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

Scenic Map

Did this yesterday 3/16/18. The last part of the hike was challenging not wearing snow shoes given the incline and the fresh snow from the day before, but well worth the view of the lake at the end. Snow was pretty packed for the most part thought the trail, but there were some really lose spots that will make it difficult. Definitely easily doable with snow shoes, but absolutely possible with out.

1 day ago

This is my year round, go to exercise Loop. It is pretty enough with wildflowers and not difficult.

There is a fee to park for non Boulder residents. This is due to the surrounding towns not implementing open space and collecting taxes and those residents using the Boulder Valley areas. if you don't like to pay to park either pay taxes or go to another town. There is plenty.

Fills up on weekends.

Beautiful views. A nice easy, fairly flat trail. Dog friendly and not overly crowded. Parking fills up quick and there is $5 fee if you aren't a Boulder county resident.

The trail is still somewhat icy at the moment. But if you have your spikes, this is a fun, fairly quick hike that will get your heart rate up and reward you with a gorgeous view from the arch at the top.

3/14/18 - today was warm, about mid 60's, so there wasn't any ice at the top. A few sections of the packed show was a little wet and slippery, but not difficult at all. I had brought microspikes just in case and didn't need to use them.

3 days ago

I hiked in tennis shoes so a few parts were slick, but overall a solid hike! Go early in the morning (8ish) to have the trail to yourself.

It is a good hike with views along the entire trail. There are many rock formations along the trail where people stop to boulder. It is pretty steep on the way up, but was more gradual on the back side of the mountain. The peak was fairly crowded, even on a Wednesday. Overall I enjoyed the hike.

4 days ago

Awesome hike! Great views, great workout !

Beautiful view! A decent climb. DEFINITELY need to have your spikes with you for some parts. Very icy near the beginning of the Arch trail and just before you get to the Royal Arch. If you have walking sticks or gloves for holding onto rocks etc then I recommend that also. I was very scared of going down but I have never walked on an icy trail/never ice-skated or been skiing so it was a whole new experience for me. Other people were running up and down there - making sure to step on the rocks and dry parts. I’m so glad I did it though.

Did this hike with my 12 year old daughter. Started around 10:00 am and it wasn't very busy. Got to the top and took in the view for a few minutes. Made it back down around 11:30 and it was considerably busier. Great hike, strenuous but not difficult. there was some icy spots (mid March) so be careful. Great day hike, I recommend it.

5 days ago

Great trail near the park entrance. There is still snow and some ice in the last half mile before the lake as of 3/11.

Spikes needed once you hit the spur to the arch.

6 days ago

Hiked 3/12. Only used microspikes. No wind. Lots of people for a Monday hike. Nice views

6 days ago

Awesome views! Be prepared for ice at this time and a steep climb. Very rewarding hike!!

6 days ago

Royal arches was absolutely stunning. Highly recommend to anyone although be warned it is icy in some spots as of (3/11). Definitely work the trek!

Awesome! Hard packed snow the whole way. No need for snowshoes and I only threw on my Yak Tracks on the decent from The Loch which is the steepest part of the hike. Very beautiful surroundings and views. If you still have some gas after reaching The Loch, swing by Mills Lake on the way back to the TH, you will not be disappointed with the extra stop! I’ll definitely be back in the Spring/Summer.

8 days ago

3/10/2018 Saturday: The weather has been in the mid-60s this week, and the high was 53 today, so it was a beautiful day for this hike. Despite that, there was a decent amount of ice on this trail and I would HIGHLY recommend microspikes. I only used them on certain portions of the trail, but they were crucial, particularly in the area right below the arch. Everyone who I encountered that day fell and slipped on the ice.

This hike is in Chatauqua Park and there is a large parking lot. There is a map of the area at the trailhead and a ranger station. Even in the off season, I passed about 15 people on this hike and I started at 5pm, so I imagine it is much more heavily used in the spring and summer.

Not so much moderate. More hard. Approaching the loop and heading to the right you have a slight grade for a mile which is deceiving. Boulders ahead! Pretty challenging for me and my Cattle Dog.

8 days ago

An amazing hike but very slippery ice patches

8 days ago

Did this hike on 2/11. Snow pack on trial was good and micro spikes were plenty sufficient, could have even probably done without them but the trail did become slightly less packed the closer it got to the lake. By the time we came back, a lot of the snow had started to melt and getting muddy. Overall amazing and had a blast! Went to the outfitters store in Estes afterwards and picked up my badge :)

9 days ago

3/8-3/9 2018

You need traction from Bear Lake to Lake Helene. Trail is hard packed and slick for most of the way to the Flattop junction. After that I'd recommend snowshoes simply because if you step outside the narrow line of hard pack you are in for a surprise posthole. Winds and snow night of 3/8 scoured off many long stretches of visible signs of the trail past the banana bowl.

Grace Falls is absolutely massive this year. Did not venture down to Odessa. The gorge looked like a deathtrap.

Gorgeous winter hike. Tough with the extra mileage due to the road closure. Definitely bring snow shoes.

13 days ago

A hike right around boulder admits the flatirons. Pretty neat trail. Majority of trail is incline up. We started on Chautauqua and went left til we made it to royal arch trail. Lots of step type, fairly steep. Definitely very icy and would recommend spikes. People were sliding in certain parts. The rock is your friend for foot grip. Did it in boots but those with spikes seemed like ice wasn’t as much of a challenge. View is spectacular.

13 days ago

Did the hike with the family last weekend. Lovely views and good workout. End of February is icy towards the top, so I recommend crampons.

Very popular, mostly college kids and we were the oldest at 64 yrs. However I would not say it was moderate at all, but hard! High stepping up log”stair master “ and mostly knee high boulder climbing. Pretty views and really nice at the summit. Two hrs up and one to get down for us. Big wind gusts and temp drop coming down, but sunny. Ran into two rangers who said this should be labeled hard. Many dogs, so that’s always a plus! My dog loved it and worn out today! So if you are older with compromised knees, it will kick your butt. But we were proud to finish! Didn’t go down the other side as heard it’s still icy/ loose gravel in that side.

Great workout and a very cool ending with the rock structure and the views of the city! I would %100 recommend doing this with YakTraks minimum until there's a few more warmer days, I wish I had spikes because that whole trail was icy, snowy stairs today! A few people somehow got up with just tennis shoes but that descent was going to be miserable. Definitely a good trail to start working up to difficult trails since it's shorter so you don't get super overwhelmed! Also the park has pretty decent parking but it does fill up fast!

We only did a portion of the hike. The wind picked up and it got to be a little much. I would definitely go during the week. Parking was full in the lot and we had to park quite a ways down the street so that is the only reason for 4 vs 5 stars! I will be back to do the whole loop!

14 days ago

Hiked in mid January 2018. Microspikes would have been helpful for the last mile before the lake as the grade kicks up.

Beautiful hike. Did it back in February with crampons and snow.

Load More