2nd Flatiron Trail

Chautauqua Boulder

One of the community gems is the Chautauqua hiking area.  There are a number of trails to select from. On a recent warm winter’s day, my wife and I went for a hike at 2nd Flatiron Trail.  It was quiet, beautiful and far enough off the beaten path to feel secluded.  The 2nd Flatiron Trail is easy to spot, with excellent signage pointing the way.  About midway along the trail you start heading down, so it makes for a nice loop – head up one way, come down another – if starting at the ranger cottage. 

clouds and mountains in boulder colorado
At the start of our hike, blue skies with cloud cover moving in on a warm winter’s day

The trails gain some elevation, have rocky areas and you’ll definitely get your heart rate up.  However, this trail is moderate at most; take some water and dress appropriately for the season (weather can change quickly in Boulder).  Oh, and bring a camera as the views are lovely.

Boulder Winters Feel Like Summer

With the close proximity of the mountains and an inversion effect, Boulder winds up with over 200 days of sunshine annually and it feels rather summery even in the midst of winter.   Julie and I took advantage of the great weather to enjoy a summer like day hiking the 2nd Flatiron Trail.  Highlights of this Boulder hike include a stretch through deep forest, hiking along a rocky area and some amazing views.

realtor bob gordon and wife on 2nd flatiron trail
My wife Julie and I hiking to the 2nd Flatiron Trail in Boulder Colorado

The trail is very well marked and easy to manage.  We started at the ranger station, going up the main trail. Found it too crowded and moved back to the little road that goes up to the shelter.  From there, we walked onto the 2nd Flatiron Trail.   We knew we were midway into our hike when the trail started to descend. We then hiked down the main, if somewhat crowded, access at Chautauqua to create a memorable loop.   Not too much elevation gain and the terrain is moderately level.  There are one or two areas where you cross big rock slide areas – remnants of quarry work.  There is also a hike through thick pine forest and some walking in the open with pretty views.  You might see some rock climbers heading up as well – don’t try the Flatrions without proper gear.

2nd flatiron trail, boulder co
Looking down a rockfall area along the 2nd Flatiron trail in Boulder


Trees and Wildlife Along The 2nd Flatiron Trail

Too many people enjoy the 2nd Flatiron trail for much wildlife to appear, though if you keep your eyes open, you are bound to see some small woodland creates.  And birds abound as well at Chautauqua.  Below is a close up photo a friendly enough fella on the 2nd Flatiron trail.  While hiking in the wooded area, you’ll see two types of conifer, the longer needles belong to Ponderosa Pine with reddish brown bark.  There are also Douglas Firs, sporting short needles.  One of the two smell deliciously of vanilla – but I can never remember which while hiking.

wild bird chautauqua boulder co
Close up, wild bird, hiking at Chautauqua, Boulder Co.


Additional Boulder Real Estate News Hiking Posts

Coaltpm Trailhead
Rock Creek Trailhead
Chautauqua Boulder
Mount Sanitas Boulder
Red Rocks – Boulder

and also check out:

Chautauqua Bluebell Neighborhood BLOG

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