Riding the Switzerland Trail in Boulder

Some say the Hall, Heil and Walker are all over ridden while one of Boulder County’s gems sits nearly empty, the Switzerland Trail. For those not familiar, the Switzerland Trail it is an old narrow gauge rail bed which has long since lost its ties and rails, winds its way from Ward (almost) to Sugarloaf mtn.

Since the trail is a former rail bed the grade is never very steep for the average rider and the trail conditions are tame enough that one could ride a cross bike or easily a suspensionless mountain bike.

My wife and I rode the Switzerland Trail by starting at the head of one of my favorite gravel roads in Boulder, WallStreet. WallStreet takes you back in time through many of Boulder’s still visible mining remains.

I can’t remember exactly but you take WallStreet for about 4-5 miles (which has a light grade to it) until it dead ends in the town of Sunset. This is the lowest point on the Switzerland trail, from here you can go South to Sugerloaf or north to Gold Hill (actually 3 miles west of Gold Hill). This part of the route will test your navigational instincts because within the town the trail is NOT marked and the north entrance is about 100 yards east of the south entrance. Now things get a little steeper and pretty!

From the town of Sunset to the intersection of the road that will take you to Gold Hill it is about hmmmm, 5-ish miles but you will stop thinking about getting somewhere and start enjoying where you are.

Near the end of this route you come to a old, random park which a massive outdoor fireplace. Once you reach the road you have many possibilities but most likely you will head South to Gold Hill.

Everything was going great until I got to Gold Hill and realized that without my drag/drum brake (I took it off) I was having problems with my rims over heating. The thought of having a tube blow out while bombing the ride back to WallStreet was not a pleasant one so I was forced to stop often and dip my bike in the stream nearby to cool the rims off.

What a great ride!!!

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