Hiking at Chautauqua in Boulder Colorado
Article by William Greenburg
Hiking at Chautauqua in Boulder Colorado – Travel
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Boulder Colorado offers hikers, mountain bikers, rock climbers and other mountain enthusiasts a plethora of trails and cliffs to choose from. There are the open plains that border the east, the raising and falling foothills and canyons, and the vast alpines in the high country. The following article will touch base on a few of the most popular trail heads at The Colorado Chautauqua National Historic Landmark in Boulder. This wonderful park has trails that will suit any level outdoorsman and has tons of accommodations. There are public restrooms at the base of the foothills, along with an information desk and ranger station that can provide maps of trails, lodging, an award winning dining hall, and concerts and events. The trails at Chautauqua are very popular with local Boulderites, but are also responsible for attracting thousands of visitors from all over.
It is noteworthy to mention that if you are traveling to Boulder with the intention of participating in mountainous physical activities it is highly recommended to give yourself a few days to adjust to the altitude. Altitude sickness if very common and your best defenses against it are to drink plenty of water and not to over exert yourself. Also it is important to remember that despite the urban setting of Boulder there are mountain lions, black bears, and rattlesnakes that inhabit the Rocky Mountains. When preparing for a hiking trip in Boulder always remember to tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back, have plenty of water and some food with you, carry a trail map if possible, and bring a light jacket or sunscreen depending on the season.
Ranging from easiest to hardest the following is a brief description of what you can expect from Chautauqua’s trails. The Mesa Trail runs the entire 6 miles distance from the ranger’s station all the way to Eldorado Springs and is made up of one-way trails that are pretty much flat and great for beginners. The Royal Arch Trail is more for the moderate hiker who want a taste of elevation. This 1.5 mile hike starts at the Bluebell Shelter and will take you up 1,200 feet to overlook east Boulder from a large sandstone arch. The Flatirons Trail head is only 1.1 mile and also begins at Bluebell. This trail is popular with climbers as it takes you between two flatirons right to the peak where they can rappel from the summit down. Last but not least is the Gregory Canyon Trail which climbs almost 1,000 feet in just over a mile. Once you reach the top you can either take the Saddle Rock Trail down to complete a 3 mile loop or you can continue onto Green Mountain for an advanced 3.3 mile hike with a 2,300 foot elevation climb.
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