Trails & Beer: Ryan Van Duzer – Wonderland Lake & Upslope Lager

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Part of the Trails & Beer: A Perfect Pair series where we asked local runners about their favorite places to run and to pair it with the beer in which they celebrate post-run. 

Wonderland Lake and Upslope Lager

[box type=”note” size=”large” icon=”none”]The Runner: Ryan Van Duzer
The Trail: Wonderland Lake, Hogback, Eagle Trail
The Beer: Upslope Craft Lager or Seasonal Pumpkin Ale[/box]

Running is awesome. Running for beer is even more awesome. Here’s my idea of a good time.

I live in North Boulder so I love my NoBo trails. I start at Wonderland Lake, do a quick lap then run up one of the unmarked trails to the ridgeline. It’s a tough haul up the rock stairs but the view is worth it. Once on top, I usually let out a big “wahoo” and wake up everyone in their hilltop mansions. If I’m lucky, a paraglider is taking off and I stare up in wonder as they soar above me. I trot down careful not to clip a toe and tumble onto my face (damn paragliders distracting me!).

Once down, I connect back with the main trail and head north toward Hogback. This uphill burns more than the previous, and I begin to dream of my post run refreshment at Upslope. Running down Hogback provides a stunning view of the Flatirons off in the distance and I usually stop for a moment to shed a tear, a tear for my beloved Boulder.

From here I run down the Foothills Trail and under Highway 36. At this juncture I’m faced with a very tough decision. Left takes me toward the reservoir and tacks on a good five miles to the total distance. The runner inside me always wants me to go left, but the devil inside me motivates a right turn. Going right reduces the distance substantially but takes me to the front door up Upslope in minutes.

I usually choose to go right. Don’t judge, we all love beer. I splurge on a nice Pumpkin Ale (if it’s in season) or the Craft Lager. I then sit with my buddies in my stinky clothes and play darts.

Yeah, I like the beer cause it’s not too strong (I’m an IPA wuss) and I like something refreshing but not that crappy Gatorade taste.

Ryan is a born and raised Boulder boy best known for his cycling adventures, however he’s much more of a runner. He ran his first Bolder Boulder at age six and has been racing ever since. His goal is to inspire kids to get outside and lead healthy lives. He’s not the quickest in the pack, but he’s always having the best (not necessarily fastest) time!

The wide trail from Broadway leads to Wonderland Lake Photo Courtesy of Ryan Van Duzer

The wide trail from Broadway leads to Wonderland Lake and along the foothills. Photo courtesy of Ryan Van Duzer

View from the top of Hogback Ridge

View from the top of Hogback Ridge

The Foothills Trial connects Wonderland Lake to the Eagle Trail just east of Highway 36.

The Foothills Trial connects Wonderland Lake to the Eagle Trail just east of Highway 36.

Upslope Brewery is located at 1501 Lee Hill Rd (at Broadway St.) and is open Monday -Sunday: 2-10 pm. They just opened another tap room at 1898 S. Flatiron Court.

At each of the tap rooms, you’ll discover a variety of supremely palatable, hand-crafted in small batches, filtered beers, all bursting with flavor. Check out the brewing operation, or hang out at the bar and try one of their limited release varieties.

Wonderland Lake Trail is located in North Boulder and can be accessed off Broadway from the Wonderland Lake Trailhead or via 4th Street from downtown.

View more trails around Wonderland Lake at

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