Apex Movement outdoors, with Mason Fleet and Ryan Ford. Courtesy photo

36 Must-Do Items On The Ultimate Boulder Fitness Bucket List


When in Boulder, you gotta keep moving. The city has been named the fittest city in America more times than we can count.

It’s easy to get active with the mountains (and a ski resort) in our backyard, ample access to professional athletes who live here, an endless stream of races and 300 days of sunshine every year (maybe more).

Whether you’re visiting or you live here, here’s a list of our favorite active things to do in the Boulder County area: Boulder’s fitness bucket list.

How many of these 36 can you check off?

Vertical Fusion. Photo by Desiree Galvez Photography

1. See a Vertical Fusion show (and take a class). Vertical Fusion is an aerial dance and pole studio in Boulder that’s home to many champion pole athletes. If you’re in town during one of the quarterly shows at the Dickens Opera House, don’t miss it; you’ll leave inspired to try a class. Every day, there are pole and aerial dance classes for all levels and genders.

The Warp Wall at Ninja Nation. Courtesy photo

2. Train with famous Ninja Warriors.

For another world-class challenge, head to Lafayette’s Ninja Nation — designed by Geoff Britten, the only “American Ninja Warrior” to ever land a perfect season on the TV show — where you can train with one of “American Ninja Warrior’s” most famous ninjas, Jamie Rahn. He has competed in eight “American Ninja Warrior” seasons and had made it to the national finals five times.

The local gym is designed to bring the look and the feel of the TV show to Boulder County, with some of the most iconic challenges.

3. Bike between breweries. Boulder loves its beer as much as it loves its sports. Combine the two by biking between the many microbreweries in town. Want a plan? Follow the Boulder Beer Trail.

Hikers head towards Flatirons. Photo by Ann Duncan

4. Climb or hike the Flatirons. This is quintessential Boulder. The Flatirons will be calling your name the whole time you’re in town. If you have the experience or can connect with a guided climbing experience, scale those suckers. Otherwise, a hike up toward the Flatirons is rewarding. The views are the payoff.

Colorado Mountain School head guide Eric Whewell climbing in Eldorado Canyon State Park. Photo by CMS guide Jayson Simons-Jones

5. Explore Eldo. Journey to nearby Eldorado Canyon State Park. Here, choose from one of the many hiking trails, gear up for one of the hundreds of technical climbing routes, have a picnic, cast a line into the river or just enjoy the beautiful scenery and atmosphere. In the winter, you can enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Eldorado Canyon State Park is famous for some of the best climbing in the world. It’s a mecca with more than 500 technical routes attracting athletes from all over the globe.

While in Eldo, don’t miss the hot spring pool that the Denver Post calls one of Colorado’s best pools in and around Denver. Learn more about Eldorado here.

Eldora. Courtesy photo

6. Ski Eldora. You can go skiing close to Boulder at the Eldora Mountain Resort. It’s just 21 miles west of Boulder, and only three miles from the Boulder County mountain town of Nederland. Eldora’s one of the few ski areas on the east side of the Continental Divide, and you don’t have to drive up congested Interstate 70 to get there. The weather is often nice, so an oh-so-Colorado thing to do is go skiing in a T-shirt or tank.

7. SUP Boulder Res or Union Res. Be Boulder and take a stand-up paddleboard across the Boulder Reservoir or Union Reservoir in Longmont. Be even extra Boulder and do yoga on said paddleboard. Be even extra Boulder-er and join a full-moon SUP gathering, where people hang out on the still waters and take in the full moon once a month.

Tube to Work Day. Courtesy photo

8. Take a tube down Boulder Creek. In warmer weather, it’s a rite of passage to tube down the creek. You can rent an inner-tube tube at the Whitewater Tube Co. Ask about tube delivery. Float down the creek and take in the mountain sunshine, but beware: Some parts can get a little rocky and fast, depending on the time of year. Don’t miss the annual, only-in-Boulder Tube To Work Day.

Mount Sanitas
Mount Sanitas. Photo by Brittany Anas

9. Take in the views atop Mount Sanitas. The Mount Sanitas Trail is a fave because it’s easy to access; you can walk to it from the Pearl Street Mall. Hike to the top for breathtaking views of the whole city and Front Range. A few parts get steep, so it may not be appropriate for all levels. If you’re fit, try to run it. But prepare to be humbled by the altitude and incline.

Boulder Bolder finish line
The Boulder Bolder Finish Line at Folsom Field. Photo by Tyler Percy

10. Run or walk the Bolder Boulder. This 10K race is one of Boulder’s most famous annual events, drawing about 50,000 runners and 100,000 more spectators. It’s more than just people running. The Bolder Boulder is a citywide celebration, with live music and performers along the course, wild costumes, health-centric vendors, a tribute to veterans and more. The whole thing goes down on Memorial Day.

