featured-chataquaA spectacular Open Space and Mountain Park system around Boulder, Colorado gives residents and visitors access to mountain hikes just outside the city. Chautauqua Park provides access to many of the hiking trails on the foothills (west) side. There are many loop combinations from this trailhead, so you can make it a very short walk or a longer hike, depending on what you feel like and how much time you have. The city trails also connect to Forest Service land so you can do something much longer if you want to.

We hiked up the main Chautauqua Trail and made a small loop with part of the Royal Arch and Mesa trails, about three miles total. It was a nice winter walk, and our introduction to a trail system that I’m sure we’ll be visiting frequently.

The City of Boulder provides a great free map at the Chautauqua Park visitors center. For more information, see the map and website here.