First and Second Flatirons, Boulder
On the Chautauqua Park trailhead, you’re ideally captivated by the quick view of Boulder’s iconic landmark: the Flatirons, these slanting, geologic marvels in opposition to the forested mountainside. Extra seemingly right here, you’re hassling with parking.
In the summertime, good luck getting a spot. Your chances are high higher within the winter.
“You’ll see loads of different hikers in winter, too, particularly on heat days,” reads a path description on the town’s official tourism web site, “however it’s a superb time to get out on these widespread trails whereas there are fewer crowds.”
That’s the phrase on the steered trek to the First and Second Flatirons, because the formations are identified. Dealing with them from the Chautauqua Park trailhead, the primary is farthest to the appropriate (north), with the second simply to the left. The vacation spot of this journey is the scenic slot between them.
Due to how well-marked the path system is, you gained’t have an issue discovering your means. We just lately discovered that to be the case even amid the jumbled talus area reached in a few mile; the trail was clear, trampled within the snow.
Begin on the broad Chautauqua Path, steadily ascending the meadow into the tall woods. That is the warm-up for a sustained climb. On the junction with Bluebell Path, you’ll proceed uphill, coming to a different marked junction, the place you’ll flip proper for the talus area.
The switchbacks proceed to spots the place you may cease for a break within the shade of the Flatirons. The views east embody the College of Colorado’s terracotta-defined campus and metropolis reservoirs. The prize awaits larger: a transparent look west on the Continental Divide.
Journey log: 2.6 miles spherical journey (out and again), 1,402 toes elevation achieve, 7,152 toes max
Getting there: Off Interstate 25 in Denver, take U.S. 36 west towards Boulder. Exit for Baseline Street and switch left on the street, continuing 1.4 miles to Chautauqua Park.
FYI: Parking closed between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Mountaineering and horses allowed on most trails within the Chautauqua community. Canines on leash. Icy in winter; put on traction.
SETH BOSTER, THE GAZETTE