Royal Arch Trail is a hiking trail in Boulder County, Colorado. It is 0.9 miles long and begins at 6,090 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 1.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,375 feet. The Sentinel Pass saddle can be seen along the trail. The trail ends near the Royal Arch viewpoint and the Bluebell Shelter. There are also picnic tables and a waste basket near the end of the trail.
Royal Arch Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"One of the somewhat challenging options along the Mesa Trail is an interesting trail in its own right because you end up at a small arch with striking views, especially to the north, and you have unique glimpses of the Flatirons along the way. It has the feel of a high mountain hike even though it is close to town. The challenging part is the fairly steep, rock garden trail that makes you feel like you’re on a short Himalayan trek with all of the twists, turns, and ups and downs, without the altitude or length. If you go at a slow pace, the challenge becomes a fun, moderate clamber rather than a heart-thumping workout."
--Alan Apt and Kay Turnbaugh, Afoot & Afield: Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Rocky Mountain National Park (Wilderness Press).
"Royal Arch is a modest cousin of the impressive and incredible sandstone arches in Arches National Park in Utah. Yet, once at the arch, you are as close as you will get to the vertical face of the famous Flatirons unless you are a technical climber. In fact, you may see a climber negotiating a difficult pitch. Probably the best time to reach the arch is by midmorning, to marvel as the eastern sunlight glances off the russet cliff faces."
--Ania Savage, Best Hikes with Dogs: Colorado (The Mountaineers Books).
"Keep a sharp eye out for raptors soaring in the skies on this popular hike amongst Boulder’s famous Flatirons. The sandstone arch itself is modest compared to those in southern Utah, but it frames an impressive backdrop of the famous Boulder Flatirons. You may even see a technical climber negotiating one of the sheer walls. The best time of day to visit is early morning when the sun bathes the red rock formations with light.. In fact, you are likely to encounter scores of locals on their way down after their daily dawn run up the steep and rocky trail! Keep a sharp lookout for raptors soaring in the skies above the Flatirons. Each year, sensitive raptor breeding sites in the park are restricted to public use, during which time they are monitored by staff and volunteers for nesting and breeding activity. In 2003, over a dozen eagles and falcons were successfully fledged, increasing Boulder’s future population of these magnificent birds."
--Dave Muller, The Colorado Year Round Outdoor Guide (Colorado Mountain Club Press).
"You are going to have to work (and sweat) to get there, but you can savor the pain, along with the views, along the smooth sun-drenched rocks beneath the Royal Arch. This towering red-rock structure is as spectacular as any of the Flatirons, and it's well worth the hike, as it is a truly unique geologic formation on the Front Range."
--Tracy Salcedo, 12 Short Hikes in the Boulder Foothills (Falcon Guides).
Sign in/up to upload photos.