Chautauqua Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"The kids can clamber on the rocks and the dog can run through the meadows — a wonderful hike for the whole family. Boulder has many enjoyable hiking trails close to town. This one, which begins at historic Chautauqua Park, winds through grassy meadows and then enters the forest. It offers good views of Boulder to the east and the famous Flatirons to the west. There are lots of gains and losses of elevation on this route. Dogs are allowed unleashed on these trails, under voice and sight control rules. The small but unique Amphitheater has been carved by wind and water out of red sandstone. During certain times of the year (February through July), it may be off limits because of seasonal raptor nesting closures."
--Dave Muller, The Colorado Year Round Outdoor Guide (Colorado Mountain Club Press).
"For the first-time visitor, as well as the native Boulderite, this is the perfect place to test your hiking mettle, with a serious elevation gain rewarded with a glimpse of the beautiful Chautauqua Park surroundings. Chautauqua Park lies on the southwestern edge of Boulder and is comprised of a park, cottages, auditorium, mountain park, and miles of mountain hiking trails."
--Kim Lipker, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Denver and Boulder (Menasha Ridge Press).
"On the western outskirts of Boulder, historic Chautauqua Auditorium and resort complex rests nostalgically by a vast meadow. Boulder Mountain Parks oversees this open space where a network of trails include the short loop featured here. Beginning at the Ranger’s Cottage, the trail slopes up toward the Flatirons’ sandstone slabs and returns down a pine-covered mesa. In spring, some five dozen wildflower species accompany the Chautauqua/Bluebell-Baird/Bluebell Mesa trails that make up the loop. In July, a riot of wild sweet peas scramble among the lengthening grasses near the loop’s start. Before starting out on the loop, check out the Ranger Cottage garden planted with native wildflowers. Then peruse the descriptions of the various trails on the locator map on the building’s veranda. The parking lot fills quickly, especially on weekends. Wildflower alert: A riot of pink and white wild sweet peas in July."
--Pamela & David Irwin, Colorado's Best Wildflower Hikes: The Front Range (Westcliffe Publishers).
Currently the Amphitheater area is closed from April till August. Hike with a local, check out NFGA.info!
I love this hike because it is fun, not to challenging and perfect to bring friends and fmaily visiting the area. The first part is totally uphill then it settles off and around the flatiron. Look for raptors, rock climbers climbing the flatiron and beautiful flowers and springs.
Located in the city of Boulder the trails offer a striking view of the "Flatirons" and a gateway to many trails leading into the mountains. Areas of the trails are gentle enough for casual hikers.
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