Chautauqua Park in Boulder Colorado is the Trailhead for 40 miles of hiking trails, including hikes into the Flatirons, paths through canyons, and trails to summits with views to the Rocky Mountains in the west. Explore all of these iconic hikes located right in the city of Boulder.

Chautauqua Park Trails Snapshot

Chautauqua Park Trailhead and Parking

The trailhead at Chautauqua park may is right smack dab in the middle of the City of Boulder. It’s rare to find so many trail options this close to an urban center. However, because it is within the city, the 58 parking spaces in the park fill up quickly. When the lot is full, hikers can park along Baseline Road and side streets, just be sure to respect the neighbors by parking at least 5 feet from driveways. There are bike racks at the trailhead, so you can bike in from other lots in town, or take the Park-to-Park Shuttle that operates on the weekends and on holidays from the Saturday around Memorial Day to Labor Day Weekend. Here’s a map of the free parking lots and shuttle stop locations.

You can pick up a map, fill up your water bottle, and get trail advice from locals at the Ranger Cottage, which is located at the trailhead. See the Ranger Cottage site for current hours and closure information. There are a few acres of green park and shaded spots around the cottage that make for a great picnic spot.

chautauqua auditorium historic landmark with flatirons mountains in the background

To the south, 26 acres are devoted to the Colorado Chautauqua National Historic Landmark. The Chautuauqau Dining Hall is a great place to grab breakfast or lunch after a hike. The Chautauaqua Auditorium is the centerpiece of the landmark and hosts some great concerts and special events year-round. It was built in 1890’s as a summer retreat for the Chautauqua educational movement.

The lodging at Chautauqua makes for a great getaway. Cottages, rooms, and an entire lodge can be booked through the Chautauqua lodging website. Its hard to beat accomdations like this with the number of hikes right out your back door.

Trail Map and Hiking Info

The Flatirons, those diagonal spires of orange and pink rock that make Boulder so beautiful, are the centerpiece of Chautauqua Park, and there are trails that lead up into their canyons, along the mesas and meadows, and to summit views of the Rocky Mountains in the west. The trails wind and criss-cross one another making for quite a network of paths. While you’ll see a lot of fellow hikers on these trails and most of the miles are close ot town, there are further reaches to the west where it could be easy to get disoriented. So, pick up a map at the trail, or download this PDF map of the Chautauqua hiking trails as a refrence.

Dayhikes Near Denver has created several detailed trail profiles of many of the hikes in and bordering Chautauqua Park. Below you’ll find hikes that range from easy strolls to more strenuous trails to summits. Our favorite remains the First and Second Flatirons Hike. A few of these trails begin from other nearby trailheads, but they can also be hiked by starting at Chautauqua Park. Just review the map links on the different hikes and study the trail system to see how they connect.

Hikes in Chautauqua Park

morning light on flatirons mountains near boulder taken from ncar on bear canyon loop hike

Bear Canyon Loop Hike at NCAR

The Bear Canyon Loop Hike near Boulder, Colorado is a beautiful trail that spans wide open spaces and meadows near National Center for Atmospheric Research. The Bear Canyon Loop is a relatively easy 3.3-mile loop that features some of the best views of the Flatirons in Boulder. Explore the full NCAR Bear Canyon Loop hike profile below for trail map, ...
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flatirons in boulder colorado along hike with spruce tree in foreground

Chautauqua Loop Trail in Boulder

The Chautauqua Trail is an easy 3.6 mile loop hike along Boulder's Flatirons. The trails pass several historical sites: a quarry, cabin, shelter, and ski area as it weaves through the meadows and ponderosa forest of Chautauqua Park. About 40 minutes from Denver, the Chautauqua Loop hike makes for a great hike for visitors who are looking for stunning landscapes ...
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enchanted mesa hike in boulders chautauqua park

Enchanted Mesa Trail Near Boulder, Colorado

Boulder's Chautauqua park boasts some of the best hiking in Colorado, especially if you are looking for accessibility--many of the trailheads are right in town. The Enchanted Mesa trail lives up to its name. The dense pine forest and the wide curving path looks like something out of a fairy tale. It's a fairly easy hike, with a surprising amount ...
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dirt trail leading toward the flatirons of boulder colorado in chautauqua park wooden fence in foreground and broad meadows

First and Second Flatirons Hike in Boulder

Hiking the Flatirons near Boulder, Colorado is a must. The trail draws you across an green meadow, then up through a notch between the First and Second Flatiron. You'll find the best part of this hike in the Flatirons at the end of the trail: some breathtaking and unmatched views of Colorado's Rocky Mountains. There's even more though. Explore the ...
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realization point view to front range snow capped mountains on hike near boulder colorado

Gregory Canyon Hike to Realization Point

The trail up Gregory Canyon is a moderately challenging hike to Realization Point Trailhead where hikers can pick up two different loop trails. Both loops offer expansive views of the Rocky Mountains in the West and wildflowers along the trail. Explore the full Gregory Canyon-Realization Point hike profile below for trail map, driving directions, and more tips and details to ...
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green meadows along trail leading to gregory canyon and green mountain ascent in chautauqua park hike in boulder colorado

Hiking Green Mountain Near Boulder

Green Mountain in Boulder, Colorado is a strenuous hike that offers fantastic views of the Front Range, Flatirons, and a wide panorama at the top of Green Mountain. The trails around Chautauqua park offer a several options to summit Green Mountain, letting you take your trail of choice, but in the trail profile below, we'll point out the most direct ...
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mesa trail on the way to mallory cave NCAR near boulder

Mallory Cave Hike in Boulder

Mallory Cave is a 1.4-mile, moderate hike up into red rock formations of the Boulder Flatirons to a gated cave. Just 40 minutes from Denver, the trail to Mallory Cave was one of the earliest established recreational trails along the Front Range of Colorado. Explore the full trail profile for trail map, driving direcitons, photos, and tips for his hike ...
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south mesa trail hike with ponderosa pines in foreground and flatirons mountains in background near boulder colorado

Mesa Trail to Bear Canyon Creek

The Mesa Trail south of Boulder, Colorado, rambles across wild open country at the base of the iconic Flatirons. Hike a 4.1 mile loop or an 8.4 mile out-and-back option through pine woods, verdant creek draws, and flowering meadows. Explore the full Mesa Trail profile for this southern segment of one of our favorite dog-friendly hikes near Denver. Trail Snapshot: ...
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royal arch red rock formation in boulder's flatirons chautauqua park red rock arch with ponderosa pine in foreground

Royal Arch Trail

The hike up to Royal Arch in Boulder's Chautauqua Park is a serious workout, but the beauty of Bluebell canyon and the view of Royal Arch make it worth the journey. Our most important tip for making this an enjoyable hike is to go when it's not so crowded, during the early morning or on weekdays. Scroll down to get ...
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Dayhikes Near Denver is grateful to Owen Allen and Hawehorne for their photos of Chautauqua Park.