First and Second Flatirons Loop is a 4.0 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail located near Boulder, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, rock climbing, and snowshoeing and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length4.0 kmElevation gain439 mRoute typeLoop
HikingRock climbingSnowshoeingRunningDog friendlyForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyScramble
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Getting There

The Flat Irons are beautiful sandstone rock slabs that are iconic to Boulder's scenery. There are five flatirons on the western side of Boulder. The route on this page takes you to two of the most popular. There are two trailheads for this route. The route shown on this page has the hiker starting at the Chautauqua Trailhead. A little to the east is the Enchanted Mesa Trailhead. This trail can be rocky, and there is some scrambling involved. In the winter, this route is much more difficult requiring spikes and route-finding experience.

There are restrooms and a tourist information center at the trailhead.

Boulder Open Space phone number: (303) 441-3440

This trail gets incredibly crowded, so get there early!

Directions from Highway 36: Take the Baseline Road exit and travel west toward the mountains. Follow Baseline Road 1.5 miles passed the entrance for Chautaugua Park to the Gregory Canyon Trailhead. Turn left into the parking lot on a dirt road. A parking fee is charged at this trailhead for vehicles not registered in Boulder County or not displaying a Boulder Resident Permit. Permits can be obtained at the trailhead or at the Chautaugua Park Rangers Cottage.

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Reviews (1,654)
Photos (2,761)
Activities (1,057)
Completed (6,586)
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Endiya McDaniel
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Hiking

great hike. steep inclines. lots of rock scramble.

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Paraksh Vankawala
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Hiking

Incredible!

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John Pareizs
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Hiking

dry no snow or ice. we simply headed up the sort of paved trail and followed the blue arrows at intersections.

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Cassandra Hodge
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HikingIcyScrambleSnow

Beautiful. Busy. Some snowy/icy spots, though others managed in tennis shoes. It’s lovely up there as there are plenty of different side trails to take to avoid the crowds after leaving the loops.

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Alexandra Reggi
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Hiking

It was beautiful. Trail got confusing to follow at times, and I couldn’t find the loop trail, so I just did out and back. Needed micro spikes for some areas!

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Wiley Underwood
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Hiking

Fun! A little snowy and slippery on mud at times

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Andrew Komornik
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Hiking

Need microspikes

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Lydia Bertels
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Hiking

Beautiful hike, ending up being 4 miles total with the Chautauqua Trail (very busy there). Micro spikes needed for some areas near the top. Watched some people make it without but they were struggling. Some scrambling involved.

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Travis Camp
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Hiking

Awesome view at the top- superrrr icy today so be careful & wear spikes ! Ended up doing the full larger flat iron loop, the rest was pretty moderate

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sam adams
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Hiking

beautiful trail! spikes were helpful but not needed. a bit muddy in some spots.

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Melia Polynice
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Hiking

Icy on the Royal Arch - definitely need traction. Started around 9:30. It wasn’t busy at all. Parking lot was filling up when I left at noon. Weekdays are the best times.

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Brittany Hines
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HikingScrambleSnow

Lots of people from Chataqua taking the loop. Got a little slippery / snowy here and there but I wouldn’t say spikes are necessary. Wish there were more mountainous views (views are mostly down at the city) but a fun little scramble at points nonetheless.

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Cynthia Rasmussen
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HikingIcySnow

Definitely need spikes. Very icy and slick. Beautiful hike, not too many people, everyone was friendly.

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Ann Berry
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Hiking

Spikes are incredibly helpful!!

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Julia Callahan
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HikingIcy

Hiked in the early afternoon on 3/22. The trail was snowy, icy, slushy and a little muddy in different places but manageable in hiking boots without spikes, though they may be helpful. The trees lining the trail are beautiful covered in snow, but due to clouds today the flatirons weren’t very visible. Still worth it! Great quick hike and good exercise too!

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David Hu
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Hiking

Slushy and icy at top

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Adam Francisco
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Hiking
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Jessica Muniz
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Hiking
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Brigitte P
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HikingIcyMuddySnow

Beautiful trails and definitely worth the views. We went yesterday and it was pretty icy and muddy. If you’re going: bring spikes! You will definitely need it. The trails were also super busy, doesn’t look like a lot of people were able to pass the ice and stopped right as the paved path stopped, but regardless it was super busy.

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Becca Novak
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Hiking

Bring spikes!!!! If you don’t have them, buy them! 100% worth it to not be slipping all over the trail (especially on the way down). Doable in 2ish hours with spikes. Views are awesome.

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Josh Greer
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Hiking
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John Urbaitis
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Hiking
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Lena Rivas
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Hiking

great trail we ended up have to go back missed the turn to the Flatiron but overall not to bad, packed snow some icy areas on the way up then plenty of slush way down we had trail up to 1stFlatiron all to ourselves till we got up to 2nd then it started to get busy was beautiful bluebird sky's great views from up top !! highly recommend

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Veronica Lugo
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HikingGreat!

Nice, steep a bit

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