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WEATHER

Hey, with 300 days of sunshine a year, there’s no issue with weather, right?  Well, wouldn’t that be nice!  However, it can be a bit more complicated than that.  Since most people visiting Boulder do so in the late Spring to early Fall season Beyond Boulder focuses on the hiking weather from May to September.  During these months the weather can vary greatly.  May can still bring snow as low as Boulder and Denver.  Along the divide snow can hang on into late June or July.  Climbing 1000’ in altitude is the equivalent of driving north 600 miles, so in theory the weather on the divide should be the equivalent of somewhere in the middle of Greenland.  Even in August you can find a sharp, cold wind on the summits.  Always dress properly for the time of year you will be hiking as well as the altitude, and remember to layer, packing enough layers to keep you warm and dry no matter what weather develops while you are on the trail.

No explanation required!

In the summer months Boulder highs run from the 80’s into the mid-90’s.  During this time we experience what is called a monsoon season, meaning that it is typical to have a brief, but sometimes strong, thundershower in the early afternoon.  For this reason in the hotter months of July and August it’s wise to hike earlier in the day, calculating to be finished with your hike by two or three in the afternoon.   If you are hiking higher in the Rockies severe storms can roll in earlier.  If you see clouds developing over the Front Range keep a close eye on them as you don’t want to be caught exposed on the trail if lightening starts to strike.  In the banner photo above the sky was mostly clear 30 minutes earlier!

Many people visit Boulder County for its beautiful wildflower season which, depending on altitude, runs from May through August.  For wildflower viewing close to Boulder in the foothills, mid-May through June are typically the best times to view the enormous variety of flowers in bloom.  June through August find the alpine wildflowers spreading their patchwork quilt across the upper Montane, sub-Alpine and Alpine zones.  September, while not prime for wildflower viewing, can provide some of the best hiking days, with cooler weather, fewer people on the trails and wonderful clear skies all day long.  

Even winter can be a wonderful time to hike or snowshoe in Boulder County.  But, whenever you hike, there are considerations concerning weather and exposure you should understand.  Then, get out there and enjoy!  Okay, it's time to discuss some things to remember for the Day Of Your Hike.