What we're about

CHAOS is an informal, Boulder-based group of energetic, fun, non-competitive, backcountry enthusiasts who are in their 20s, 30s, or 40s who enjoy self-powered and self-organized activities including hiking, backpacking, biking, snow shoeing, skiing, mountaineering, and river sports.

CHAOS' main Goal is to be a community through which one can make life-long friendships, share backcountry trips, expand outdoor and leadership skills, appreciate nature and enjoy the sense of community, teamwork, and challenge that prospers in backcountry situations.

As a member you will be able to check activities on this website, and post your own trips/events. Note that all trips should be for CHAOS by CHAOS, outdoors, and self powered.

CHAOS actively encourages its members to organize trips but does not supervise the activities. CHAOS is not a guide service and a person should only go on trips they feel are appropriate for their ability and experience level.

If you have questions, ask the trip organizer! Many trip organizers love to help out new members and will gladly answer any questions you have about the trip, what equipment to bring, etc. Above all else, have fun and be safe!

Here is a Welcome To Chaos document with more information: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aLFTysl452wTZcaSYt3KP4brsqsqL867Cos1xZ2gavg/edit?hl=en_US

Many past and present members believe that CHAOS enormously improved their "young adulthood and pre-family" phase of life. To ensure that this wonderful opportunity remains for future members, they should be in their 20's, 30's or 40's when they join CHAOS.

If the members’ ages or the group’s style don’t feel like a good fit for you, we suggest you check out one of the other great clubs in Boulder like the Flatirons Ski Club, the Boulder Outdoor Group, the Colorado Mountain Club, the Boulder Nordic Ski Club, the Sierra Club, or the C.U. Hiking Club (office in UMC).

Please be respectful when you RSVP to events, and only RSVP if you know you will make the event; especially if there is a limited number of spots available. If you end up with three no-shows; whether it's a no call/no show, or a cancel at the last minute; you will be removed from the group.

Upcoming events (3)

Bear Peak via Fern Canyon *SUNSET HIKE*

NCAR Mesa Laboratory

Join us for this pretty hike with views of downtown Boulder and the high peaks to the west!

From NCAR, we'll be hiking towards the Mesa Trail to Fern Canyon Trail to the summit of Bear and follow the same trails back to the cars.

The hike is roughly 6 miles and vertical gain, around 2700'.

You will need microspikes and a headlamp.

Dogs must be on leash.

Finally, rain, snow or sleet cancels.

Make a New 14er!

Bear Tush Trailhead

We’ll fill our backpacks with rocks and hike up 13,997’ Grizzly Peak A in the Sawatch Range. I’m an ultralight backpacker so we’ll stop by Home Depot and get pumice from the fireplace department and fake rocks from the garden department. Just three more feet and Colorado will have 55 14ers! Meet at the Bear Tush Trailhead at 4am.

And a hike down memory lane from previous years...

April 1, 2022: Blankets to Save Colorado’s Glaciers from Climate Change
Switzerland is covering its glaciers with blankets to save them from climate change. Let’s save Colorado’s glaciers! Get your spare blankets out of your linen closet and we’ll hike up to a glacier. Meet at the Glacier Gorge trailhead. We’ll ask a ranger to point us to the nearest glacier.
Comment from Joel: "I have an electric blanket I can spare. Will there be someplace to plug it in or should I bring an extension cord?"

April 1, 2021: Vaccinate the Bears!
Governor Polis has made Bears illegible for the COVID vaccine starting April 1. Volunteers are needed to find Bears in their dens and give them their jabs. We will also lay a wreath to honor the volunteers last year who tried to put masks on the Bears. Meet at the Pee Pee Creek trailhead at 9am.

April 1, 2020: Semaphore Communication for Social Distancing While Hiking
To encourage social distancing, when CHAOS members meet on the trails we will chat only by semaphore flags. An online class starts today. The first lesson is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEzzwkLq5CI. Lessons will include useful phrases such as, “I didn’t wander off the trail and get lost. I was social distancing.”

April 1, 2019: Clean Colorado’s Glaciers Hike
Governor Polis has declared April 1 to be Clean Colorado’s Glaciers Day. Concerned Coloradoans will take brooms, dustpans, and gallons of white paint to our dirtiest glaciers. A dirty glacier is a melting glacier! Meet at 4am at the Wet Beaver Creek trailhead.
Postscript: We hiked up to the filthy glacier that I took a picture of last September and found that another team had beat us to it! They’d cleaned up the glacier to pristine white snow. Next time we’ll start hiking at midnight!

April 1, 2018: Break Wind to Save Bees!
With today’s high winds the wild bees will be blown all over the county! We’ll bring umbrellas to the Wild Bee Sanctuary and herd the bees to the flowers and then back to their hives. Meet at the Humpenhelga Trailhead.

Canyoneering Course Survey for 2023 - 3 Mins

Link visible for attendees

Hello fellow canyoneers!

It's time to start thinking about canyons and training again! This survey is for those who are interested in helping shape the 2023 schedule for upcoming courses around the Boulder, CO area. It should only take around 3 mins to complete: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6HFK6FX

I've identified the weekends I'm able to teach courses this season, and would like your input on how to best help the community.

I will keep this survey open until Monday 4/3/23 at 6pm MST.

Note: I'm also open to teaching other weekends or mid-week if we get enough interest, so feel free to reach out to me directly if interested. The dates on this survey are the weekend dates I can solidify as I know availability for both my assistant and I.

Unfortunately, I won't be teaching in Grand Junction this year, as the deadline for permits had already passed. Planning for 2024 though.

Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6HFK6FX

Thanks for your time and efforts!


Past events (1,266)

NCAR Dinosaur Mountain after work hike

NCAR Mesa Laboratory