Explore Boulder & West - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Boulder & West Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Easy, snow packed trail. We did this with some friends and they did not use traction on the way up. (We had microspikes). We got here at 8am and had parking, but when we returned at 10am everything was full. The elevation gain was spread out pretty evenly, with the most steep sections at the last half mile.

off road driving
3 days ago

The southern section from Nederland to the bus stop on Gold Hill Rd was perfect today. Pretty much any stock 4x4 with decent tires should be able to handle it. The north section from the bus stop to Ward is pretty deep. Ground clearance and taller tires is a must. Two of us bellied out 3/4 miles in.
93 Explorer 3”lift 31”Km2

snowshoeing
snow
4 days ago

Nice, easy snowshoeing hike. We took our time and it was about 2 hours. If you're in a rush and in shape, 1 hour is definitely possible.

There were a few people out there, but most were in Meetups and condensed to a few large groups that easily separated and allowed for some private hiking. There is a slight elevation change but doable for people of almost any fitness level and skill.

60% of the hike did not need snowshoes, about 2 days after 6" fell. Trail was pretty condensed. 40% of it, though, I was glad to have shoes. You can get away with spikes for the whole thing.

Lots of dogs on leash.

Note: The parking fills up early. We arrived at 8:45 and it was half full. When we finished by 11:00 there were cars circling waiting for spots to open up.

Garmin: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/3317309643

off road driving
10 days ago

Just came back from Switzerland Trail, it was really nice and easy with great views until we passed Gold Hill Rd going North. Andrea below wrote a warning but I totally didn’t see it. I would not recommend going that last stretch of the trail, at least not this time of the year. It gets extremely narrow and slippery. The back end of our 4Runner (on brand new Wildpeaks) almost slipped off the trail. I was able to save it but we had a really hard time, and turning around was almost impossible. We were finally able to turn around without damage but it took over 2 hours. On the way back we saved a Dodge Ram that was also having a difficult time.

snowshoeing
11 days ago

love the fresh snow

Super easy good for a beginner trail and just fun to sight see

hiking
18 days ago

Hiked the trail 1/5/19 with spikes. All the way to the lake, the snow on the trail is packed down and snowshoes aren't really necessary unless you want to hike off trail or maybe you're hiking the day after a snowfall. We hiked a little of the Devils Thumb trail from the junction of the Kings Lake trail and snowshoes would be handy there.

Parking is along the side of the road up to and just below the junction of Hessie Road and the 4th of July Road (which are closed). On a weekend day, get there by 8 am or earlier to avoid crowds and parking. We were done around 10:30 am and from the beginning of signage for roadside parking to the junction it was lined with cars, with still more people coming up and trying to find a park spot.

Did this hike on 1/4/2019 and was beautiful. Great snow hike. My girlfriend and I just had YakTrax and boots but saw many others with cross-country skis and snowshoes.

For those with Two-Wheel Drive cars: I have a Toyota Celica and made it to the parking just fine but word of advice would be to park sooner rather than later. At the end of the trail is a hill to turn around. I couldn’t make it up this hill due to snow and ice so I had to reverse my way out. Once you see a parking spot, take it.

Overall great trail and friendly people. The snow made it more of a moderate-hard trail mainly due to the steep grades and slippery snow.

Loved this trail. Easy to follow. Packed down nicely. Probably could’ve done just fine without snowshoes up until closer to the lake, but I was really thankful to have them.

One of my favorite hikes. IPW is fantastic.

Easy snowshoe with some decent views. Crowds and parking are kind of a drag.

UPDATED: Never found our car keys, but have already contacted the number below and they were not ours. Thank you all for checking in with me though! Happy 2019, and Hike On!

off road driving
23 days ago

hit this trail again today, plenty of snow on the trail but in my stock 15 Cherokee Trailhawk made it without any difficulty while in 4 low and snow mode, as always a beautiful and fun drive and the snow today made it even better.

The snow was quite packed and I had no problem hiking this trail using micro spikes without snow shoes.

