Royal Arch Trail

HARD 1,021 reviews
#1 of 8 trails in

Royal Arch Trail is a 3.4 mile heavily trafficked loop 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 May until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
3.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1637 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

hiking

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

views

wild flowers

muddy

rocky

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
19 hours ago

Great "short" hike! Be prepared that after going up there is a steep descent - I'm 5'1" so this was where the scramble started for me. The last portion up to the Arch was exhausting after doing the descent but it is totally doable! I usually think going down is hard but this was pretty easy most of the way back out - didn't need my poles. Started at 7am on a Monday - there was parking and most of the way the trail was pretty free of crowds until the last part down, maybe around 10am ish. Shade most of the way but still felt the heat.

hiking
1 day ago

Amazing! Get out early

hiking
1 day ago

hiking
1 day ago

Went out early- good call... saw some people on the trail, not too many to be crowded. Beautiful. Well kept.

hiking
1 day ago

hiking
1 day ago

Was well worth the hike. Breath taking views great photo opportunities. Friendly people on the trail. Great experience.

hiking
2 days ago

2 days ago

Beautiful hike! Basically like going up stairs the entire time, pretty rough throughout, but definitely worth it!

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike - awesome views!!!

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful Hike, and outstanding views of Boulder along the way. The entry to the trailhead is a good indication of what to expect, once you get to the actual Royal Arch trail. I hope you've focused on your leg workouts, because this is essentially a staircase with switchbacks for the first 3/4 of the hike. The last quarter of the trail includes some light bouldering. We took our Golden Retriever on this hike, and she struggled a bit with finding the trail and being able to get up some of the bouldering spots. Highly recommend if you take your furry family members, and they're able to be called back without running off, make sure to invest in a Green Tag through Colorado Parks and Rec, so that they can run free and enjoy the trail at their speed and comfort level. I will say, it can be pretty dangerous to have your pups on a leash for this trail, as both going up and down, can lead to them yanking you forward. We know to get the Green Tag for next time. Once you get to the very last leg, past all the bouldering, you'll arrive at Royal Arch. This gets really crowded, but don't worry, as there's plenty of room to observe the Boulder overlook from the various nooks and crannies within the Arch plain. Royal Arch is a wonderful hike, and although difficult for the inexperienced hiker, pays off in both its breathtaking views, and energy burned on the way to the Arch. Happy Hiking and safe travels

2 days ago

2 days ago

Wow! What a great hike! First time for four of us young and old ages 19-57. Got a decent early start (6:40 am) after figuring out the parking app, Took a few side tracks, but still managed to navigate the trail and get up top before it got too crowded. Non hiker hubby hung in there, and was rewarded handsomely with the prize at the end! Worth ever step. Definitely will do again.

hiking
3 days ago

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4 days ago

hiking
5 days ago

What a workout! Very rewarding :) Watch your footing