preparing for your mountain adventures

If you are not accustomed to hiking mountain trails at altitude, there are several things you can do to prepare for hiking in the Boulder area.  However, even if you have discovered this website since your arrival, fear not, there are still things you can do to prepare for your hike that will make the experience all the more enjoyable.

Stairs, stairs and more stairs.  You’ve been looking for a reason to avoid the elevators - you’ve been feeling a bit claustrophobic lately anyway - well now you have one.  There’s nothing better than climbing stairs to help improve your conditioning for mountain hiking.  If you go to the gym, augment stair climbing by getting on the stair master, or walk on the treadmill at an increased angle of attack.  If you have a way to do leg presses, or just some squats, or really anything to strengthen your legs, it will help immensely!  I complained to my son how I was struggling with long climbs and he convinced me to start going to the gym to build up some strength in my legs.  I was truly amazed at how quickly I began to see improvement.  Of course, lest we forget, just going for walks around your neighborhood will help improve stamina as well. 

Some of the great entertainment on Pearl

Some of the great entertainment on Pearl

Once in Boulder spend a day or two acclimating to the altitude.  Downtown Boulder is around 5450’ and if you are not accustomed to the thinner air, it’s best to give yourself some time to adjust.  Walking and taking stairs are two good ways to speed the process.  There are several good restaurants on Pearl Street and Walnut that offer rooftop dining and bars.  Try them out via their stair access.  Go for a walk along the Boulder Creek Path.  One of the best urban trails in the country, it offers cool temps thanks to the snowmelt running in Boulder Creek and beautiful, peaceful scenery.  Rent a bike.  There are many B-cycle rental kiosks in downtown where you can swipe your credit card and rent a bike to ride any of the over 160 miles of biking paths and dedicated bike lanes in the city.  Many of the 20+ bike shops in town will offer rentals as well.  University Bicycles and Full Cycle, both on Pearl Street, are good options if you are looking for more than a cruising bike.  And, you won’t be alone on a bike.  Boulder boasts more bikes per capital than any other city, and it can be more difficult at times to find a place to park your bike than your car!

Now that you are on the road to preparing for some memorable hiking in Boulder, let's investigate what gear you'll need.