Barker Reservoir in winter.
Barker Reservoir in winter. Photo by Tyler Percy

Get Out of Town! Plan a Getaway to Nederland


By Callie Pederson

There is plenty to do in Boulder, but if you’re looking for something off the beaten path, get out of town and spend the day in Ned.

Nederland, known for the Frozen Dead Guy Festival and Eldora Mountain Resort, is located just outside of Boulder in the foothills. The drive takes about 30 minutes, or 18 miles west on Canyon Boulevard.

As you head up, Boulder Creek runs parallel to the road, with multiple pull-offs to view the scenery, climb, take a hike or try to catch a fish. Boulder Falls is also a popular stop for travelers making their way up the canyon.

When you pull into Nederland, you are greeted by Barker Reservoir and a beautiful backdrop of mountains.

The town is small enough to walk everywhere. East First Street features restaurants and shops like the Mountain People’s Co-Op, Rustic Moose and Nature’s Own. You can also check out the visitors’ center, spend some time in the Nederland Mining Museum or get some new socks at the Alpaca Store and More. If you feel like having a local beer, enjoy some tasters at Very Nice Brewing Co.

One of the many coffee shops in Nederland.
One of the many coffee shops in Nederland. Photo by Justine Garst

There’s no shortage of coffee in Nederland. Start your morning off with some caffeine and breakfast at Salto Coffee Works. Salto serves breakfast sandwiches, pastries, coffee and tea. It also serves tacos all day. Salto has a modern, rustic feel and is just a short distance off the main drag on East Second Street.

The Carousel of Happiness is a must-see in Ned. This is a family-friendly place to visit, but it’s great for adults, as well. Take a ride for only $1 and learn about the history of the creator, Scott Harrison. Each animal on the carousel was hand-built, carved and painted out of basswood. The carousel is dedicated to remembering veteran’s sacrifices and you can read about the soldiers who lost their lives. The carousel opened their doors on Memorial Day in 2010 and it has been a Nederland staple since.

Carousel of Happiness.
Carousel of Happiness. Photo by Tyler Percy

Eat like a local and grab lunch at The Deli at 8236′. This small deli serves great subs, sandwiches and soups. Try the turkey press or Chicago beef, and for the veggie lovers, there’s the Munster grilled cheese. If sandwiches aren’t really your thing, you can dine at the Rocky Mountain Oyster Bar for a unique treat or at the Sundance Café for American eats.

Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center is another must-see in Ned. The ecology center is the place to go to learn about the environment and what you can do to help protect it. The goal is to educate. The center offers classes, programs and events, including afternoon explorers workshops, film festivals and nature summer camp for kids. Also find a shop with locally made art, books and gifts, where all proceeds support the Wild Bear mission.

After a long day exploring Ned, skiing at Eldora or hiking around Mud Lake, nothing sounds better than pizza. Grab a specialty personal pizza at Crosscut Pizzeria and Taphouse. Crosscut serves more than 12 different types of pizza, as well as appetizers, salads, ice cream, soda, wine and beer. This local spot is a great place to hang out and refuel after a long day.

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