I cannot even describe how grateful and happy I was to be at Chautauqua and hiking in July! I'm a native Texan and have been living in Dallas for 13 years now. Hiking (especially in the summer) is pretty much completely out of the question for us Dallasites. It's more than 100 degrees everyday, and the few parks we have are small and too far outside the city.
Chautaqua Park itself is simply breathtaking, full of people and life with views of the mountains, and the trailhead from the park leads to what seems like an endless supply of well-marked trails. All leashed dogs are welcome, and if you attend the City of Boulder's "Sight and Voice Control" training and certification program, dogs are allowed off-leash on the trails. That is akin to heaven on earth for me! Parking at the trailhead is ample, and you can walk as long or short as you wish. Take plenty of water, as the dry conditions easily dehydrate. We took about an hour and a half hike at mid-day and then went to a coffee shop and later to dinner. It was an amazing day that I will never forget. If you enjoy active vacations, I would say that this park is absolutely not-to-miss! And, it's all free!
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