Royal Arch Trail

HARD 1880 reviews
#1 of 98 trails in

Royal Arch Trail is a 3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Boulder, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
3.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,377 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

snow

Start on Chautauqua trail by the ranger station. After crossing a grassy meadow you enter a pine forest. Start paying attention to signs for Royal Arch as a number of other trails branch off. You know you're going the right way when you get to the flagstone staircase.

hiking
7 days ago

Great hike and beautiful views. You need spikes and poles are handy. Dress warm.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
7 days ago

If anyone says you don’t need micro spikes, don’t believe them. Lots of ice and patches of packed snow. We brought 2 pairs of micro spikes for 3 people. I often slid down the trail on my butt to be safe because it was so slick.

hiking
rocky
snow
10 days ago

hiking
rocky
snow
11 days ago

Loved this trail. I went after a fresh snow and it was really tough toward the end. Some spots I was knee deep in snow. I used warmers in my boots and gloves and that really helped, it was so cold! Absolutely stunning views! I’d also like to use spikes next time, I slipped so many times. The accomplishment and views were worth the effort.

hiking
snow
13 days ago

Beautiful hike, worth the workout of getting up. It was, however, pretty slippery without spikes, I wouldn’t recommend doing it without them. Overall, great time!

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
18 days ago

Good hike, tough up the rocks near the end. Had some spots that were really icing and tough to maneuver on. Will do in summer next.

hiking
muddy
snow
19 days ago

Fun Hike. Definitely worth the view. Very icy; recommend spikes, but it is possible without as we did today. We did the 1st/2nd Flatiron loop and broke off and hit the Arch on the way back down.

hiking
20 days ago

The s was a gorgeous trail. It was very snow-packed & icy this time of year (February). Spikes a must!

hiking
20 days ago

The s was a gorgeous trail. It was very snow-packed & icy this time of year (February). Spikes a must!

hiking
21 days ago

Went early this morning and it was beautiful. My husband and I both wore spikes and we don’t know if it would’ve been possible to finish without them. Lots of ice and packed snow. I recommend going before 6:30am to avoid the crowds. We were able to hang out at the arch all by ourselves.

hiking
snow
24 days ago

hiking
28 days ago

Awesome trail. Breathtaking views at the top. Highly recommend doing it with spikes at this point of the year

1 month ago

Pretty tough with the ice. Definitely bring micro spikes, makes a huge difference.

1 month ago

Pretty slick and snowy, but well worth it.

1 month ago

This has been rebuilt and much steeper than before!!! Trail is going from rock step to rock step and kinda like doing high hurdles... lifting each foot up high but worth it

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Great first hike of 2019! I really recommend microspikes as it is slick and icy.

Need spikes right now on this one.

hiking
1 month ago

Challenging climb but worth it!

hiking
snow
1 month ago

1 month ago

Rangers recommmended that I did not go up the royal arch without micro spikes! Flat irons loop was icy and snowy as it is!

1 month ago

a challenging hike especially if you’re not used to the elevation. Incline right away and pretty much the whole time, but definitely worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Definetly the hardest hike I’ve been on, bring lots of water and a small snack. If you’re from the Midwest like myself be prepared for the elevation difference, lots of yawns.

hiking
muddy
snow
1 month ago

I accidentally ended up on this trail after starting the flatirons loop and losing my way, and I'm so glad I did! The trail was definitely a bit challenging, by the time I was near the top I was asking people coming down how far it was. The incline is pretty steep for the first majority of the hike, but as you near the end the trail dips back down a bit before heading up, which gives those muscles a break for the last stretch. There are some sketchy climbs on big rocks, but I'm a very cautious hiker and it was nothing I couldn't handle. The view from the top is BREATHTAKING, not to mention the arch itself is of course cool (though I'm from Utah, so I have high standards when it comes to arches). My only big issue was portions of the trail with a certain amount of mud and snow; which of course I kind of signed myself up for by hiking in January. I would recommend this hike to anyone who likes a challenge, pretty trails surrounded by trees, and great views.

hiking
1 month ago

We saw 20-30 other groups out on this trail during our 3 hour hike today. Gorgeous views. No snow on the trail, but icy in spots as was mentioned a few days ago.

hiking
1 month ago

I hiked this with a group in the fall. Outstanding hike and view at the arch. Hoping to trail run up to the "false summit" in the near future.

hiking
muddy
snow
1 month ago

1 month ago

Nice short hike, rather steep, cool arch. Currently icy in spots, microspikes very helpful.

1 month ago

Absolutely loved this trail! It was difficult and beautiful with an amazing arch worth hiking to. We hiked in Arches NP previously and this arch rivals many there, in fact, we were able to get directly under this one and were impressed with its size. The trail was well marked, offered varied terrain, and excellent views. The elevation, icy surfaces, steep inclines, and rock scrambles provided a nice challenge for us, but may make it challenging for some. Many parts of the trail had a thin layer of snow over solid ice, so consider wearing shoes with good traction.

1 month ago

I would highly recommend wearing spikes. It was extremely icy- especially closer to the arch. There were point I was crawling on all fours and had to slide down some parts on my butt because it was so icy. Beautiful views though!

hiking
1 month ago

Fun to get there! Lots of cool places to climb off trail and great views. Went in December- be prepared for cold weather and ice. Take extra traction if possible to make it easier, not impossible without though.

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