Saturday Afternoon Royal Arch Hike

Pending on weather let's go for a Saturday afternoon hike.

An easier hike than Mt. Sanitas and a must see for New to Boulderites.  Well worth the hike.  Bring water or fill bottle outside of Ranger Station.  Should have hiking shoes.

Posting Phone[masked]

Round-Trip Length: 3.2 miles


 

Directions to Trailhead

From Boulder Take Baseline Road west past 9th street and Chautauqua Park is on the left hand side. Turn left into Chautauqua Park. Overflow parking is also available along Baseline Road, south of the park entrance.

Royal Arch is perched high along a rugged fold in the Boulder Flatirons. These rocks are remnants of the Fountain Formation, a mineral-rich sand eroded from the ancestral Rocky Mountain uplift 300 million years ago. Sediments deposited by the ebb and flow of inland oceans compressed this layer into sandstone, thrust upward 45 million years ago by the same tectonic forces that created our modern Rocky Mountains.

Royal Arch is a fragment of the exposed Fountain Formation sculpted by water, wind and mechanical erosion into the 20' span we see today.

The following describes the most direct route to Royal Arch, which begins at the Chautauqua Park Ranger Station and climbs Bluebell Road to access the Royal Arch Trail:

Bluebell Road rises steadily over Chautauqua Park past the Mesa Trail junction (.6 miles : 6,005') and Bluebell Shelter to the Royal Arch Trail (.7 miles : 6,095').

The Royal Arch Trail narrows through mixed pine to a connection for Flatiron #2 and #3, and bends south up a steep, narrow gulch (.9 miles : 6,188'). Note apple, plumb and maple in this ecologically varied riparian corridor.

The trail steepens considerably as it breaks away from the upper-gulch into a cluttered forest (1.2 miles : 6,530'). It continues strenuously to Sentinel Pass (1.35 miles : 6,768'), a rocky notch at the top of Bluebell Canyon. Examine close-up cross-sections of the Flatiron rock formations before pressing on.

The trail drops from Sentinel pass about 100' and resumes a strenuous, twisting climb over the steady trickle of Tangen Spring to the base of Royal Arch (1.6 miles : 6,915'). Walk under Royal Arch to a set of rocky outcrops with sweeping views over the Boulder foothills, eastern plains and, on a clear, downtown Denver.

Start-End Elevation: 5,710' - 6,915' (6,915' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +1,205' net elevation gain (+1,417' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Moderate-Strenuous
Dogs Allowed: Yes, bring fido if he/she is good, Boulder says on a leash unless responds to commands.

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    We had great weather and a fairly big group. It was really nice to meet everyone. Looking forward to more meetups with this group.

    November 5, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Are we meeting at chataqua?

    November 3, 2012

    • "Meetup Dave" E.

      Yes, the rocks at the trailhead by the chataqua ranger station.

      November 3, 2012

  • "Meetup Dave" E.

    We can do Mallory Cave Hike or Another Chataqua Route Like Green Mountain next time.

    Dave

    November 1, 2012

11 went

Our Sponsors

Imagine having a community behind you

Get started Learn more
Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy