Royal Arch Trail

MODERATE 1,592 reviews
#1 of 8 trails in

Royal Arch Trail is a 3.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Boulder, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and snowshoeing and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
3.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1433 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

muddy

rocky

scramble

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
12 hours ago

Great hike, a little harder then we were thinking. Brought two labs along, they got muddy but the Arch gave a nice view and a great place to sit and eat a little snack. The hike it self was out and back, the way there being mostly up hill. I thought it was "moderate" but definitely some slippery rocks this time of year. Wish i had worn my hiking boots, no my old tennis shoes.

2 days ago

Gorgeous hike. Can be heavy traffic on the weekend but still not bad. The view is worth the hike.

3 days ago

Beautiful day on the trail. Even though this is ranked moderate it’s a tough one. The views from the arch are incredible.

5 days ago

Awesome hike! The climb was a fun challenge. Be ready for a crowd.

hiking
5 days ago

Great day for a hike. Beautiful park. A bit too crowded for me. I got here early so parking was not an issue but there are not a lot of spots to park.

8 days ago

Very rocky and in some areas eroded. Nice tree coverage. For the most part a lot of incline... up up up! Heavy traffic on the weekends, lots of families and dogs. The parking lot was full by 1 PM on Sunday.

8 days ago

It feels like 18,000 stairs. Moderate? The view at the top made it worth it. Very challenging hike. It was not crowded at all but the parking lot was full.

hiking
8 days ago

Have done this hike multiple times. Short but challenging as it a pretty consistent climb. The trail is clear of all snow and ice at this point. The nicer weather has brought out huge crowds lately, so go early! I had the top to myself today for several minutes around 930 AM. Great views at the top!

hiking
8 days ago

Moderate/difficult but totally doable. Heavily trafficked but really beautiful and worth it.

9 days ago

I was thoroughly surprised with how much I enjoyed this trail. It was much more difficult than I anticipated, you’ll definitely get your heart rate up. But it’s worth the climb. It’s very rocky most of the trail which my pup and I loved, but I did notice a couple older ones who struggled climbing a bit in some steep spots.

hiking
11 days ago

One of my absolute favorite hikes during the week and in the off season. During the warmer months and on weekends this drops far down my list with the amount of people on the trail. This is definitely on the higher end of the Moderate scale if not straight up Hard. This was slippery from when I went last October to this past week in April. Definitely recommend spikes or crampons, saw many people fall on their backs. The view from the Arch is beautiful and a great place for a rest and picnic.

14 days ago

Beautiful

23 days ago

Worth every step!!!

23 days ago

Awesome hike however I recommend hiking shoes some parts have a lot of slush and wet! Very slippery

23 days ago

Muddy and Icy. Climbed in trail shoes. Most people were wearing tennis shoes but that is stupid. Wear something with some grip.

23 days ago

Great reward at the top!

hiking
24 days ago

The trail was beautiful but difficult because the slush and ice basically made the stairs into a giant, steep slip and slide, but if you are careful and walk with intention, you’ll be fine. The arch is definitely worth the hard work of getting there and the trail goes between the second and third flatiron so you can get up close.

hiking
28 days ago

Amazing trail, can’t believe I made it all the way to the top with my asthma. So worth it

hiking
29 days ago

It was a strenuous hike for a 50 year old, but so worth it to see the views along the way and the incredible arch! There was just a little ice and mud (3/25) , but no problems.

hiking
29 days ago

Awesome trail!!

29 days ago

Very slippery! Everyone fell.

1 month ago

Hiked this morning. Bit of ice and mud, but we had hiking boots on so no issues. Lots of people coming up from 11am so worth doing in the morning if you’re not a fan of crowds.

1 month ago

Great hike in March, icy trails. Came across bears by the river.

1 month ago

Awesome hike. Still icey but fun.

1 month ago

Hiked today 3/20. The trail from the rock steps up was very icy and micro spikes were very helpful. I ran into many people who turned back because of the ice. It’s a great trail and the arch is really nice with great views.
Difficult but definitely worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked in early March, good amount of ice on trails, i had no spikes or poles but easy to avoid if you go from rock to rock, as there are a lot of rocks. Awesome views of the east

1 month ago

This was a really fun hike. There were a few icy patches, but overall it was clear. It was challenging because it climbs a lot over low mileage. Great views and the arch is amazing.

1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

Spikes needed once you hit the spur to the arch.

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