Cheap, free, and local-endorsed things to do in beautiful places

1st & 2nd Flatirons Trail

  • ★★★★
  • 2.8 mile loop
  • Elevation gain: 1,443 feet
  • 2-3 hours
  • Strenuous
  • Close-up view of the Flatiron peaks, panoramic view of Boulder
  • Accessible via public transportation

Distance from Denver: 35 minutes

Directions: Click here

Parking: Free

If you’re looking for a quick yet challenging workout not too far from Denver, this is one of the best bets.

Begin the hike at the Chautauqua Park trailhead located off Baseline Road in the city of Boulder. There’s a parking lot that fills quickly; otherwise, your best bet is to parallel park alongside Baseline Road.

Follow signs for the Chautauqua Trail and take it through beautiful forestry and alongside a tranquil creek all the way until the Bluebell-Baird Trail, where you should make a left. At the next junction, follow signs toward the 1st/2nd Flatirons Trail. This trail takes you up a steep climb, offering majestic views of the surrounding area on the way. There is a small amount of easy boulder scrambling involved. Once you reach the top, you are right between the 1st and 2nd Flatirons and even have a great view of the 3rd Flatiron. These peaks look awesome from a distance, but seeing them up close with bright green moss spots and jagged edges is an amazing experience. Return to the trailhead on the same paths.

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