Brewhouse Yoga. Courtesy photo

11. Do yoga at a brewery. Again, beer is a likely partnership with an active lifestyle in this part of the woods. Many local breweries offer yoga in their tasting room or partner with yoga teachers to provide a refreshing brew reward after class. Check out Brewhouse Yoga at Sanita Brewing Co. for one of the many options. Also check out classes offered by Littleton-based Outlaw Yoga, which has a regular presence in Boulder. Often, these classes fuse yoga, live music and beer. Boulder-style nightlife.         

Royal Arch in Chautauqua at night. Photo by Jacob Helleckson

12. Hike to the Royal Arch. Start at Chautauqua Park and hike this intermediate-ish trail to one of the most iconic natural attractions around Boulder. The Royal Arch is not as impressive as the massive rock arches in Utah, but it’s still gorgeous and a classic photo backdrop. The whole hike is about 3.5 miles round-trip with about 1,400 feet in elevation gain. The trail isn’t for everyone, but it’s doable if you’re in good shape and acclimated to the altitude.

13. Bike up the canyon. There are a few different canyon climbs for road bikers, but Lefthand/Lee Hill is a classic one to attempt, if you’re cut out for it. It’s 20 miles with 1,700 feet of elevation gain. We recommend climbing Lefthand and descending Lee Hill.

On evenings and weekends, give Flagstaff Road a try. This 3.5-mile, iconic climb ascends 1,050 feet to reward you with some of the best views of the Flatirons. The road is closed part of the year during most day hours on weekdays, so save it for the weekend.

Shoes and beer
Shoes and Brews. Courtesy photo

14. Sprint for your beer. Head to Longmont for this unusual combo: a nanobrewery and shoe store in one, at Shoes and Brews. You can shop for running shoes, go on free fun runs and then tip a brew. When visiting, request the 800-Meter Road Challenge: The faster you run 800 meters, the cheaper your beer is.

15. Watch or compete in the Ironman. One of the biggest events of the summer is the Ironman Boulder race, a massive Ironman competition. More than 2,000 athletes compete for the esteemed title. If you can qualify, it’s an iconic race to attempt. If you can’t, get inspired by the amazing athletes.

Chautauqua at the beginning of sunset. Photo by Flickr user Salil Wadhavkar

16. Hike Chautauqua. Spending time outside in Chautauqua Park is a must-do in Colorado.

The park itself spans 14 acres — including Flagstaff Mountain, Green Mountain, the Royal Arch and Bear Mountain — just off Baseline Road at the edge of the foothills. First, visit the ranger cottage to get a trail map. Choosing a path is like a build-your-own-active-adventure game. After your hike, have lunch on the lawn beneath the open sky.

Betty Anne Markwardt swinging at McIntosh Lake in Longmont. Photo by Molly Plann

17. Make your own mini triathlon at McIntosh Lake in Longmont. McIntosh Lake has 3.5 miles of easy trails that you can walk or bike on. Then take out a kayak onto the waters. While you can’t swim or tube here, you can still get a fun workout on the water. Bonus: It’s all free and comes with sweeping mountain views.

Hanuman Festival
Yoga at the Hanuman Festival. Courtesy photo

18. Do downward dog at the Hanuman Festival. This annual event is biggest yoga event in Boulder and one of the best in the state comes. Every summer, the Hanuman Festival brings famous yoga teachers to town, plus live music and other workshops. Bonus points if you can take a class with famed yogi and Boulderite Richard Freeman.

19. Attend a CU football and basketball game. Work up a sweat from the stands at an exciting University of Colorado game. Folsom Field puts on quite the fireworks show on the Fourth of July, to add to the excitement.

Apex Movement outdoors, with Mason Fleet and Ryan Ford. Courtesy photo

20. Do parkour at Apex. Head east to Louisville to the Apex School of Movement, a world-renowned parkour facility. One claim to fame: Apex offered the first parkour program in the Western hemisphere. Play on more than 10,000 square feet of challenges and training equipment, and learn from some of the best. After learning new tricks, take them outside to level up the challenge.

Studio Love. Courtesy photo

21. Take a Power Hug yoga class. Boulder’s got more than its fair share of unique yoga classes. One to try is Power Hug at Studio Love in Erie. This class is described as “ahhhmazing, magical and powerful.” It’s designed to get you a workout and open your heart at the same time.

Another must-try: goat yoga at a farm.

22. Walk, run or bike the Boulder Creek Path. Tailor this one to meet your activity level, whether it’s a relaxing stroll or a fast run. The Boulder Creek Path cuts straight through downtown Boulder along the scenic creek. The whole trail spans 5.5 miles.

