Best Backpacking in Boulder

Looking for the best backpacking in Boulder? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Boulder. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the incredible Outbound community.

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  • Hike the Ceran St. Vrain Trail

    The Ceran St. Vrain trail north of Jamestown offers the hiker a nice respite from the summer sun as this path runs through dense pine forests. The trail follows the South St. Vrain Creek for most of the way and follows moderate grades throughout. ...

    4 miles 1207 ft gain

  • Winter Camp at Lefthand Reservoir

    The Brainard Lake Recreation Area is a winter adventurers playground with numerous snowshoe and cross country ski options to be explored. This area is popular as it offers dramatic mountain peaks, a trail for everyone (no motorized vehicles off of...

    3 miles 250 ft gain

  • Camp at Coulson Gulch

    Coulson Gulch is a lightly used area of the Roosevelt National Forest which makes it perfect for a weekend getaway without the crowds. This is a great place to camp out under the stars!To get to Coulson Gulch From Lyons, head west on U.S. Highway ...

    9 miles

  • Hike Pawnee & Buchanan Pass Loop

    Before you start your trip, get a camping permit from the Boulder Ranger Station. Plan to spend your first night in the Crater Lake BZ (Backcountry Zone), and your second in Buchanan BZ. If you're feeling particularly sedate, you can easily spend ...

    26 miles 2800 ft gain

  • Backpack to Red Deer Lake, CO

    This is an excellent place to take your family backpacking. It is a fairly easy trail and definitely a great one for kids. Take in the beautiful scenery while hiking through meadows, aspen and pine with incredible mountain views in the Indian Peak...

    6.4 miles 1900 ft gain

  • Hike to the Lost Lakes via the Hessie Trail

    Accessed by Hessie Trailhead, Lost Lake is a relatively moderate 4 mile round-trip hike with about 1,000 feet of elevation. The core of the hike is uphill and on a gravel path, 2/3rds of the hike runs parallel to a rushing waterfall.  After parki...

    4 miles 1000 ft gain

  • Hike to King Lake

    The normal route from the east side is via the Hessie trailhead outside Nederland Colorado. From the west it is most often accessed via the short trail from Rollins pass, which is open in the summer. As noted above, it is also a lake and area ripe...

    11 miles 2500 ft gain

  • Hiking the Indian Peaks Wilderness' Lost Lake

    Lost Lake of the Indian Peaks Wilderness area is a scenic short hike (about 3 hours) with a lot to see. The trailhead is tucked at the end of a road that passes through Eldora, a charming village of cabins and old abandoned buildings. You will pas...

    4.5 miles 1000 ft gain

  • Hike to Sandbeach Lake

    Sandbeach Lake is best known for (as you can probably guess) its wide sandy shore. At nearly 50 feet deep, it is one of Rocky Mountain National Parks deepest lakes. If you are looking to fish at the lake, make sure to bring barbless flies and lure...

    9 miles 2000 ft gain

  • Hike to Pear Lake

    Pear lake is a beautiful alpine lake in the southern Wild Basin region of Rocky Mountain National Park. Once used as a reservoir, Pear Lake has been restored to its natural state and lies in scenic basin below some of the most isolated mountains i...

    13 miles 2112 ft gain

  • Hike the Wild Basin's Ouzel & Ogallala Peaks

    Begin at the Wild Basin Trailhead in southeastern Rocky Mountain National Park near the town of Allenspark. Plan to start before sunrise if attempting this trek as a day trip in order to avoid afternoon thunderstorms above the treeline. This trip ...

    20 miles 5300 ft gain

  • Backpack to Bluebird Lake

    Starting at the Wild Basin trailhead on the south side of Rocky Mountain National Park, hike through a wet forest towards upper and lower Copeland Falls, located 0.45 miles from the trailhead. From here, continue on the main trail along the North ...

    14 miles 2500 ft gain