Boulder, Colorado: Sunshine Canyon


There are three roads that lead west from Boulder: the southernmost is Flagstaff Mountain Road, which as the name suggests, takes you up and over Flagstaff Mountain, then southwest to Walker Ranch Park.  In the middle is Boulder Canyon Drive, which heads west to Nederland.  The northernmost of the three is Sunshine Canyon Drive, which leads northwest to the town of Gold Hill and, via a couple connecting roads, to the town of Ward.

I decided to drive out Sunshine Canyon Drive on a whim.  It was an enjoyable drive through the mountains, but I didn’t find anything so overwhelmingly remarkable, to persuade me to get out of the car.

So, without any photos, all I can offer you is the Drivelapse video, shot through my windshield, which will show you the drive up Sunshine Canyon Drive.  This video also includes the drive into Boulder, and out to Chautauqua — so you might want to fast-forward a little if you’re looking specifically for Sunshine Canyon.  Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the ride.

Drivelapse Video

I was tempted to stop at one spot along the way.  Bald Mountain Scenic Area offers the 1.5 mile “Pines to Peak” loop trail, which would probably give you a nice view from the top of the small hill.  I considered it, but decided to move on instead.

When I was driving out Sunshine Canyon Road, I didn’t know where I was going or what I would find — and as a result, I turned around just a bit too soon.  Had I continued, I would have ended up in the town of Gold Hill, which appears to be a neat little town with dirt-roads.  The town is near the site of the first Gold discovery in Colorado (in 1859, when it was part of Nebraska Territory).  The town also brags of having the steepest county road in the United States, Lick Skillet Road.  If I had continued past Gold Hill, I could have looped around via Four Mile Canyon Road, to Boulder Canyon Drive, and back into Boulder.

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