Photo Credit: Julie Kruger Photography

Photo Credit: Julie Kruger Photography

The hike of the week, which I dubbed The Chautauqua-Gregory Canyon loop is one of the best long hikes for the experienced hiker to enjoy in solitude, or for friends to have private conversation and share a picnic. Around 4.5 miles, the loop is a low key hike with some downhill and uphill, as well as a couple creek crossings, and a ladder. Along most of the Gregory Canyon trail you will enjoy the soothing sound of the creek and green foliage, and as you loop back on Saddle Rock and E.M. Greenman you will see awe-inspiring views of the city below. When on Saddle Rock, prepare yourself for using the ladder which was installed after the September 2013 floods; it is bolted to the trail and secure.

To begin, start at the Chautauqua trail head, on Chautauqua trail  . . .

  • At the first crossroads take a right onto Ski Jump
  • Then onto Bluebell which will take you to the Gregory Canyon trail head.
  • Stay on the Gregory Canyon until you reach Ranger.
  • Stay on Ranger to E.M. Greenman.
  • Then take Saddle Rock
  • To Amphitheater.
  • Back to Blue Bell.
  • To Ski Jump
  • back to Chautauqua.

If the loop is too long and you want to just check out Gregory Canyon, park for free at the trail head which can be found when you head south from Baseline on to the Gregory Canyon access road. For those looking for an extra-long hike, from Gregory Canyon take Long Canyon trail which is a one-way trail taking you all the way to Lost Gulch.

Parking and Facilities:

Parking in Chautauqua and the surrounding neighborhoods is free and the Chautauqua ranger station has a restroom. Gregory Canyon trail head parking is free, but doesn’t have a restroom.


  • Stay on marked trails. Most trails are clearly labeled. If in doubt always keep the city in Boulder in view; if lost, head down the mountain towards the city.
  • If you’re new to hiking in Boulder, take a friend or stay in high traffic trails in the Chautauqua Park, until you know the area.
  • Always take more than enough water and snacks.
  • Beware of animals on the trail.
  • Check the forecast before embarking on your adventure.

Happy Adventuring!