Explore the most popular wild flowers trails in Boulder Open Space with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Challenging hike! I did this with my husband last week and it was great. Climbed a lot more than I expected. I definitely would not take my 6 and 4 year olds on this trail. It wasn’t too crowded during the week which was nice. Gets your blood pumping!

great with kids

I hiked on a gloomy day. There are not a lot of hikers. It is a short but sweet hike. Great views up the top. Love it!

This was such an amazing hike, but be prepared to work. Started sweating 10 mins in, and I normally don’t sweat much at all! This trailhead started incline immediately, and doesn’t ever really level out at any point. However, this is my favorite hike that I’ve done by far. The views are incredible at the top. BUG SPRAY IS NECESSARY, especially at the peak. Would hike again. Make sure you are in shape to climb 2600 ft in a 2.2 mile span.

Gorgeous views from the top and it definitely got our hearts pumping!

Awesome Views! Hard hike for sure. Lots of climbing around on rocks. I suggest starting early to avoid the traffic. We started at 5:30 AM, by the time we got done the entire parking lot and side streets were packed.

on Royal Arch Trail

hiking
1 day ago

Had a cup of coffee and some toast and got to the parking lot at 6:15am and it was already packed. We paid to park there but a number of folks starting when we did recommended parking in on the street to save money. The gradual incline along the meadow at first gives a bit of false sense of security. The first third of the hike up flew by in comparison to the last two thirds which were steeper. We brought a lot of water, some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and some granola bars and we had a breakfast picnic at the top. Stunning views, worth the thigh and calf burn and sore muscles. Take it slow and enjoy the scenery, wildlife and flora. In addition to the incessant clicking it cicadas munching on the trees, we saw some interesting birds. Amazing flowers in bloom - asters, mariposa lilies, penstamon, geranium, yarrow, yucca, and of course columbine. If you bring your dog, they should be fit, comfortable climbing up and over rock piles and steep inclines, and you should definitely bring water and snacks to share to help fuel them as well. By the time we were headed down, there were huge groups heading to the top - 2 families of 5, 2 groups of 10, and a group of 20.

hiking
1 day ago

This hike is NO joke! Lots of natural steps + I would guess, about 1K feet of elevation gain in just over a mile. Some scrambling. Would recommend boots instead of tennis shoes. The arch is incredible and some great views from the top. Bring lots of water. I had 2l on a mostly overcast day and still almost ran out. Def worth it!

An awesome hike that’s close to home if you aren’t looking to drive too far for some good views. It kicked my butt, but I’ll be back!

hiking
1 day ago

Great workout, extremely steep... Hard climb, but so beautiful!!! Worth the trip!!

So much fun to do in the middle of a thunderstorm. Stupid but fun. Views are gorgeous!

Challenging but beautiful

hiking
2 days ago

This hike was extremely challenging! I loved it, it is so beautiful the scenery left me in ah. You do have to pay for parking here, it’s only 5 dollars cash only, that was the only downside.

hiking
2 days ago

amazing view at the top. the arch is way better in person than in the photos. I would recommend shoes with decent ankle support. it has uneven terrain throughout with scattered rocks everywhere. did see a bear cub about 1/4 the way up.

Awesome view, and the only thing I would have to recommend is to NOT drink the night before. Your girl was dying for air and water.

Beautiful hike. Made a wrong turn and ended up doing the canyon hike up to the next trail head and then on to Green Bear connecting to the Green Mtn trail. So glad it happened was an amazing views and the trail was a steady climb up to the trail head. Truly a hidden gem and worth the time.

Loved the view here! If you plan on getting up to the top, theres a few areas you have to climb the mountain so be prepared for that, but I'm relatively out of shape and made it!

hiking
4 days ago

First trail in CO. Blown away by the view out at the top. It says “hard” but I’m an out of shape lowlander and it really wasn’t too tough.

I got everything I wanted on this trail. A great leg workout, pretty views and not a lot of other people on the far part of the trail. I went on a Wednesday afternoon. Once you get back to ranger trail you will encounter more people but higher up it was pretty desolate. Just me and some swallowtails and lots of wildflowers.

I am in 'moderate' shape but I made a very big mistake of not drinking enough water or bringing enough water and hiked on a hot, sunny day. I found it to be between moderate and hard. HYDRATE!!!

The water stream along the trail is beautiful! Wonderful hike!

Good hike. Decent workout, especially on the incline. Don’t take the reviews commenting on stairs being a challenge lightly. I would definitely not take my four year old on this one as the footing is really tough in many spots. Felt like scrambling at times, where I felt better using my hands on the rocks to keep my balance.

Great hike to do with my dog! We did just the loop and I’d say only about 1/5 of the trail has any shade- so bring sunscreen, hat, and plenty of water! Went on a Wednesday afternoon and only saw a handful of people! Very peaceful!

Not marked well near the top, which takes away from it when you are scrambling over rocks. Slippery at first when coming back down the valley side of the trail.

hiking
4 days ago

Parking was a little bit of a struggle- but I was able to find a spot close to some public restrooms (underneath a dinning hall) which was perfect so I could go before and right after the hike. It was crowded at the trailhead but once I got going, I didn’t run across too many people. I went on a Wednesday morning around 9-9:15am. Lots of dogs on the trail! All well behaved dogs too which was great! The beginning of the trail is a paved road until you get across the grassy field- I stuck to the right going up. It turns into a dirt trail for a bit, and then comes the rocks, and then the stairs. This part was challenging and I thought it was only going to be part of the trail that was rock stairs, it’s not. It’s the majority of the trail which is rock stairs and it’s very easy to lose sight of the trail. In some parts there are no signs or definitive trail to follow. The arch itself is magnificent, and you can climb through the arch to see all of the surrounding areas and it was gorgeous. I was a little bummed because a lot of people pick their spot and sit there (in prime viewing/picture areas) for about 15-20 minutes not giving you many good picture opportunities. Going down the trail was hard on the knees but doable. I veered right (did not go down the same way I came up) when bluebell and Mesa trail met. That’s a dirt road down to paved road and then the parking lot. The trail had a lot of shady areas which was a nice surprise- I wore sunscreen but it was pretty warm out so the shade was nice, especially since going up all those stairs can leave you out of breath.

Beautiful hike so close and accessable from downtown Boulder. Very little shade along the way but great views of Boulder and beyond.

Just walking up the parking lot, I was wondering how this could be an easy trail. It is ALL incline (except when you turn around to head down obviously) This was my first time hiking/walking on a trail in Colorado. I am a little overweight but I was able to make it, the first stretch was the hardest for me. Everyone (this is a busy trail) has to take breaks to recover their breath so don’t be afraid to stop. I would rate this trail as MODERATE more than easy. I’d also say the trails that branch off from the paved Chautauqua trail were more pleasant and had gorgeous views.

do not bring a 5lb dog on this hike

hiking
5 days ago

Amazing hike!! Never hiked a day in our lives, didn’t eat prior, and had one bottled water, but made it to the top!!! Remember to bring water and some energy bars. There will be a chipmunk there waiting for them nuts!!

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