“Bouder-twenty-five square miles surrounded by reality.”
Instead of one of our usual Sunday trips to the higher Rockies, we decided to mix things up this past Sunday and decided to drive down to Boulder to get in a winter hike on the Mesa Trail.
This relatively easy 6.7 mile trail stretches from its northern trail head at Chautauqua Park in Boulder down to Eldora Canyon at its southern terminus.
Beginning at Chautauqua Park off Baseline Road in Boulder, from the parking lot, you can head straight onto the Bluebell Road, which leads directly to the trail or better yet choose from one of the numerous trails that wind through the lower part of the park before connecting up with the Mesa.
This first part of the trail begins by gently ascending through Chautauqua meadow, which provides fantastic views of the prominent Flatirons shooting up out of the plains before you.
From here, the Bluebell Trail, leads up through a pretty pine forest before joining up with the Mesa Trail after a short climb of about half a mile.
The trail continues to make its way south with varying connector trails leading east to various points in Boulder and a few west to higher elevations.
Once you leave the pine forest, vistas overlooking Boulder and the countryside beyond come into view, giving hikers a nice perspective of the surrounding landscape.
Down below you can see NCAR-the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the trail leading to it, which is the point at which we turned around.
The easy 5.4 mile round trip was made nicer by the cool, dreary weather and the fact that there were few people out hiking the trail that day. As with other winter hiking, make sure you have your microspikes to give you good grounding on the icy trail.