The Boulder Hiker Chick ramps up Boulder’s dynamic community

Alli Fronzaglia on staying connected + giving back

By Tatyana Sharpton Jul 2 2020

As we continue our adventure series, we profile Alli Fronzaglia, aka as @theboulderhikerchick, a local freelance writer, hiking guide, Audubon naturalist and community volunteer who co-founded Boulder Hiker Chicks, a bad-ass, all-women hike squad.

Alli, a New England transplant, has lived in Boulder since 2005. In addition to co-founding the Boulder Hiker Chicks, Alli serves Boulder’s community as Vice Chair for the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board and sits on the Board of Directors for the PLAY Boulder Foundation.

Alli Fronzaglia

“Adventure means challenging yourself,” says Alli, “getting outside of your comfort zone, being open to possibilities, and fostering deeper connection with yourself and/or with others.”

For Alli, living in Boulder is the ultimate adventure, with all of its inspiring people and the endless stream of activities and events. Her experience with the dynamic city has led to many opportunities to learn, engage and give back, both on and off trail. Some of her favorite Boulder experiences have come from volunteering through Open Space & Mountain Parks as both a Trail Guide and a Volunteer Naturalist, as well as supporting programs like the Boulder Parks and Recreation Department’s Park Champs program and PLAY Boulder Foundation’s Tree Tender program.

“Boulder is home to a lot of fantastic nonprofits doing amazing work for the community,” says Alli. “In addition to my involvement with the PLAY Boulder Foundation, I’ve donated goods and time to both EFAA and SPAN (Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Non-Violence). I really enjoy working with nonprofits that are truly local. It’s a good feeling to see the results of your efforts right here in the community.”

Alli on the Boulder Mesa Trail during last month’s out-and-back trek. Image: Alli Fronzaglia.

Not surprisingly, aside from connecting with the community, Alli’s favorite adventures are trail adventures, and with Boulder’s 155-miles of trails right inside city limits, she has plenty to choose from. She recently summited Bear Peak with a door-to-door route, a 14-mile venture! She also prefers to just walk out of her house and to a trail rather than driving to one.

“I love throwing on my trail shoes, clipping on my hydration vest, and just walking out the back door to find new routes,” says Alli. “It makes for a little extra distance but also feels like more of an accomplishment. And I’d much rather spend my free time ON the trails — not traveling TO the trails.”

Some of Alli’s favorite frequent Boulder adventures include doing the Boulder Mesa Trail both ways (a 13.5-mile out-and-back trek) with her husband each month in 2020. The challenge has allowed her to maintain a consistent finess base and to see how the trail changes month to month and season to season.

“I like creating backyard challenges like this,” says Alli, “and taking advantage of all Boulder’s open space has to offer close to home.”

(And who can blame her? After all, our backyard IS Boulder!)

With the Boulder Hiker Chicks, founded in 2014, Alli hikes everywhere from Golden’s Chimney Gulch Trailhead, Glacier Gorge Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park and Flatiron Vista Trailhead to Red Rocks Park. The Facebook community currently has 5,127 people following it, and the ladies hike in sun and snow.

The Boulder Hiker Chicks. Images: Karen Jacot, and the last by Alli Fronzaglia.

Events + local groups

With so many opportunities for those engaged in outdoor pursuits, and tons of groups on social media for runners, climbers, cyclists and more, it can be hard to keep track or know what’s happening when.

Some of Alli’s favorite local groups + event hubs:

Header Image: Alli on South Boulder Peak. Image: Alli Fronzaglia.