Hiking the Flatiron Vista Trail near Boulder, Colorado is a great way to see where the mountains meet the plains. I hiked this trail in early August of 2020 and found it to be nice, easy and peaceful!
The Flatirons near Boulder stand out majestically in contrast with the plains. They are slanted traingular rock formations that resemble the bottom of a clothes iron. There are five of them and they set the background behind Boulder, Colorado. They are part of the foothills you will see where the plains end and the mountains begin.
The Flatiron Vista Trail is located south of Boulder along Highway 93. The trailhead is very easy to find. The parking lot is fairly good size and there were plenty of spaces when I was there late in the morning. There is a $5 charge and the envelope system is used. There were no envelopes when I was there so I inserted my money and then put a note in my window saying I paid but no envelope. Either no one checked or they were ok with that as I did not receive a fine.
The Flatiron Vista Trail
The Flatiron Vista Trail is a 3.3 mile loop trail that is rated as easy. There is very little elevation gain and the path is basically a narrow dirt road. This is a great trail to just enjoy a walk on. The only bad part is there is very little shade.
Flatiron Vista North
Due to Covid and social distancing, there were signs advising everyone should follow the trail to the right, so that is what I did.
This part of the trail is the only elevation I noticed and it was very mild. All in all, I enjoyed walking through the prairie and seeing the Flatirons become closer. In addition, the wildflower were also nice to see. I will admit though, it was hot. Totally exposed to the sun here so I was glad I had a hat and lots of water. I was actually surprised there were more hikers than I thought on the trail.
Less than a quarter of a mile after you start you will see a path veer to the left, this is the Prairie View Trail. If you follow this you will cut across the prairie to the Flatiron Vista Trail South and shorten your hike to 1.9 miles. I continued on the longer path.
About a mile from the trailhead, you will notice you can hike straight, into the valley below or take a left. Taking a left will let you follow the Flatiron Vista Loop. If you decide to hike down towards the valley you will follow the Doudy Draw Trail. I decided to continue with my plan but I am guessing that most people followed the Doudy Draw Trail since I did not see another hiker on the trail once I turned left. I did snap a couple of pictures of the area past the Doudy Draw Trail and it looks pretty amazing!
Flatiron Vista South
Before turning south, yet following the trail, you will hike through a forest area with views of the mountains peaking out at you.
The shade felt good but unfortunately the reprieve did not last long and once again I was back in the hot sun on the prairie. Consequently, the best views were behind me. Following forward, there was mostly grass in front of me and I could also see the highway. Since it was really hot, I was happy to see the parking lot getting closer!
Shortly before the end of the trail, there was a small unnamed pond. It didn’t look like much until I was up close. The mountains reflected in the pond so it was a nice little bonus in the middle of all the grass!
While there were no “ooh or aah” moments on this trail and not much adventure, it was a nice walk in a beautiful area. Some day, when I visit Boulder, I may hike the Flatiron Vista Trail again because I am curious about the Doudy Draw Trail and wonder where it will lead me to!
Colorado Chelsea, Hikes and Travels in Colorado and Beyond is a great resource for hiking in Colorado. In fact, Chelsea lives in Colorado and has blogged about her many different hikes giving great information on each.
All Trails. All trails is a hiking App that gives information on most every hike known. In addition, you can use this app to get an idea of where or what type of hike you want to do. Directions to the trails are available also.