Explore Boulder, CO Potentials - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Boulder, CO Potentials Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Went early Sunday morning (12/9). Microspikes would have been nice, but by no means did you NEED them. 90% of the hikers were wearing tennis shoes (including me). Just take it slow if you are nervous about slipping.

on Royal Arch Trail

trail running
8 days ago

On a beautiful Sunday, it was relatively calm and I had the trail to myself for large portions of the trip although traffic increased toward late morning. Packed snow after the final creek crossing and used traction for most of the ascent. Removed for the downclimbing rock scramble 'cause the rocks were clear then put them back on for the last portion to the Arch. Repeated on the descent.

hiking
15 days ago

Not a terrible trail! Did it today seeking a trek with little/no snow and no hikers on same route. Saw one person trekking up what looked to be 510.1D from afar, but otherwise completely alone, which is hard to find in the busy front range. Moderate is a good rating: it’s mostly consistent light/mid pitches, but no scrambling required. Majority of trail is imprinted by dirt bikers, which would probably ruin the experience. Views are rewarding, but essentially the same as Sugarloaf mtn, so think of it as an extended sugarloaf with more isolation and 4x distance/effort.

No permanent water along the route, but 1 liter was more than enough for me. I expect it to have heavy snow within a month, but should still be manageable with good boots and no crampons. Took about an hour up and 35 down.

Parking is almost non existent, and few vehicles will be able to get to a small turn around that exists a few hundred feet up the trail. I parked between the entrance and mailboxes, 3’ off the road. There is an old homesite about a quarter/half mile up, but no one lives here. You know you’re on the right track by using gps to find the trailhead and a small doghouse at the entrance, that currently has a little American flag on it.

Enjoy!

Climbed 11/11/18 - If you regularly climb high peaks like me then you will barely get warmed up by the time your standing on the summit. That said this mountain is great for certain experiences. For example, I hiked this during a mellow snow storm with 6 inches of snow on the ground and it provided a magical experience to share with my wife (which is what we wanted). This is a fantastic hike, to take someone who doesn't do big hikes, for a quick but beautiful experience.

trail running
17 days ago

Decent trail/path, but very busy in a number of ways -- not always courteous bikers, pot-heads near the park, city walkers taking up the whole path, and the busy road along side. So, it sort-of suffers from being too close to a city, but nice enough to get a little outside.

been there twice last 2 weeks.
bring microspikes. it will make your hike safer and easier. by the end is windy, amazing views. few people hiking it in November.

hiking
21 days ago

Great hike! Yaktraxs are an absolute must as a majority of the trail is covered in ice. Make sure you take your time; we saw some people slip and fall and it’s easy to get hurt. Although they weren’t wearing spikes those that were were still using caution. It’s well worth it once you get to the top!

hiking
25 days ago

Some mud but not problematic. A little past halfway we put on micro spikes for slush/ice/packed snow. After that, just before the arch, we came to a stretch where we stopped to take the spikes off. There were more hikers up there today, Thanksgiving, without spikes than with, but we were happy we brought them and others commented they wish they had them. It would have been a slower hike with lots of slipping especially on the steep parts.

Wasn’t hard to follow the trail but use the All Trails app to stay on track as there are some ambiguous forks.

Parking lot is crazy busy with fees required in summer months. Restrooms are at ranger station at the parking lot trailhead. Busy at the lower section, lots of dogs.

Arch is cool and worth the trek, wouldn’t rave about the view - just the front range with former Rocky Flats site at center stage. Views of Boulder are nice as you come back to parking lot.

Very pretty. Slick in a lot of places. Was easier with spikes on.

hiking
27 days ago

Impossible without spikes. The trail is ice the entire way. On the plus side, the views are awesome, and we were the only people on what is a normally very busy trail.

hiking
1 month ago

A great short hike. A little icy in places after snow.

hiking
1 month ago

Tough trail for beginners. Definately a good workout. This is also a very popular trail.

Awesome hike. Not overwhelming hard but tough for moderately in-shape folks. Mostly climbing steps. Gorgeous view at the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Trail was not super tough. I would highly recommend using spikes. I did not and was fine. Just watch where you’re stepping. Though my wife did use spikes and said she felt much more comfortable coming back down. There was an incident with a dislocated hip. Not sure if it was from a fall or whatnot, but it is better to be safe than sorry. As you get further up trail you run between dry land/rocks and icy areas. The end is def worth the hike up. Just be careful!!!

on Royal Arch Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike. Leg burner for sure!

hiking
1 month ago

Good, easy hike - little surprised to see it was moderate. Nice views! Only negative was a good chunk of the drive up was unpaved, and it had rain/snowed so an unanticipated muddy car.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail. well maintained and not much traffic on the trail today because of the cold may be. But the parking lot is full as there are lot of trails starting at the same place. I have parked on a close by street. It snowed a bit while I was there and it was beautiful

sick trail

large crowds, leg burner, beautiful trail and views

hiking
1 month ago

not your average trail. stairway to heaven. seemed longer than 3 miles. arch was stunning, view of boulder and denver as well. very crowded. leg burner. loved it. bring toilet paper, i found free parking away from main lot.

hiking
1 month ago

My favorite trail in Boulder. I do it several times a year in all different seasons. Traction is definitely a good idea in winter. Can be crowded. It is steep. But I still love it. On clear days, one can see out the expansive eastern plains, and the city of Denver in the distance appears very small and isolated.

Pretty awesome hike close to home.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a lovely hike, quite the ass kicker at the very end. Good workout and a wonderful view at the end.

Beautiful vista from up top. Definitely worth the rocky climb.

nice

Started at trail head around 930. Was pretty packed at the arch but a great hike. Some challenging switchbacks for people like us that live at sea level. Take plenty of water!!! Gorgeous views of the flatirons and surrounding valley. The arch is absolutely stunning. Will do again when I come back to the Denver/Boulder area.

hiking
1 month ago

Went on a Saturday morning (10/20) around 9:00. Wasn't busy on the way up but packed on the way down. Challenging hike but nice views at the top and the arch is very cool.

Favorite trail in Boulder!

hiking
1 month ago

Rewarding Trail for steep ascend and rocky terrain.
Hiked on 20/10 with no snow, good footing.
Large crowds on the trail but very friendly people.

trail running
1 month ago

It’s short but a very fun and rewarding workout. Great views from the top. Hop on the Switzerland trail at the trailhead if you want to add on some mileage.

Load More