A Sugarloaf and a Frozen Dead Guy

Hiking the Sugarloaf Mountain Trail

When my oldest friend and her husband came to visit us for the weekend, it was a no-brainer that we had to squeeze in a hike! We had pretty exciting plans for the afternoon, so when looking for a short and sweet hike somewhere between Boulder and Nederland, but that might still offer some great Colorado views, we decided on Sugarloaf Mountain.

By Petr Adam Dohnálek – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 cz, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14669401

In the past, while passing signs for Sugarloaf Mountain or Sugarloaf road, we’ve often debated on what we think a sugarloaf might actually be. And since we don’t get any cell reception while driving through Boulder Canyon, we’ve never been able to look it up on the spot. My favorite made-up theory is that it’s when snow has fallen and formed a muffin-top-like shape on top of a large boulder – and the crystal-white snow makes it look like a sugarloaf.

But with the power of Wikipedia at my fingertips, I’ve just learned that “a sugarloaf was the usual form in which refined sugar was produced and sold until the late 19th century, when granulated and cube sugars were introduced. A tall cone with a rounded top was the end-product of a process in which the dark molasses-rich raw sugar, which was imported from sugar cane growing regions such as the Caribbean and Brazil, was refined into white sugar.”


This hike was short and sweet at 1.3 miles and 439 feet of elevation gain, but really packed a punch with the views, even on a hazy, almost-snowing day like ours. The trail itself is pretty rocky but quite wide all the way to the top.

01 Trailhead Parking
There’s ample parking room at the trailhead
03 Rocky Trail
The trail was rocky and wide all the way to the top
05 South East Views_Fotor
Views to the southeast
04 Hazy South West Views_Fotor2
Views to the southwest
05 Northern Views_Fotor2
Views to the north
09 skree_Fotor
A large scree field on the left side during the ascent
06 Tree_Fotor
A twisted, gnarly and scorched tree trunk
08 Tree Pose_Fotor
A not-gnarly tree on the top, with background views to the southwest
11 Group
You know I made everyone do this at the top.

Frozen Dead Guy Days

After some morning hiking, we drove the rest of the way to Nederland for Frozen Dead Guy Days, which turned out to be every bit as quirky as it sounds.

The festival website describes itself as follows:

Known as one of the most unique and quirky festivals in the country, Frozen Dead Guy Days takes place in the Colorado mountain town of Nederland — three days of frosty merriment featuring 30 live bands in heated super tents and outrageous events like coffin racing, costumed polar plunging, frozen t-shirt contests and much more. Celebrating its 17th year in 2018, Frozen Dead Guy Days continues to be a world-renowned spectacle. The home-grown frosty fest pays homage to Bredo Morstol, who is frozen in a state of suspended animation and housed in a Tuff Shed on dry ice high above Nederland. Thousands of adventurous, life enthusiasts come to participate in Colorado’s “most frigidly fun festival” and view the events along with local, national and international media and entertainment.

This festival was everything I hoped it would be, and so much more. Nederland is NOT a big town – and the streets were crawling with festival-goers clad in costumes and painted faces. The tents featured live bands, booths for artists and organizations, and of course, local breweries. And the bands we saw were REALLY good.

Outside the tents, you could help yourself to some delicious grub from one of the dozens of food trucks or watch some of the quirky activities, like coffin racing. Those coffin racing teams are NOT messing around – they all wear helmets and the teams dress up in coordinating costumes. It’s elaborate AF! Frozen Dead Guy Days is a must if you live in the area- what a weird, fun time we had.

My advice for next year:

  • Wear layers. In the early afternoon it was cold and snowing outside. But we warmed up quickly in the tents. And the the sun came out later in the afternoon. Layers will help keep you comfortable no matter what’s happing.
  • Get there EARLY to park or just take the bus.
  • Don’t stand in a line if you’re not sure what it’s for. I can’t tell you the number of times we saw people standing in a line that wasn’t for what they thought it was.
  • Bring cash! The cash lines for buying drink tokens never really had lines.
Frozen Dead Queen Costume
A Frozen Dead Queen
Food Truck Plaza
A Food Truck Plaza
Frozen Dead Guy Art Booth
An artist booth in one of the tents
Banshee Tree in Reanimate Yourself Tent
Banshee Tree performing in the Reanimate Yourself Tent
Gypsy Cattle Drive in Bourbon Bacon Brews Tent
Gypsy Cattle Drive performing in the Bacon, Bourbon and Brews Tent
Frozen Pig
Some men trying to get frostbite by holding their hands on the pig ice sculpture for no reason. This was not a contest – just stupidity.
Photobooth Printouts – we improved slightly on the second time around.

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