All my life, one of my favorite Christmas memories has been seeing the Boulder Star light up the side of Flagstaff Mountain. The Star was first lit in 1947 as a gift from the City to the people of Boulder. What I didn’t know until recently is you can hike to the Star, too! You can also drive to the bottom and climb up, but where is the fun in that? I asked my sister, Carla, to join me, and it was on.
We’d never done a night hike before, so we had to prep a bit by picking up some headlamps. I was also super excited to try out my brand new Skirt Sports Toasty Tights (review coming soon), vest, and new beanie. We started out at about five-o’clock and it was already around forty-seven degrees. We parked near the base of Flagstaff Trail to start the 2.3 mile round trip hike.
The hike wasn’t easy. It was steep and technical in many places, and the directions I pulled off the web were not very clear. It was tricky to navigate in the dark when the directions said to look for the “junction after the popular bouldering spot”. We passed no less than five popular bouldering spots with junctions after them so thought we might have missed the right one. Luckily the road winds in the hear distance and made a good navigation point for us. The views on the way up were worth every foot we climbed in elevation.
As we came up to the Star from the south and we spotted two deer bucks grazing. No one else noticed them, and Carla and I squatted down at a safe distance and watched them for a few minutes. They started to spar, and we could hear the knocking of their antlers as they butted heads. It was so awesome to see them, and for my sister and I to be the only people who saw the deer. This is why I love Colorado!
The climb to the top of the Star was SO STEEP. It was fun to reach the top with my sister and create a new tradition together. This is such a uniquely Boulder holiday experience and I’m so glad I finally did it. Getting down was tricky both of us fell on our butts and took it super slow from that point on. We found the trail back no problem with the help of our headlamps. I’m not sure what happened with my GPS watch but we did make a loop of sorts, and I was surprised by the elevation we gained on this hike! I’m already excited to do it again next year, and maybe take some adult cocoa next time!
What holiday traditions do you have? Have you ever hiked at night? Share with me!