If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you would know that I’ve never really spent any extended amount of time in Colorado – although it’s been on my bucket list! So, on a recent work trip in Colorado, I spent a day hiking in a nearby park: Chautauqua Park.
Chautauqua Park is located just outside of Boulder, Colorado, near the University of Colorado – Boulder. In fact, I drove right by it! It’s quite a pretty campus. It’s just outside of the Rocky Mountains and Rocky Mountain National Park (which is another dream vacation and location to hike!).
It’s actually a National Historic Landmark, established in 1898!
When I first arrived at this park, I expected it to just be a trailhead with a parking lot, but was so surprised! This park is multidimensional – there’s a traditional park with grass areas and picnic tables and bathrooms and so much more, which was super busy on the day that I visited, along with the actual mountain hiking. When you visit during specific times, parking is free, and there’s lots of nearby street parking in the surrounding neighborhoods.
The first hike that I walked is the most popular hike in the park: Chautauqua Trail. The out-and-back hike is 1.2 miles long and there were so many people on this trail – one of the busiest I’ve ever been on. It’s not a very long trail, but definitely a workout and good hike if you’re on a time crunch.
It takes you through beautiful meadows at the base of the mountain, where you can see the Flatirons (big boulders on the mountain) and start to see some of the city of Boulder.
This trail was quite difficult, if I’m honest. That first half mile when you’re out in the direct sun, no shade, and it’s a pretty steep incline. I’m from Florida as well, where our elevation is sea level, so any type of elevation, especially above 5,000 feet, hits me pretty hard. I just took it slow, focused on my breathing, and… I made it to the top!
At the top, the views from this trail are truly beautiful. You can see all of Boulder and the surrounding landscape.
Overall, I LOVED this hike and Chautauqua Park! Chautauqua Trail is a really great workout and this park has some really fun and dynamic hikes. If you have difficulty with elevation or going uphill, it might be challenging for you, however, there were a few families and older individuals who made it to the top so it’s possible!
After I hiked Chautauqua Trail, I went on a few more, so stay tuned for more!
Thank you for reading! Have you ever visited Chautauqua Park? Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it!