I recently wrote about an incredible hike in Chautauqua Park that went on near Boulder, Colorado: Chautauqua Trail. This was the first time that I’d taken a hike in Colorado and it did not disappoint! This blog post is kind of a continuation of that hike because after I completed the first half of the Chautauqua Trail, I went on the Flatirons Loop Trail.
In case you’re unfamiliar, Chautauqua Park is located just outside of Boulder, Colorado, near the University of Colorado – Boulder. In fact, I drove right by the campus, which is quite pretty. The park is located just outside of the Rocky Mountains and Rocky Mountain National Park, and is actually a National Historic Landmark, established in 1898.
If you want to learn more about my initial thoughts and experience at Chautauqua Park, be sure to check out my first blog on the park, where I go into more detail on its amenities and parking details.
As I mentioned at the beginning, the first hike that I walked is the most popular hike in the park: Chautauqua Trail. This trail is the busiest trail in the park, Flatiron Loop being its second most popular. This loop is only 0.5 miles long and takes you up to the base of the Flatirons – three boulders spearing out from the top of the mountain. Not much elevation gain (the worst part is hiking Chautauqua Trail and getting to the trailhead), so once I was up there, it wasn’t too bad.
This trail is meant to be a bit more difficult than Chautauqua Trail, classified as “medium” difficulty, and I agree. It is 100% more adventurous as well, and not for those who have difficulty climbing rocks and boulders.
There’s a portion of the hike where you have to climb up a few boulders, and another section that just turns into a boulder field that you have to cross. They made a “trail” with flat-topped boulders for that section, but it’s still precarious and can be easy to lose the path of boulders. BUT, the views are absolutely gorgeous. You can see the city of Boulder in the distance.
Towards the middle of the hike, you finally reach one of the Flatirons. If you’re skilled, some people actually climbed the rock, although I’m not experienced with rock climbing and just took an awkward selfie as proof that I made it to the top.
Overall, I LOVED this hike and Chautauqua Park! This trail was really fun and adventurous, and with the bouldering, was one of the most fun and dynamic hikes I’ve been on. If you have difficulty with elevation or bouldering, it might not be for you. There were a few older kids and families on this hike, but no little ones or older individuals.
After I hiked Chautauqua Trail and Flatiron Loop, 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!