Dispersed Camping Near Denver & Boulder
Boasting camp spots as wild as the Colorado coyote’s howling in the distance, picturesque mountain vistas, and a remoteness you seek on your adventures off the beaten path, the Switzerland Trail offers unrivaled exploring opportunities. Winding about just beyond the city limits of Boulder lies what’s left of a historic narrow gauge railroad once operating during the big mining days of Colorado’s past. Rocky, rough, and remote, this dirt trail is perfect for some entry level backcountry adventure. Around each corner you’ll never know what you may see. From local moose hiking down the trail to historic picnic areas for enjoying an afternoon snack and remote campsites scattered along the mountain’s edge, these are just a few of the experiences waiting for you here.
Rising up and down the mountain side at altitudes between 7,000 and 9,000 feet, the trail continues through a densely forested area for 30 miles. Drive the entire trail in a day or stop along the way at any campsite that calls to your wild side. Dispersed camp spots are a plenty but making a decision of where to call home for an evening under the stars can be somewhat difficult. Just remember, dispersed campsites don’t offer certain amenities like bathrooms and running water but what they may lack in niceties they make up for with the adventure in finding the location and the peace and relaxation you experience once you’ve settled in and are listening to nature’s soundtrack.
Driving to the Trailhead:
Accessing the Switzerland trail is quite simple. Start out by twisting and turning up Boulder Canyon Drive (5.1 miles) from the west side of the city. Next, take a right onto Sugarloaf Road (4.7 miles). Before long you’ll take another right onto Sugarloaf Mountain Road for about another mile. Once you reach the Switzerland Trailhead, toss her in 4-wheel drive and let the adventure begin!
Trip Length: 2-4 Days (close to Boulder, Colorado)
A Must See: Ward, Colorado – Est. 1860 — Once one of the richest towns in the state during the Colorado Gold Rush, the tiny, rustic town of Ward is located on a mountainside at the top of Left Hand Canyon, near the Peak to Peak Highway. At the end of the Switzerland trail; the General Store, often frequented by local cyclists and travelers alike is a must stop. From sweet snacks, delicious espresso, and other mountain town trinkets, you won’t want to miss out on this opportunity to step back in time. CAUTION: This route is extremely difficult to navigate when the trail is wet. We don’t recommend going on this trail after a rain or snow storm.