On a sunny January weekend afternoon (the first weekend of 2023,) my girlfriend and I traveled from Denver to Boulder, Colorado to take in a snow-covered hike.

Chautauqua Trail was the first trail on the map that looked like it would offer a solid amount of nature. I wasn’t necessarily looking for a hike as much as an opportunity to walk near the mountains, but this trail offered a great balance of views and moderate difficulty.

Navigating through the snow was the most difficult part, otherwise I’m sure a lot of the ascent time could have been cut. We didn’t have spikes, and sections that didn’t receive regular sunlight were definitely slick and icy.

Tons of people were out on this Saturday afternoon: hikers, walkers, sleders, dog-walkers, and more. The lot and surrounding streets (including residential streets) require a payment of $2.50 per hour (a little steep especially for a long hike) from Memorial Day through Labor Day: so luckily we were okay, though spots were very limited.

Here are some pictures from the hike. The snow-covered mountains were awe-inspiring, and seeing the plains of Boulder quickly shift into drastically sloping mountains was an impressive site to see. Near the apex of our hike (we didn’t make it quite to the “top,” wherever that was) we had to do some rock scrambling. While it was a challenge without spikes, it was also a lot of fun.

Folsom Field at the University of Colorado: Boulder was visible from a viewpoint

For our post-hike meal (always an important decision) we tried a Colorado-based, completely vegan “burger/chicken sandwich” joint: Meta Burger. One of Meta Burger’s three locations (all in Colorado) was just a short drive away in Boulder.

I got January 2023’s special: The Inferno Chicken Sandwich, featuring ghost pepper “ranch” dressing. The slickness was definitely there: luckily we also order a Mint Cookies and Cream milkshake to help cool down.

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