Biking at Wonderland Lake, Boulder, CO

West shore - Biking at Wonderland Lake, Boulder, CO

The last several days we’ve spent moving into our dream house in North Boulder, just blocks away from the wildlife sanctuary Wonderland Lake. Sitting at the base of the foothills, the lake is host to sunfish, bass, ducks, geese, snakes, butterflies, dragonflies, fox, deer, and mountain lions. There is a multi-use loop that runs around the lake. It is a mishmash of dirt, gravel, and concrete sidewalks, that form a loop about two miles long – perfect for a needed break from unpacking!

While my daughter has been weathering the move in good spirits, throughout the trip she intermittently complained about tired legs and abandoned her bike on numerous occasions to favor walking the trail. Whenever she abandoned her bike, I asked her to bring it to me, then I walked with both bikes until we reached a place where she was excited to ride again, at which point I would give her the bike back. With this gentle approach we made it all the way around the lake and had a fun trip!


The Adventure

10:21 AM

Trailhead - Biking at Wonderland Lake, Boulder, CO

We arrive at the trailhead to Wonderland Lake right off of North Broadway. From the parking lot, looking South, we catch a glimpse of the Flatirons and Bear Mountain in the distance.

10:25 AM

Deer - Biking at Wonderland Lake, Boulder, CO

We head West from the parking lot towards the lake along the first gravel path. We almost run into a mule deer! The deer gallops towards us. It comes surprisingly close and then whooshes away into the urban jungle behind us. My daughter bursts into a mule deer impression, gallops, and retells what just happened.

10:44 AM

We ride to the North East end of the lake, continue West along the North shore, walking some, riding some, leaving the dirt trail to cruise up a sidewalk that acts as a segue to reach the North West end of the lake. Here there are two trails. A dirt road and a singletrack on a ridge of an embankment that holds a gurgling stream (irrigation ditch?).

10:47 AM

Singletrack - Biking at Wonderland Lake, Boulder, CO

My daughter navigates the bumpy singletrack. I notice the side of the embankment is littered with Prickly Pear Cactus… My daughter zooms around the bend. My heart skips a beat – there is no guardrail… if centrifugal force has its way with her she’ll tumble down the cactus slope!

10:49 AM

Cattail - Biking at Wonderland Lake, Boulder, CO

Along the bank of the gurgling stream are cattails. We stop and harvest one. My daughter goes about the important business of helping the cattail spawn.

When It Rains

Singletrack after rain - Biking at Wonderland Lake, Boulder, CO

Three weeks ago we visited this same singletrack following heavy rains. The mud and water made for some exciting challenges.

10:58 AM
Park - Biking at Wonderland Lake, Boulder, CO

Around eleven o’clock we arrive at the park on the South side of Wonderland Lake. I’ve used “let’s go to the park” as a carrot since we began the journey so we are definitely getting off the bikes to play for a bit.

11:20 AM
Dragonfly - Biking at Wonderland Lake, Boulder, CO

We arrive back on the East shore of the lake. There is a damn we cross over. We pass a slew of fisherman and spot a giant dragonfly. At first we can not tell if it is alive, we creep closer and closer, then the dragonfly takes off, sending a current of wind with each flap of its wings, nearly toppling us. A moment later we’ve recovered. We get back on our bikes and head Easterly.

11:25 AM

It is an easy return trip. Mostly downhill, affording a lot of cruising. We arrive back at the trailhead. Awesome break from moving!



Route - Biking at Wonderland Lake, Boulder, CO



  • Bike
  • Bike helmet
  • iPhone (Camera)
  • Wish I had: suntan lotion, snacks, water


  • Pick a date
  • Get gear
  • Bike!
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