Hiking In Boulder, CO – Chautauqua Park and The Flatirons

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Hiking in Boulder, Colorado

If you have been keeping up with my blog or if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I recently spent a weekend in Denver, Colorado visiting my best friend.  It was a beautiful, warm, sunny weekend so we were able to do some hiking.  Our first hike was in Morrison, Colorado at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater.  For our 2nd hike, we drove about 40 minutes away to try our hand at hiking in Boulder.

Hiking in Boulder at the Flatirons
Amazing views from the Flatirons in Boulder

Link: Hiking Near Denver – Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater

Chautauqua Park and The Flatirons

We started at the Chautauqua Trailhead at Chautauqua Park in Boulder.  This area can get crowded and parking is at a minimum so be prepared to walk a ways before you get to your hike!  If you are like us (completely clueless) then do yourself a favor and stop by the Chautauqua Ranger Cottage.  In addition to a large collection of taxidermied (yeah, I made that up) critters there are park rangers who will be happy to help you with a hiking plan.

Hiking in boulder at the flatirons
A little bit of snow and ice made for a slippery hike!

Don’t Be A Hero…Take The Map

Definitely take the map – there are a bunch of trails on The Flatirons and it’s easy to get lost if you aren’t sure where you are going.  (Hell, we almost got lost a few time WITH the map)  We told the ranger what we were specifically looking for – “um…just a nice little hike, nothing too crazy…you know, like, a hike”.   Thankfully, the park ranger mapped out a path for us to follow (with help from our specific criteria).  There are numerous trails to choose from that all criss cross and meander in different ways so unless you really know what you are doing, it’s smart to get some guidance before setting out.

hiking in boulder - the flatirons
Take a map! There are lots of trails that start at the Chautauqua Trailhead.

Meadow, Forest, Mountains

The Flatiron trails offer beautiful expansive views of Boulder and the surrounding areas.   It was stunning how different the landscape was from our Red Rocks hike, which was only about 40 minutes south.  These trails will take you from meadow to pine forest to mountain in one single hike.

Hiking in Boulder Colorado at the Flatirons
A gorgeous setting for a hike that starts in a meadow and ends up on a mountain.

There is some definite uphill battle on this one!  I’m not an experienced hiker so this was a bit of a challenge in places for me, but still very do-able.  Because of the elevation gain and the shade provided by the trees, there can be a significant temperature drop the higher up you go.  So, while it was 70 degrees at the beginning of the hike there was still some snow and ice on trail.  This made for some slippery spots and, you guessed it, I fell on my ass.  While my friend was busy laughing at me, she too, wiped out.

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Don’t Be The Trail A-Hole

These trails can get fairly narrow and steep in places.  They can also get crowded.  Be courteous to your fellow hikers and choose your stopping points wisely.  Don’t be the official trail a-hole and stop right in the middle of the steepest, rockiest damn part of the trail with your dog just to hang out with your buddies.  Don’t do it.

Hiking in Boulder
We had an awesome time hiking the Flatirons in Boulder – even though we both wiped out and had to climb around the stupid girl in the middle of the narrow, steep trail.

I really enjoyed my afternoon of hiking in Boulder!  Have you ever hiked the Flatirons in Boulder?  What did you think?

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Hiking in Boulder Colorado, USA - Chautauqua Park and The Flatirons


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2 thoughts on “Hiking In Boulder, CO – Chautauqua Park and The Flatirons

  1. Love the part about not being a trail a-hole! It’s so true. It’s just like being a tourist in NYC and stopping in the middle of the sidewalk, haha. Don’t be that guy!

    1. OMG – I couldn’t stand tourists in NYC! I used to live there and had to walk through them on my way to and from work…drove me crazy!

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