towns, wildlife, and interesting food. 

I live at sea level, so romping up one the 4000m peaks would probably not be too enjoyable. 

Any suggestions? 

Post edited at 16:42
In reply to Steff:

I live in Boulder so this would be my reccomendation:

It's probably going to be hot ( 27-35c) around the town so go high.

1. Drive up to Rocky Mountain National Park early to avoid crowds and park up at Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge. Then run a loop from there ,or an out and back up Glacier Gorge. Afternoon by car have a look around the rest of the park.

2. Drive up to Brainard Lake early to avoid crowds and run up the Isabelle Glacier trail as far as you want. Afternoon have a walk around Pearl Street (Loads of great restaurants) or wander round the Flatirons. Second Flatiron is a great class 5.0 800 ft scramble within the city limits if you are confident to do that kind of thing.

[In the event that it's cooler than normal then any run around the Flatirons area is fun. Look at going up Bear peak or Green Mountain]

Cheers Jonathan

Post edited at 17:47
Steff 02 Aug 2019
In reply to Jonathan Lagoe - UKC:

Thank you very much! That's really useful!

In reply to Steff:

You are welcome. Good chance of seeing Moose up near Brainard Lake. 

john arran 02 Aug 2019
In reply to Steff:

You'll be the best to judge and I assume you're aware that running at 3,000m straight after getting off a long haul flight from sea level isn't a plan to be taken lightly.

Graeme Alderson 02 Aug 2019
In reply to john arran:

John - maybe you could recommend a few routes in Eldo to solo

In reply to john arran:

He'll be fine He can always walk. Better than dying of heat exhaustion down here..

Steff 02 Aug 2019
In reply to john arran:

Good point! I actually arrive quite early the day before these two days, so have most of the day to recover.

Steff 02 Aug 2019
In reply to Jonathan Lagoe - UKC:

Yes, I have looked at the trails you mentioned online and they seem to make good walks when I run out of air

Actually, living in Spain I am quite heat adapted. Looking at the current weather reports, it seems you get much cooler nights then where I live, so early morning runs could be quite comfortable. 

Angrypenguin 03 Aug 2019
In reply to Steff:

I did a month june/July time at CU Boulder a couple of years ago and found it the most amazing place.

It was 35 degrees at the time so to get out I got up just before the sun and this realistically gave me until about 9:30 before it got too hot. 

Like Jonathan said, green Mountain is a lovely trail run. I didn't enjoy the Royal arch trail as much as there were too many tourists at the time, I guess it's one of the more accessible routes.

After building up the courage, one day near the end I soloed the first flatiron which was a lovely 1000ft plus severe on the way up but got somewhat lost on the descent, and ended up making up something a bit sketchy! The view from the top of the flatirons really is something though.

For something less active you can drive up flagstaff mountain and there is a parking spot at the top with some lookouts, that would be nice of an evening. There are some nice trails winding between flagstaff and green mountain there too and some quite hard bouldering if you are that way inclined. 

Steff 05 Aug 2019
In reply to Angrypenguin:

Thanks, also very useful!

I doubt I will find the courage to solo the flatiron, though ;-)

gerstlauer 05 Aug 2019
In reply to Steff:

The Second Flatiron is super easy and real fun. Obviously you still need your head on due to exposure, but I never felt insecure once going up it. First Flatiron not so much - was going to solo it but ended up roping up instead.

Post edited at 18:53
Steff 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Steff:

I have had some great suggestions for these two days in Boulder! Thanks, guys!

Any ideas/recommendations what to do the following days in the evenings after work from Denver? I will have three days that I will be free from around 5pm and will still have access to the car. 

In reply to Steff:

For a trail run, I'd head up to Golden Gate, White Ranch or Staunton State Parks. Staunton is particularly beautiful. Depends on what part of Denver you are in.


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