Switzerland Trail

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4.4/5 (126 reviews)
Nederland, Colorado (Boulder County)
Last Updated: 12/17/2022
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Trail Information

Highlights

Forest Category Icon Forest
Ghost Town Category Icon Ghost Town
Rock Category Icon Rock
Scenic Category Icon Scenic
Snow Wheeling Category Icon Snow Wheeling
Nestled a few miles west of Boulder, Colorado, Switzerland Trail is an easy outing for an afternoon getaway. Nearly the entire route is a shelf road offering spectacular views of the nearby foothills and the snow-capped peaks to the west. The trail has only slight grades as it follows an old railroad route from Sugarloaf Mountain to the community of Gold Hill. Because Switzerland Trail is open year-round, It can be a popular spot for those who partake in snowy driving adventures.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Switzerland Trail is a dirt and rock road that follows an old railroad bed through the foothills west of Boulder. There are no obstacles necessary to complete the route and because the trail follows the railroad route, the road grade is very gradual with no steep climbs. The route is a shelf road for nearly its entire route; However, finding a place to pass on-coming vehicles is generally easy. There are some locations where passing others would be impossible. Although the trail is bumpy in spots because of the protruding granite, the rocky conditions can be conquered by most vehicles. There is one optional vertical rocky climb at Waypoint 2 that would be a challenge for stock high-clearance vehicles. Switzerland Trail is open year-round and is often a popular destination for snow wheeling. Remember the trail is a shelf road for nearly its entire length with limited ability to turn around on the trail if snow conditions become impassable.

Trail Reviews

4.4/5 (126)
Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 02/25/2024
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

All open. Mix of snow, dirt/rock, and ice. Some snow sections had higher snow in middle compared to tracks that might make it difficult for lower clearance vehicles. I had small slides through ice sections with old Blizzak snow tires, keeping it slow I wasn’t ever worried
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1000
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 02/19/2024
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Despite recent snowfall, the main portion of Switzerland Trail is still open and passable for a most high clearance 4WD. Short sections of deeper powder can be found between waypoint 2 and 3, however a stock 4WD with high clearance should make it through without too much headache. Snow is well compacted between waypoints 3 and 8 with no depth concerns. Mostly melted or minimal slush after waypoint 5. The spur just north of Gold Hill Rd is snowed in with no recent tracks, just after the graded section ends there appears to be a drift 2-3ft deep.
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 02/17/2024
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Ran the trail from South to North, and it was fully open! The deepest snow was at the southern entrance to the trail. Was pretty easy in my JL with 35s and no lockers. It was beautiful up there! I highly recommend this one right now.
Trail Review: Switzerland Trail - Jeramiah G Coffey
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200
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 02/17/2024
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Randomly stumbled across the trailhead for Switzerland yesterday and met a random fella at the trailhead. Ended up wheeling with him for 4-5 hours and both me and him had our shares of being buried in the snow. Would recommend recovery gear and someone with a winch but it’s definitely still doable. My stock taco on 31.5 in Wildpeaks ate it up pretty good.
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 01/21/2024
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

I ran this trail today from Waypoint 1 onward. Great views and mostly packed snow, though a few low spots where it’s melting and running off the trail. The trail was very quiet for a Sunday afternoon, albeit the snow is probably a factor in that. There is much deeper snow between Waypoints 7 & 8 — I got stuck on the side of the narrow pass even with a lift, aired down all-terrains, and locking differentials. Some friendly drivers helped me out and it was a great run overall.

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