Hike to the 1st Flatiron
Colorado › Chautauqua Park Trailhead
Added by Annie Rumbles
Leave the crowd behind by pushing yourself just that bit further - passed the beautiful 2nd Flatiron and finishing behind the grand, and iconic, 1st Flatiron.
Starting at the ever-popular and ever-populated Chautauqua Trailhead, take the main trail (a highway version of a dirt trail) straight towards the Flatirons. Continue going straight passed the Ski Jump trail to your right (0.2 mi.), then at a crossroads with the Bluebell-Baird trail (0.3 mi.) turn right onto the 1st/2nd Flatiron trail (0.7 mi.). Follow this trail over a rock slide, twice, and passed the 2nd Flatiron via several switchbacks. Don't be fooled, once you reach the 2nd Flatiron, continue through a saddleback, up a couple more switchbacks, and up to the backside of the 1st Flatiron.
Once there, find yourself a nook in the rock, sit, and listen to swallows and swifts chirping overhead as you look out toward Indian Peaks Wilderness area and Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park.
If you'd like to assist in keeping Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks clean like I do, perhaps carry along a bag to fill with any trash you come across along the way. Because of the high use of this beautiful area, some treat it with less than the respect it deserves - leave no trace!
This is a fairly straightforward hike in a high-traffic area, so should you need any assistance, you should find many willing Boulderites around to help out. While it is a simple hike in a busy area, you should still go prepared:
- Hiking boots or running shoes
- Smile! (You will stick out like a sore thumb if you don't smile to your fellow hikers!)
Note: This hike is possible in the Winter, but be careful when hiking in snow. I suggest some type of boot crampon to avoid slipping!
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
Fitness, Hiking, Photography, Rock Climbing, Running
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
This trail was a little more difficult than expected. Snow and Ice made passing others a little difficult in places, and convinced us to go buy shoe spikes. We pussed-out going to the top as you do have to navigate a fairly steep incline at the end. I had fun just being outside and enjoying the hike. It's about the trip there not the destination.
Great Views right outside the City.
Love this short, steep hike. Spent my summer just outside Boulder and was lucky enough to get to the top of the Flatirons twice. The first time I did this hike, and the second time around I free-soloed the second flat iron- another must do for any climbers out there.
Beautiful, Accessible Hike!
My husband and I went on this hike on our honeymoon. It is close to Boulder, making it very accessible. The directions provided were wonderful and we were able to find the trail head with no problem. The switchbacks were a little more steep than anticipated but the view from the top was well worth it!
This Is A Must
Beautiful views all along the way and there was just enough people not to feel absolutely alone but without it feeling crowded. The top had great views and was really peaceful. If you are lucky you might find a few people climbing the 1st flatiron. If you go on winter be ready for slipping all the way down, snow made it really hard to descend. I didn't even wear running shoes and managed to made it through, though it would have been way easier with crampons, I strongly recommend wearing them if possible.
More Adventures Nearby
Catch a Sunset Above Milner Pass
Colorado / Alpine Visitor Center
This is a great place to be at sunrise or sunset. Bring a camera & tripod and check the weather ahead of time. Take Trail Ridge Road all the way to the top and park at the Alpine Visitor Center.
Hike the Shanahan Ridge Trail
Colorado / Shanahan Ridge Trailhead
Starting on the edge of a neighborhood in South Boulder, this 3.8 mile loop begins its 869 foot elevation gain by meandering through a pine forest.