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Spring in Colorado: Your guide to the changing season

From Easter egg hunts to cool hikes to check out, here's a look at what you need to know about Colorado in the spring.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

DENVER — The weather is getting warmer in Colorado, and while spring doesn’t mean we’re in the clear when it comes to a giant snowstorm, summer is nevertheless on the horizon.

Below are links to all of 9NEWS’ spring-related content, including lists of events, Easter egg hunts, PSAs, and cool places to enjoy the beautiful season.

First off … it’s mud season

Credit: Courtesy Mary Ann Bonnell

With the melting snow and at-times icy conditions, spring is not the ideal time to hit the trails in Colorado. With that being said, being outside is always substantially better than the treadmill, you know?

The trails will be muddy. In addition to wearing crappy shoes (and maybe another pair to change into if you hit a brewery once your activity is over!), we talked to folks at Jefferson County Open Space about how you can be a good steward during this time of year.

Those tips include going through mud and not around it, as well as maybe just enjoying the snow in the high country instead of leaving massive ruts in the Front Range trails as they dry off.

You can find that information here: https://on9news.tv/2WKrX0F

RELATED: Today's snow is tomorrow's mud trail

Not like a 9NEWS viewer would EVER think they’re above the rules, but as of mid-March, 19 people had gotten tickets for going into Jeffco trails that were closed due to mud. This isn’t cool, and could come with an expensive ticket.

Check trail conditions and closures before heading out. Here are some resources for your area.

Jefferson County, City of Boulder, Boulder County, Fort Collins, Larimer County, Trail Forks 

But when the trails dry off, they're incredible

Spring in Colorado means that it's wildflower season ... and you don't have to venture far from the Front Range to see hills awash in Colorado. 

You can check out our list of the best spring wildflower hikes in Colorado here: https://on9news.tv/2WGrHQa  

Crested Butte also happens to have world famous wildflowers. 9NEWS Photojournalist Anne Herbst went and took part in a few legendary hikes there a few years ago: https://on9news.tv/2YNYYuq 

If you've got kids in tow and are looking for something a little bit easier, check out our list of 9 kid-friendly hikes: https://on9news.tv/2GGwiJH 

And for a slight-obvious but good look at some of the most popular trails to check out, here's the 9NEWS list: https://on9news.tv/2I7lLLV

Now that the weather is getting warmer, you might actually want to cool off. There's a list of places where you can do just that here:  https://on9news.tv/2UylyZ7 

Spring fun doesn't just happen on the trails! 

If you're not really a hiker, there are still a multitude of ways to treasure spring in Colorado. 

To start, it's prime gardening season. We compiled all of Rob Proctor's gardening tips here: https://on9news.tv/2uJLzWO 

As a rule of thumb, most water parks and pools open after Memorial Day. Double check though on the website of the place you want to visit! 

As for boating, the five lakes in the city of Denver are open from April 1 to November. You can find more information about what's required and how to get a permit here: https://bit.ly/2U9btCe  

Credit: Colorado Tourism Office

When it comes to state parks and reservoirs, boating season typically starts at the beginning of March. Many different lakes and reservoirs have different regulations when it comes to the type of watercraft permitted 

You can read the regulations here: https://bit.ly/2TRceL9 

Colorado fishing licenses are applicable from April 1 to March 31. Those licenses typically go on sale in mid-March. You can buy them from sales agents with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, in their offices or online. For more information, click here: https://bit.ly/2UvnMYQ 

For what it's worth, you can fish in Colorado without a license during the first full weekend of June each year. 

Colorado hunting licenses are available at hundreds of locations or with Colorado Parks and Wildlife year-round. Like fishing licenses, you'll have to renew your hunting license on April 1 of each year. Find more information here: https://bit.ly/2CQjGAN 

And, spring means it's the Easter season. There are dozens of Easter egg hunts across the state. We have an exhaustive list here: https://on9news.tv/2Udcw4f 

Spring weather has no rules, and anything can happen

Yes, temperatures are reaching the 70s again, and that's amazing. 

But with winter surrendering its foothold, people in Colorado should have another concern: hail. 

In fact, the state is part of what's known as "hail alley" and nowhere in the country gets more sever hail storms than parts of the Front Range. 

In fact, hail falls a little faster and hits a little harder here too due to the thin air. You can read more about Colorado's "hail alley" designation here: https://on9news.tv/2Ovd2Ud 

RELATED | What is hail, anyway? Becky Ditchfield explains 

If you're dealing with hail damage (count on at least one big storm per year), here's a look at what you should do next: https://on9news.tv/2OKNLXe 

Hail isn't the only severe weather you'll find in Colorado 

You can watch some explainers from the 9NEWS weather team below: 

VIDEO: Severe weather explainer: Tornadoes

VIDEO: Severe weather explainer: Lightning

VIDEO: How severe weather happens

VIDEO: Hail most damaging in Colorado during severe weather season

The 9NEWS Spring Guide is a work in progress. Be sure to check back to see more of our spring content as we put it together! 

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