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“Acres of beauty”
Review of Chautauqua Park

Chautauqua Park
Ranked #2 of 139 things to do in Boulder
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Originally established in 1898 to bring culture to rural areas, this beautiful park hosts cultural events, features rock climbing sites, lovely gardens and picnic areas and is the starting point for many hiking trails.Year-round lodging, dining and events available.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Acres of beauty”
Reviewed May 28, 2013

For anything from a picnic on the incredible green, a quick stop at great restaurant, a few hours or a whole day of hiking, this is a wonderful, versatile stop if you are going through Boulder, CO -- don't miss it. We even decided it was worth springing for a night at the cottage just to be there early in the morning (though they sell out in season, we were lucky to find an opening).

Visited May 2013
Thank EllBell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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924 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Vienna, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
250 reviews
141 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 459 helpful votes
“Hiking the Royal Arch Trail”
Reviewed May 25, 2013

I spent a wonderful half day hiking the 3.2 mile round trip trail to Royal Arch. The trail begins at the Chautauqua Park Trail-head with the beautiful Flatirons of Boulder before you. This is a hike that is a steady uphill climb (1000 feet of elevation gain) that also requires some scrambling over rocks. Remember, if you are not used to the elevation, you will be huffing and puffing a bit more as you make your way up. It is shaded much of the way (use sunscreen anyway), and offers views of the flatirons, pine forest, and a scampering chipmunk or two before taking you to the breathtaking views surrounding the arch. BRING MORE WATER THAN YOU THINK YOU NEED; I did not bring enough, and got dehydrated. A walking stick would be helpful too. Also make note: I arrived at 0700 on a weekday and found the parking lot fairly empty, but by the time I departed at 1100, the lot was overflowing and spilling into the surrounding streets. Lots of hikers brought their dogs with them.

Here are some landmarks that will help you gauge your progress. These were taken off a hiking website for the trail:
--Park near the Ranger (visitor) Cottage to access the trail-heads
--Make sure you start on Bluebell Road (left as you climb the stairs to the trail-head)
-- .6 miles: stay to right to remain on Bluebell Road and avoid accessing the Mesa Trail split - keep right on Bluebell Rd
-- .7 miles: Begin Royal Arch Trail
-- .9 miles: Flatirons spur, stay on route to Royal Arch
-- 1.2 miles : Break away from gulch, climb steepens
-- 1.35 miles : Sentinel Pass (you will think you made it to the top, but NOPE)…more steep up and down for another .3 miles
-- 1.6 miles: Royal Arch

Visited May 2013
22 Thank spontaneoustrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“"Site" to See!”
Reviewed May 22, 2013

We were in a rush, so we weren't able to stay longer than 15 minutes, but even in such a short amount of time, we fell in love with Chautauqua Park. A must see. Our 5 and 10 year olds enjoyed it too.

Visited September 2012
Thank PinoyMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Holiday, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
161 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Just opened a diner in the park!”
Reviewed May 21, 2013

Went for a lite luch had delicious carrot soup and homemade dressings. Great remodle a little loud when full of people. A must see and try.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank Julianamar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Beautiful view of the flat irons”
Reviewed May 19, 2013

Chatauqua Park is a very beautiful park with multiple trails to choose from. Walking poles will be helpful but we were fine without them. We did the enchanted mesa, mesa trail and bluebell. We passed by the streams and had an increased opportunity to see animals. The McClintock trail was closed due to a mother bear and her two cubs being on the trail. There are some steep areas but manageable and flatten out if you take your time. It is well worth it. We hiked to the rock quarry which is awesome at the top especially the views of the city and the chairs made of flagstone for a moment or two to enjoy the sites. Right now there are many spring flowers, the evergreens look great with only one seen that appeared to be dying possibly form the beetle or from other causes. There are bathroom which were clean when we were there. There are many opportunities and you can decide to hike for thirty minutes or 8 hours. Bring water and drink lots if you are not used to the altitude. I would not recommend sandals for this hike. One of the prettiest places for hiking.

Visited May 2013
Thank drivebymama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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