Boulder, Colorado has some amazing hikes and one of them is the Flatirons Loop Trail. We had just started our 2020 September road trip and reached Boulder mid-afternoon. We of course were ready for a quick hike to acclimate a bit to the altitude. The Second Flatiron Loop seemed perfect.
To access the Flatirons Loop Trail you need to park at Chautauqua Park in Boulder. There you will find the trailhead. We followed to the right of the Flatirons Loop and we continued to the right back to our car at Chautauqua Park.
Hiking the Flatirons Loop Trail
|We started at the Chautauqua Trailhead and after taking some photos from the Flatirons View Point we followed the path to the right. The Loop is a combination of trails starting with the Chautauqua Trail, then the Flatirons Loop Trail and finally the Bluebell Road. There are many other trails that split off from these trails. From where we parked we marked this hike at 3 miles. In general, I would consider it an easy to moderate hike.|
The Chautauqua Trail
|This part of the loop was easy hiking with plenty of views of the Flatirons peaking through the forrest. In addition, the trail was a typical dirt trail with some rocks. It was moderately busy when we were here. The Chautauqua Trail turns into the Flatirons Loop. You also can access the out and back trail of the First/Second Flatiron Trail from here.|
First/Second Flatiron Trail
|This 0.8 mile (each way) is an out and back trail that takes you closer to the Flatirons. We were meeting my son and his wife for dinner so we only hiked a bit of this as we were pressed for time. This trail is tougher than the Loop with more elevation and rocks. We hiked over an area of rocks and found a good spot for a photo before turning back to the Loop trail. We will have to finish this another time!|
Back on the Flatirons Loop Trail
|Once back on the Flatirons trail wee passed some rock climbers. It looked like quite a climb but we had no desire to do this! This part of the trail was a bit more rocky but it was fun.|
|ou will start descending and hike through mostly forrest until you come across a boardwalk and then the Bluebell Picnic Shelter and Restroom. From here you will connect to Bluebell Road, pass the Chautauqua area and connect back to the trailhead. To explain, the Chautauqua area was built in the 1890’s and was a type family retreat escape area. This historic place emphasized culture and arts and still continues today. In addition, many of the historic buildings are still here.|
|The Flatirons Loop is another great trail we loved in Boulder Colorado. Not to mention it is the perfect trail to acclimate to Colorado.|
You can also follow more of our Colorado posts at these links:
The Grottos, Aspen, Colorado October 2020
Silver Lake, Telluride, Colorado October 2020
Odessa and Fern Lakes Aug 2020
St Mary’s Glacier Hike Aug 2017
Independence, Colorado October 2020
Our Rocky Mountain National Park Trip Aug 2018
My Favorite Colorado Road Trip Aug 2016
17 thoughts on “Flatirons Loop Trail-Boulder, Colorado”
Those slabs are amazing and I can see how they would attract the rock climbers. My son enjoys climbing. Me, if I can’t walk it, I don’t do it. A great introduction to hiking at altitude. I recall our first few hikes after arriving in Arizona/Utah left us a bit breathless. It was only at Bryce, where we realized why. Thanks for sharing Lori. Have a great day. Allan
Thanks for reading, Allan! I am not a rock climber either. My son has done a bit but I get anxious just watching climbers! We too get breathless on our first few hikes of each trip out west. We try to start small. Glad my son lives where there are some great trails to acclimate. Take care! Lori
Wow, what a beautiful place to explore on foot, Lori. I love a short but scenic trail with views across the plains. The highest mountain in Sligo is around 500m so we don’t really have a chance to go on a proper hike and that’s why Colorado with its stunning peaks is on my travel wish list. Thanks for sharing and have a good day. Aiva 🙂
Hi Aiva! I too love these short trails that pack a punch with scenery! Hope you get to Colorado soon!! Lori
looks like a great hike, with some beautiful views along the way. Boulder is one of my favorite cities, but the only hiking we did was the urban one, down Pearl Street… 🙂
I love Boulder as well!! Pearl Street is such a perfect place to wander!!
It’s been a long time since I’ve been there, but I have such vivid memories of how much we enjoyed it there…
The fourth photo in the series is just lovely. The trail leads into a beautiful scene, and I’d love to see this place in person.
Thanks. We really enjoy this area!
Great photos! But it is funny, my favorite is of the water fountain! (I worked for the water dept for 37 years)
I thought the water fountain was pretty cool!!!
I attempted to hike to the Flatirons whilst in Colorado over two years ago, but I didn’t make it past the slanted, loose rocks (as you’d pictured), due to fear of slipping and sliding. What a shame, though, as getting up close to even one of the Flatirons would’ve been lovely! All the same, I still found the peaks in the distance a pleasure to view and photograph, and it definitely is a worthwhile hike to check out!
This area is so great for hiking! So many different trails to follow with great views of the peaks!
Love this trail! We love hiking and must check this out one day I am out there. xx
It is a fun trail!!! I am thinking next time I hike I will make a batch of sesame bars to snack on the trail! 😃
My niece is moving to Fort Collins…which looks to be about 1 1/2 hours from there. She enjoys hiking, so I’m going to send her the link to your article. My bucket list just keeps getting longer and longer…
Fort Collins is such a great area. One of the places we are looking at when we retire in a few years!!