Hike Royal Arch

Colorado Chautauqua Park Trailhead

Added by Brock DeHaven

  • Distance: 3.2 miles roundtrip
  • Elevation gain: 1,200 ft
  • Archway formed by rocks towering over 30 feet high
  • Views of Eastern Plains and Boulder's famous Flatirons
  • Small creek waterfalls and wildflowers

Royal Arch Trail climbs up Boulder's famous Chautauqua Park to an archway formed by sandstone rocks that tower over thirty feet high.

Start at the Chautauqua Trail Station by the Ranger Station, and continue up Bluebell Road for 0.7 miles. You will then arrive at a more forested area, where you will head south, following the signs for the Royal Arch Trail for 0.2 miles.

The trail will steepen and the grade will steadily increase towards the upper-gulch up to Sentinel Pass, the most difficult section, which lasts 0.45 miles. Once you reach the top of the pass, you will keep left down 100' and continue for 0.22 miles along a twisting climb over Tangen Spring, which will bring you to the base of the Arch.

From there, climb up the Royal Arch to a set of outcrops with panoramic views of the Eastern Plains, foothills, Boulder and Denver.

Pack List

  • Backpack
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Crampons (seasonal)
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Chillin, Fitness, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round



Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Picnic Area

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How to Get There

4 days ago

Busy but beautiful

Great hike that takes your up quickly in elevation. As others have mentioned it is busy, but that's to be expected hiking in Boulder. If you get there early you can avoid the crowds.

4 days ago

5 months ago

Perfect Afternoon Hike

Completed this hike on a Thursday in May and it was the perfect weather for an afternoon hike. Dogs are allowed off leash if they are under voice command which I love! There were still a lot of people on the trail even for a week day, but that didn't take away from the experience. We had some great conversation and made some new friends as we spent an hour just hanging out around the arch. Afterwards we grabbed a couple beers at the Santias brewery- which has an awesome dog-friendly patio and a great selection of beers!

5 months ago

5 months ago

Royal Arch Hike Trail

Beautiful hike up to the Royal Arch with beautiful views. Intermediate hike up the mountain but the arch and views at the top are worth it!

5 months ago

8 months ago

Fun & a good workout

This one was more challenging than others I've done. The trail was pretty crowded but we went during the warmest part of the afternoon. My dog had a little trouble trying to scramble up some of the rocky steps/paths to the trail, but otherwise a good hike.

8 months ago

8 months ago

Beautiful Views At The Top

I've done Royal arch about 20 times and it's my favorite cause is laid out very well there's some light rock areas for scrambling- crampons are good to have because it's always icy near the top unless it's summer. Beautiful views near sentential pass and at the top.

8 months ago

10 months ago

Beautiful spot for running.

10 months ago

12 months ago

This is definitely one of my favorite hikes near Boulder. The trail can be steep at times, but keep pushing because the payoff at the end is worth it. On a clear day you can see all the way to DIA!

12 months ago

about 1 year ago

Great Hike, Lots of People

This is an awesome hike and one that I love in Boulder. The arch is a really cool spot, but you will be tripping over people as you get near the end and around the arch. I think it is worth the crowds, but don't go there looking for much peace and quiet.

about 1 year ago

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