Outdoor Adventure of the Week: Gross Reservoir
It’s Saturday morning on a holiday weekend and I bet you are wondering the same thing as most of the folks in Boulder. What am I going to do with myself this weekend? Lucky for you I did all of the research for you earlier this week, so if you are up for a bit of an adventure, enjoy beautiful scenery, and are in need of some physical activity, you might consider heading up and over Flagstaff Mountain until you descend upon Gross Reservoir.
When coming from Boulder, you will first find yourself at the North side of the reservoir, where you will discover one of the most scenic options for your hike: North Shore trail. While not the most challenging hike (a little more than two miles), it is quite steep so the return trip is twice as hard as the descent down to the water. You also have the option to cruise around to one of the other trails in the area if you want more of a challenge or just a different perspective on this incredible reservoir.
Those familiar with this hidden spot might not think to visit in the winter, as the water is off-limits from September 30th through Memorial weekend, but I assure you it is every bit as good on a cool, moody day as it is on those scorching hot ones. Still not quite convinced? Have a look for yourself.
Not a bad view for a post-hike picnic, don’t you think? I could literally enjoy that view all day. Lucky for you, that is your view for the entire duration of this short but spectacular hike down to the water. This week there are patches of snow on the trail here and there but nothing a good pair of hiking boots can’t handle, so you can leave your snowshoes at home.
Another perk of visiting this hot spot in the winter is that you don’t have to share it with half of Boulder. There is plenty of space for everyone to have a piece of this paradise. If you are lucky enough to be there when the sun breaks through the clouds on an otherwise gloomy day, be sure to have your camera ready. The rays of sunshine beaming through offer the perfect backdrop to the already glistening water.
Are you in the mood for more of a drive-and-enjoy-the-scenery kind of adventure? Stop off at the Boat House trail for a quick jaunt down towards the water. The views alone are worthy of a ten-minute pit stop before continuing along on your drive.
If you are like me and enjoy a good adventure, don’t think twice. Go check this place out and let me know what you think of it.
What to bring:
- picnic (highly recommended!)
- fishing rod, if you are so inclined
- layers (it is often colder up here than down in Boulder)
- good pair of hiking shoes
- To reach the reservoir from Boulder, take Flagstaff Road west until it meets with the junction of Lakeshore Drive and eastern Gross Dam Road. Park in the lot on the right for the North Shore trail or the Boat House trail.