Yoga at Red Rocks
Franti & Yoga at Red Rocks. Photo by Shannon McGee

23. Workout at Red Rocks. The nearby Red Rocks Amphitheater is famous for its stage, but it’s also surrounded by more than 800 acres of open space, including dinosaur bones. Many people head to Red Rocks for a creative workout. Run up and down those stairs and get a great sweat.  If you don’t want to work that hard, you can sign up for Yoga on the Rocks, which attracts thousands of participants every year.

24. Take a guided bike tour. Explore Boulder on bike and learn about its history. Here are some of our favorite guided tours, including some great themed bike tours.

25. Climb a fourteener with the Colorado Mountain School. While there aren’t any fourteeners (mountains taller than 14,000 feet above sea level) in Boulder itself, you can knock one out a short drive away. The most esteemed one to conquer on the Front Range is Longs Peak. But it can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s why we recommend signing up for a Longs Peak trek with the Boulder-based Colorado Mountain School.  

Taylor Trimarco does yoga on a snowy Colorado mountain top.
Taylor Trimarco does yoga on a snowy Colorado mountain top. Courtesy photo

26. Do snowga. Oh, Boulder. “Snowga” is doing yoga in the snow. When the flakes fall, Boulderites still like to get their downward dogs outside. Do a warrior pose as the snow comes down around you.

27. Go on a waterfall hike. Know what’s (possibly) better than a hike? A hike to a waterfall. Visit Devil’s Thumb Pass for a long, full-day waterfall hike near Boulder. Devil’s Thumb Pass, near Nederland, will take you all the way to the Jasper Creek Waterfall, a peaceful, not-too-busy waterfall emerging from Jasper Creek. Check out more nearby waterfall hikes here.

Michael Swadener camps at Gross Reservoir. Courtesy photo

28. Go camping at Gross Reservoir. You can’t fully know Colorado without spending some time out in nature under the stars. For camping in Boulder County, try Gross Reservoir. This campsite is about 40 minutes up Flagstaff Road from downtown Boulder. It’s one of the rare places to camp in the Boulder area; there are no actual campgrounds the city limits.

It’s a peaceful hidden gem with minimal traffic. You may very well be the only camper here.

Bcycle station near on Boulder Creek Path. Photo by Tyler Percy

29. Bike through town. Why walk when you can pedal? You can find BCycle stations throughout Boulder (including at 11th and Pearl streets), where you can borrow a bike. BCycle is a bike share where you can rent a bike for cheap.

30. Go windsurfing. Union Reservoir in Longmont claims to be one of the best windsurfing destinations in the state. Check out Rocky Mountain Windsurfing and Kiteboarding for events that you might be able to join in on or watch.

31. Go to “Movement Mass” on Sunday mornings. Here’s a different kind of church, a unique way to celebrate spirituality and sacred work on a Sunday morning. Movement Mass is a sober, substance-free dance gathering. It’s a celebration to “liberate the pent up and powerful parts of ourselves,” connect, move together to “heal, awaken and embody” the soul and more. Movement Mass starts at 10:45 a.m. every Sunday at different locations in Boulder: the Avalon Ballroom, Boulder Circus Center and Boulder Jewish Community Center.

Front Range Anglers. Courtesy photo

32. Cast out a line. Front Range Anglers offers guided fly-fishing trips for trout in Boulder and the nearby water. Or if you want to just cast out a line more casually, you can get your fishing license and gear here. You can go fishing on Boulder Creek or with kids, the Evert Pierson Kids’ Fishing Pond at Ninth and Canyon streets.

Ocean First. Courtesy photo

33. Go scuba diving. Yes, in Boulder. We don’t have an ocean but you can go scuba diving through Ocean First. At this private facility, you can take swimming and diving lessons in an 89-degree heated indoor pool. There’s even a beach volleyball court here.

34. Bike to work. Bike To Work Day is a big deal in Boulder County, where many people bike to work every day. If you’re in town during this celebration, it’s a party on wheels.  

35. Bike the mountains. Bike here, bike there, bike everywhere. If the mountains are calling you, rent a mountain bike from University Bicycles, 839 Pearl St. Explore Open Space and Mountain Parks’ 155 miles of trails.

Parkrun in Boulder. Courtesy photo

36. Try a Parkrun. Boulder County is one of the lucky places in the United States to offer Parkruns. These are weekly, free, timed 5K runs. It starts at 8 a.m. every Saturday May through September and 9 a.m. October through April at the South Boulder Creek Trail, 5660 Sioux Dive. It’s free to join, but you’re asked to register first. Go at your own pace and test your time. After the run, participants head to a local coffee shop to hang out.

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