Hike Royal Arch
Colorado › Chautauqua Park Trailhead
Added by Brock DeHaven
Distance: 3.2 miles roundtripElevation gain: 1,200 ftArchway formed by rocks towering over 30 feet highViews of Eastern Plains and Boulder's famous FlatironsSmall 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.
- Crampons (seasonal)
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
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
Makes Ya Work!
This is a great workout! After they rerouted post the floods in 2013, this really is a hike with quite the incline. But, the overall view at the flat irons and Boulder are stunning on a clear day. Try and go on the weekdays but even then this trail is pretty crowded. Have fun!
Accurate reviews here: an extremely busy hike, nice views, and more strenuous than you would expect, overall a good workout. Really wish people wouldn't climb all over the arch, it's impossible to get a good picture without a dozen people climbing around, dogs running around, and oh yeah... babies crying... so many crying babies.
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!
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.
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.
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.
More Adventures Nearby
Photograph Poudre Falls
Colorado / Poudre Falls
To get to Poudre Falls, simply drive up Poudre Canyon on Highway 14, just north-west of Fort Collins.
Hike the Evergreen Mountain Loop
Colorado / Alderfer/Three Sisters Park Parking Lot
The way up Evergreen Mountain is actually a few different trails stitched together throughout Alderfer/Three Sisters Park.