20 Colorado hikes for spectacular fall color

I contributed to this piece in The Denver Post, first published Sept. 15, 2017

Royal Arch Trail
Where: Chautauqua Park, Boulder
Hike length: 3.5 miles (round-trip)

This trail at the uber-popular Chautauqua Trailhead should be avoided at peak hours because of the crowds. But if you start early — before 8 a.m. — or can get there on a weekday, you’ll see why this trail to a red-rock arch is so popular. The hike is relatively short but climbs more than 1,300 feet in elevation, so it feels like you’ve accomplished something. In the fall, cooler temperatures ease the ascent, and the leaves burst forth in golds and reds that brighten the rust-hued backdrop of the Flatirons. The hike begins with a short hill through a grassy field, then enters the woods and continues past the base of three Flatiron rock formations and ends at a flagstone staircase leading up to the spectacular Royal Arch. Expect views of changing leaves across the entire Boulder Valley and, if you’re there at the right time, raptors soaring in the sky. bouldercolorado.gov/parks-rec

–Joshua Berman


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