Winter Hiking at Wonderland Lake
The Wonderland Lake Park is a great place to go for a short hike, and is conveniently located in North Boulder with ample parking. A hike from the parking lot and up around the Wonderland Hill overlooking the lake is only 2.5 miles with an ascent of about 425 ft, proving a good workout. It’s even more of a workout if you do it in the snow!
If you hike here in the winter after the snow, it is possible to do it in hiking boots/ winter hiking boots, but micro spikes provide additional traction that can be helpful. This is especially the case since there are so many visitors that the snow gets packed and icy. If you go up the hill, I also recommend bringing hiking poles.
HikingProject has a map of the different trails in the Wonderland Lake area. If you click the link, you can see how long each trail is and how you can combine different trails for different hikes.
Note – we went hiking a couple times at Wonderland Lake after it snowed, so pictures in this post are from different hikes. You can also see the difference in photos between a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens.
This is a picture of the approach to Wonderland Lake up from the parking lot on Wonderland Lake Loop Trail. The Loop Trail is 1.5 miles around and is a popular place for local residents to walk their dog, go for a run, or a short hike.
Foothills South Trail
After following the Wonderland Lake Loop Trail around (including a short section that follows a neighboring road), and you get back into the park, you take the right-hand turn onto Foothills South Trail for a short connection.
You then turn left onto the Wonderland Hill Glider Trail. Once you are on this trail, there are significantly less people, providing more solitude.
From the Foothills South Trail and hike up the hill, you can see this isolated pair of trees that makes for interesting photos.
Hiking up Wonderland Hill
Once you reach an intersection, to get to Wonderland Hill you turn left. This is what the approach to the summit of the hill looks like.
In order to add an extra 0.6 miles to your hike, you can turn right at the intersection and then left, going to the Wonderland Hill Expert Glider Access Trail. This trail adds another 237 ft elevation gain as well. It is from this high point that paragliders can often be seen jumping from on sunny, warm days.
View of Wonderland Lake
From the top of Wonderland Hill you can see an expansive view of Boulder and the lake.
In the winter, you can see Wonderland Lake iced over.
And this is the view from the hill looking south to the Flatirons.
Going back down Wonderland Hill Glider Trail, you get more beautiful views of the hills.
You also get more views of the lake and the city below.
Soon enough, you hit the Wonderland Lake Loop Trail again and circle around back to the trailhead.
Looping Around Wonderland Lake
Coming back around the lake is easy and relatively flat.
After you join back to Wonderland Lake Loop Trail, this is the view of the Foothills you get looking north.
Here is the view looking back at the mountains from the path that is next to the lake.
During the winter you can see geese hanging out on the frozen lake.
And, just for fun, a picture of the ice crystals on the lake!
Recommended as a Hike
Whether it is after a snow, or just on any day, Wonderland Lake Park is a great area to hike. If you take the path up Wonderland Hill you can get in some good exercise, as well.