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Switzerland Trail - Bald Mountain Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Easy to moderate OHV road running followed by steep singletrack with gorgeous views.


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Map Key

5.2

Miles

8.3

KM

Lollipop

9,157' 2,791 m

High

8,450' 2,576 m

Low

797' 243 m

Up

794' 242 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

35%

Max Grade (19°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Historical Significance · Views · Wildflowers

Overview

This route begins and ends at the Sugarloaf Mountain Trailhead in Roosevelt National Forest. While there is ample parking at the trailhead, the Sugarloaf Mountain trail is popular and it's a common starting point for off-road vehicles, so finding a spot may be difficult if you arrive at a peak time.

Need to Know

There is no restroom at the trailhead.

Description

You can head to the south end of the trailhead parking lot to begin on the Switzerland Trail OHV road (FS 120J) or follow a short connector trail next to the trailhead sign that passes by a few campsites before connecting with the Switzerland Trail OHV road.

The Switzerland Trail OHV road is slightly downhill or flat from the trailhead to where it intersects with the east end of the Bald Mountain Trail. It is then slightly uphill or flat from that point to where it intersects with the west end of the Bald Mountain Trail. The road is wide and rocky with some uneven and loose footing in places. It is fairly exposed and can be dusty if it hasn't rained or snowed for a bit. You can keep up a good, quick pace along the road, however, as the inclines are moderate and there's plenty of room to step around or over any obstacles. If you are running at a peak time you are likely to encounter a fair number of off-road vehicles on the road. There's plenty of room to pass, although the dust and noise may be an issue for some people.

The Bald Mountain Trail is the gem of this route. It varies from wide to narrow singletrack and features incredible views from the summit. The west end begins with steep uphill on mostly loose footing. It then transitions to narrower singletrack with more moderate incline through forest and then a high altitude meadow before cresting on the summit. The summit is a large, flat meadow with grasses, wildflowers and aspen trees that features incredible views of Boulder and the front range to the east and the Indian Peaks and Continental Divide to the west. Follow a short spur at the top for the best views west.

The trail from the Bald Mountain summit to the east end begins with narrow, steep singletrack winding to the south and transitions to wider, steep singletrack with loose footing. With the exception of a few short breaks, it's steep all the way down.

The route finishes with a slight uphill along the same portion of the Switzerland Trail OHV road that you took on the way out.

Flora & Fauna

Aspen trees and wildflowers.

Shared By:

Craig Van Ens

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#2

in Sugarloaf

#3927

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#2

in Sugarloaf

#473

in Colorado

#3,927

Overall
53 Views Last Month
182 Since Jun 21, 2022
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Just before the Bald Mountain summit, running from the west.
Jun 22, 2022 near Nederland, CO
View west from Bald Mountain summit.
Jun 22, 2022 near Nederland, CO
View east from Bald Mountain summit.
Jun 22, 2022 near Nederland, CO
Sugarloaf Mountain Trailhead sign and connector trail.
Jun 22, 2022 near Boulder, CO
Bald Mountain summit seen from Switzerland Trail OVH road.
Jun 22, 2022 near Nederland, CO
Start of Switzerland Trail OHV road from Sugarloaf Mountain Trailhead.
Jun 22, 2022 near Boulder, CO

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