My first snowshoeing experience! So much fun!

off road driving
27 days ago

Trail was closed

Snow is very well packed on this route on 12/24. None of us required snowshoes or traction devices, although there were quite a few spots that some yaktraks would have been nice to have. Would recommend wearing those or some lightweight traction devices if you have them. Especially, if you’re going to walk out on the lake.

The road to the trailhead is well packed down. Practically plowed, but nonetheless we did see a FWD car get stuck in the ditch. I think any car (even RWD) with snow tires would have been ok. Otherwise, AWD OR 4x4 only. I had AWD with all terrains and it grabbed great.

Also, found a note, that someone found some car keys on 12/22 and left a phone number. Call 570-971-9335 if you believe they might be yours.

off road driving
30 days ago

Beautiful trail, but a warning: there is currently (12/24/2018) a dead end several miles past the Gold Hill Rd crossing, going north, along the path indicated by the trail map. Additionally, along that same stretch, there are some regions of higher snow pack that are easy to get stuck in without snow tires or chains (we found out the hard way). That side of the mountain is in the shade and likelier to retain snow.

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Really simple and beautiful trail. I started with crampons and then was very happy I had snowshoes. Trail is super visible and saw a few people. I attempted to do a longer loop with devils thumb and woodland lake trails connections but the trail was lost and very very deep snow!

Hiked this today 12/23/18. Got to the trail head around 10 am. No problem parking and there were a couple more spots open. Also not a problem getting to the trailhead with AWD vehicle, depending on weather conditions I can see it being difficult because there are signs that say the road is not maintained so likely not plowed. I brought snow shoes but did not wear them. They haven't had any recent snow so the trail is pretty well traveled and packed. I did wear spikes and do recommend those since it is a bit icy in some spots. Beautiful a d peaceful hike, will definately be back in the summer as well!

Pretty nice hike. One of the busiest hikes I’ve been on though, and when I got to the lake there were people flying their drones overhead...pretty stupid. Parking is challenging, but the green buses are awesome at picking people up to bring them to the trailhead (not the 4WD actual trailhead). Nice wildflowers in the spring

One of my favorites, can’t go wrong in the Brainard Lake area really :) one thing I learned this year: Lake Isabelle serves as a reservoir, and at the beginning of September if gets largely drained. Still a beautiful hike with long lake, a waterfall, and happy doggos. Always see moose up in this area, and marmots and pika often chirp alongside the lake.

off road driving
1 month ago

Guess I'm not the first to take his new SUV, a 4Runner on this trail. Trail as described, it was partially covered with packed snow and some icy spots. Great views of the surrounding area and the mountains to the west. Lots of backbreaking work went into this rail line. Enjoy.

My husband and baby went snowshoeing here today; it's a long-shot, but he lost his car keys. Old beat up key for a Scion tC, safety pin, house key, and a silver metal flash drive. If anyone happens out there tomorrow and sees them, please let me know! RhiannonDean07 @ gmail

snowshoeing
1 month ago

A little tough getting from parking to trail. Good snowpack, could get by with spikes.

off road driving
2 months ago

Beautiful, great views, clean trail. My wife and I took the trail from near Glacier Lake down to the trailhead at Sugarloaf. Mostly snowpacked and no problem for our 2017 Jeep Renegade.

Easy road, lots of great views, we did it into the night and was still very fun

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Today the trail was packed, didn't need snowshoes until that last 1/2 mile after turnoff for Lost Lake. Most of the hike was shielded from wind before getting to the lake. Super gusty today so not a fun afternoon to linger at Lost lake, but saw a few pretty views while there. It's a fun and easy to moderate level snowshoe trail.

Loved this hike! We went 11/12 and it was super snowy! A lot of people had snow shoes but our spikes worked just fine. Saw 3 large moose on the trail! You have to hike about a mile from your car to the trail head, so factor that in! Also, there was a frozen stream you could hike, however with our spikes it was a little sketchy. If you don’t want to hike the stream there is a trail to the right of the stream that goes through the woods in order to get you to the trailhead.

Super easy for a Jeep, mostly just good views, there’s a couple spots along the way to pull off and check everything out.

Load More