Switzerland Trail


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Switzerland Trail Facts

States: Colorado
Counties: Boulder
Length: 14 miles
Trail end points: Sugar Mountain Rd. (nr. summit of Sugarloaf Mt.) and Glacier Lake (Gold Hill)
Trail surfaces: Dirt, Gravel
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015421
Trail activities: ATV, Fishing, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Snowmobiling, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Switzerland Trail Description

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.

Switzerland Trail Reviews

We went in a four wheel jeep and very glad we did. The view is absolutely breathtaking and surreal. Wasn't a busy trail at all. Must go and Dont forget the camera

No big obstacles and not a hard trail at all. It can be hard to follow the trail. But just stay on the most traveled road and you should be fine. Can be done in a stock vehicle, there was a Subaru on the trail with us.

First five miles from south trail head about an 800' climb over rocky and sandy terrain mixed with dirt bike and ATV traffic. The slog uphill pretty worth it to get to better graded road and nice downhill section over next few miles. Turned around about mile 8 but will go back to ride full route. Not much other bike or hike traffic which was pretty sweet.

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