Explore summer 2016 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

summer 2016 Map
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Please note that the last 1/4 of the loop is skiers only. They were kind as we snowshoed past them not realizing this, but did mention it to us. No where on this app does it say anything about this. If we had turned around it would have almost doubled our trip length and we were too tired to do so. Also, it clocked as 7 miles not 6 miles. Fortunately, on a weekday, it was not too busy , so we did not disrupt too many people.

Great scenery and plenty of snow.

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.

I like this short trail because it gives you views that compare to McAfee’s but without the mileage. It makes it perfect to go to pre- or post-eating at The Swinging Bridge. Went on Saturday afternoon and it was beautiful and completely silent with the snow on the mountain. It is a bumpy ride getting there but with a little swerving you can get around big holes.

on Royal Arch Trail

trail running
5 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.

Hiked this on a foggy, muddy Sunday morning. Despite the conditions, this was highly worth it and highly recommended. There's a decently large parking area. No restrooms at the trailhead. Very muddy and slippery right now, but all the bridges are in good shape. Hiking poles would have been nice to have. A couple of smaller trees have been blown across the trail, but the bigger trees that fell on the AT portion have been taken care of. We didn't get any views because of the weather, but it was still hauntingly beautiful. Only passed 3 other sets of people (including two rangers). Must not get much traffic on a winter Sunday.

Stats:
7.51 miles
3:09 hours

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
18 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
22 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
23 days ago

I enjoy this trail and the version of the trail that you can follow down the ladders at the first climbing access. I enjoy the alternate version better. The rugged terrain and navigating near the bottom of the cliff where you would be seeing climbers during the summer months is more exciting for me. I would recommend taking this version if you are adventurous and able to ascend and descend ladders.

hiking
25 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
26 days ago

This challenging trail intrigued me. 820 is a LOT of stairs. I had some doubts whether my knees or hips or feet or whatever would present a problem. ( I’m not no young gun anymore ) But I was not going to let that stop me. I HAD to do it. It was nowhere as bad as I thought it would be. I just broke the trip back up in to chunks ( i counted ) and took mini breaks. It was neat seeing the abandoned mining operations and and interesting facts regarding the history of the haulage ops. I have to give a LOT of credit to the West Virginians who used this trail. back in the day. They were some real badasses for sure.

P.S. I was VERY glad for every bit of training I did with the kettlebell and stairmaster prior to this hike!

November 18, 2018

hiking
26 days ago

This trail is super because you dont have to walk very far to reach Diamond Point and spectacular views. I walked it with my dogs on a Sunday and saw all walks of people of fitness and condition along the way. Was very pleasant. November 18, 2018

hiking
29 days 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.

The hike was challenging but the view was worth it!

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!!!

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike. Leg burner for sure!

We hiked connecting from McAfees Knob trail and it made for a beautiful vista as well.

What a trail! Fairly short hike but the amount of time you will spend on the cliffs enjoying the many AMAZING views will turn it into a long outing. Views of the bridge, gorge, and river are all spectacular. The cliff walls are very impressive as well with lots of rock climbers on them. One of the best hikes I’ve done this year.

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.

Hiked to Tinker Cliffs on 10/31/18 and trail was in great shape including the 2 bridges. This was my first time hiking this trail and I was very impressed with the trail and the view from the top. Took me about 1:40 to get to the top and it was worth it! I’d recommend walking another 5 minutes to the left when you get to the top for maximum view.

hiking
1 month ago

The number one thing coming from this is to pack water and be prepared to sweat. The walk down was pretty with one spot giving a nice view of the gorge, as you head down you’ll meet the mine which was very interesting. Continuing heading down the 821 1/2 steps (half a step was missing at the beginning so watch out) you’ll be met with the beautiful dilapidated mine site. Now you’ll be met with the toughest obstacle, going all the way up. It’s rough but worth it for the workout burn. Taking this again sometime later.

Pretty awesome hike close to home.

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