Published: June 15, 2017
Person and bike on top of Flagstaff Mountain overlooking Boulder

Sticking around this summer? Boulder is a great place to be during the warm months of summer with great festivals, hiking and other outdoor activities at your doorstep. Here are five ways to have a safe summer while enjoying the many outdoor activities in and around Boulder.

Flash flood risk

Boulder Creek presents a risk of flash flooding. If you are outdoors in a flash flood, climb to higher ground immediately. Never walk or drive into water because there is no way of knowing how deep it is. Pay attention to creek closures if you plan to tube or kayak in the creek.


In the United States, there are an estimated 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning flashes per year. In Colorado last year, lightning killed two people and injured seven. If you can hear thunder, you could be in danger of being struck by lightning, so get indoors if possible. 

Most lightning deaths and injuries in Colorado occur during the afternoon when lightning is most likely to develop and when people are more likely to be outside. If you plan to go hiking in the foothills or mountains, morning is the best time to avoid the possibility of lightning. June 18 to 24 is Lightning Safety Week in Colorado.


Boulder County offers a wide range of hiking trails, many of which are relatively close to the city limits. Before heading out, let somebody know where you are going and when you will be back and if possible bring a friend along with you. Colorado weather is known to change quickly, so it's also a good idea to be prepared for all kinds of weather, even in the summer.

Wildfire risk

Wildfires are a reality in Colorado's forests. While many wildfires are caused by lightening strikes, others are human caused (e.g., careless cigarette disposal, fireworks, camp fires). Learn more about preventing wildfires and being prepared in case a wildfire threatens the area.

Living with wildlife

Many species of wildlife call Boulder and the surrounding foothills and mountains home. Seeing wildlife from afar is a nice surprise for any hike or camping trip, but visitors to trash cans, yards and campsites are not always welcome and can be unhealthy or even dangerous for wildlife and humans alike.