Some people I know that enjoy skiing wouldn’t even consider going to Colorado during the summer. I think they would be missing out. I am not a skier and in fact hated it the one time I went, so for me, Colorado in June was ideal. I am a hiker and enjoy a good hike any day of the week but I am a bit elevationally-challenged where I live since there aren’t many places to go within a 30 minute drive that I would consider hiking (climbing up and down mountains). When I ran a half marathon in Colorado in June (blog post will be coming although not for some time, titled Colorado- 37th state), I was thrilled at the idea of doing a lot of real hiking. I had been to Colorado twice before for work meetings but both times during the snowy months so I had not experienced the beautiful state during the summer months.
My half marathon was in Boulder so that is where we spent the majority of our time. The college students were on summer break so it wasn’t as crowded as during the school year and most importantly, it wasn’t quite so impossible to find a parking spot. Boulder is 5,430 feet above sea level, which is manageable for those of us who live closer to sea level, whereas when you get around 8,000 feet above sea level and higher, you can develop altitude sickness.
For our first hike in Boulder, we chose Gregory Canyon Trail. Gregory Canyon Trail is a 3.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible from May until October. It was very quiet when we hiked this trail, although it was a Thursday so that may have been part of the reason. The views from the top were great!
We also went to the popular Chautauqua Park and hiked the First-Second Flatiron Trail (1.1 mile; 960 ft. ) which starts from the Bluebell-Baird Trail, goes south to two trail signs, then west to begin switching back and forth between the First and Second Flatirons. It ends at the saddle between the First Flatiron and Sunset Rock. These trails were much less shaded than the Gregory Canyon Trail and I was very glad I was wearing sunscreen and a hat. There were also a lot more people on these trails but it was a Sunday so that may have been part of the reason.
Colorado in June is a fun way to spend a summer vacation and I can’t recommend it enough if you enjoy hiking and spending time outdoors! I know we only scratched the surface of places to explore in Colorado and we’re already excited about going back another summer and exploring other areas like Colorado Springs, Durango, Steamboat Springs, or Mesa Verde National Park.
Also see my next post “Colorado in June- Estes Park and RMNP” coming soon!