The Switzerland Trail in the peaks west of Boulder was named for the spectacular mountain scenery along this remote and former railroad route. Although why it had to be named after another country when America's Rockies are stunning in their own right we'll never know.
Regardless, the trail is popular with mountain bikers, ATVs and 4X4s, so whatever your mode of travel, be considerate of other trail users.
Begin your adventure at either end. In the south, the trail starts below the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain off the road of the same name. From here it winds along a relatively level grade, gradually descending to Fourmile Canyon Drive (US 118), along Fourmile Creek. Here it crosses the road and begins a gradual ascent back up the mountain on its way toward Gold Hill.
The Switzerland Trail ends at Sawmill Road (County 95) just above Lefthand Canyon Drive.
The relative level grade owes its existence to an old narrow-gauge rail line around the turn of the 20th century. The line was built to accommodate mining operations in Colorado's front range, and the trail route itself is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Denver, Boulder and Western Railway Historic District.
Parking and Trail Access
Parking is available at the Sugarloaf Mountain Road trailhead. From Boulder, head west on SR 119. One mile past the tunnel, turn right on Sugarloaf Road. At 4.8 miles, turn right on Sugarloaf Mountain Road and follow it to its end at the trailhead.