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Boulder, Colorado in 4 Days

Guest post by dzr1107

Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.

Day 1

  • Sunshine Canyon
  • Pizza Colore

We flew into Denver and drove just about an hour to vacation rental in the foothills of Sunshine Canyon, 10 minutes from downtown Boulder.  We travelled in late April and there were no issues with snow or being too cold in town.  Since it was late in the day, we strolled the Pearl Street Mall and got some delicious pizza by the slice at Pizza Colore.

Day 2

  • Lion’s Lair Boulder trailhead
  • Lindsay’s Boulder Deli @ Haagen Dazs
  • Avery Brewing Company

We woke up relatively early and walked to the Lion’s Lair trail head.  Parking is very crowded on weekends, but it calms down a little bit during the week. From the parking lot (further up Sunshine Canyon than the main trailhead for the area), it’s a 4.4 mile RT (out and back) trail with about 840 feet in elevation gain.  The first .2 miles seemed to be the most difficult to us.  It’s a very scenic trail that winds in and out of the forest.  There are great views of distant snow capped mountains while you walk up.  The end of the trailhead shows panoramic views of Boulder and the plains.  The trail continues to feed into another trail loop, but we turned around.

We got fantastic sandwiches at Lindsey’s Deli in the Pearl Street mall, and after a scenic drive in the surrounding areas, had dinner at Avery Brewing.  Avery Brewing has an out door area, a small brewery tour, and an upstairs dining area.  The menu changes based on the day in the upstairs dining room, but it was delicious on Sunday.

Day 3

  • Bear Lake
  • Sprague Lake
  • Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery

We started the morning by doing some shopping in the 28th and 29th street plazas, before taking Route 36 an hour north to Estes Park.   Estes seemed to be mostly shut down still, but a few stores and dining places were open.  We headed into the lower portion of Rocky Mountain National Park and Bear Lake Rd.  Bear Lake itself was snow covered, as was the trail.  It was doable to hike with sneakers the 300 feet to view the lake, but you would need to be better prepared to venture farther. On our way back we stopped at Sprague Lake (below the snow line) and hiked the mile trail around the lake.  Back in town, we had a great dinner at Mountain Sun Brewing just east of the Pearl St mall.

Day 4

  • Outlets at Castle Rock
  • Bald Mountain Scenic Area
  • Boulder Baked
  • Legion Park

On the last day, we hit the Castle Rock outlets in the morning.  In the afternoon, we went further into Sunshine Canyon to the Bald Mountain Scenic area.  We took the short trail up to the summit and enjoyed very pretty views of the snow capped mountains and foothills.  It’s a good view for a short walk. We then continued on Sunshine Canyon Rd to the town of Gold Hill.  The road eventually became a dirt road and the town itself looked mostly untouched since its founding in the mid 1800s. Afterwards we got sandwiches (and delicious cookies) at Boulder Baked and watched the sunset at Legion Park.  Legion Park is small, but provides a great panoramic view of Boulder and the mountains.

Traveled in April 2018

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