Switzerland Trail

Area Status: Closed
This area is Closed

The Switzerland Trail (National Forest System Road 327) is an old railroad grade that zigzags across the mountains of Boulder County. The narrow-gauge railroad transported people, supplies and ores between the City of Boulder and the county's mining communities, including Gold Hill, Ward, Cardinal, Nederland and Eldora from 1883 to 1919. The rails have long-since been removed, but many people today enjoy driving and riding this route. Not all of the extent of the old railbed is open to motorized use. This narrative refers to the stretch of road between Boulder County Road 52 (Gold Hill Road) and Colorado Highway 72 to the south/west. Mount Alto Picnic Area is adjacent to this road.

The free Boulder Ranger District Motor Vehicle Use Map displays National Forest System (NFS) routes open to motorized travel and is available online and at the Boulder Ranger District offfice.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Closed due to the recent Stage 3 Closure Order. For more information, click here.
Usage: Light
Best Season: May through December; some segments may be blocked by snow in winter.
Restrictions: All vehicles must be street-legal to use this County Road. All motorized vehicles are restricted to open routes designated for their use. Contact your local District Office for a copy of the local Motor Vehicle Use Map.
Closest Towns: Boulder. Colorado
Water: None
Restroom: Practice Leave No Trace principles
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service
Information Center: Boulder Ranger District, 2140 Yarmouth Ave, Boulder, CO 80301, Phone 303-541-2500, Fax 303-541-2515; Contact Us

General Information

Directions: From Boulder, head west on Mapleton Avenue, which becomes Sunshine Canyon en route to Gold Hill. West of Gold Hill, the road is known as Boulder County Road 52 (Gold Hill Road). The Switzerland Trail intersects Gold Hill Road 2.5 miles west of the Town of Gold Hill.



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OHV Riding & Camping

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Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
15 miles

  Elevation : 
7,700' - 9,000'