The Grand Re-Opening of the Royal Arch Trail
Over a year ago, the floods damaged many of the hiking trails in the Chautauqua area. Many of these trails were repaired fairly quickly, but one took longer than others. The Royal Arch trail was devastated by the floods, and it was quite difficult to put it all back together. You may even recognize a few new routes that had to navigate around the flood’s more serious damages.
It couldn’t have been rebuilt without a team of dedicated workers, however. Mike Patton, OSMP director, talked about the reconstruction in a news release. “With combined hard work from the local climbing community, OSMP trail crews and dozens of volunteers, we’ve rebuilt the Royal Arch Trail and made it better than before.”
The Royal Arch repairs are even shown in a few videos, for those who want to check out the reconstruction process.
The Royal Arch is truly a sight to behold. The sandstone structure at the end of the hike is roughly twenty feet tall. It’s one of the few places one can see a giant natural arch in Colorado, and it’s only a short hike from the Chautauqua trailhead!
The trail is not for those looking for a leisurely walk, however. The hike is one of the steepest hikes at Chautauqua, gaining 1,400 feet in only 3.2 miles. It can also be fairly treacherous in icy conditions, so one should be very careful hiking this trail in the next coming months. (If you want to keep exploring on icy trails this winter, I’d recommend investing in some Yaktrax.)
The trail is one of my personal favorites, however. The view of Boulder you see at the end of the hike (see above) and the arch itself provide some incredible sights, and the destination provides a worthy reward for a fairly strenuous hike. For anyone who has hiked it in the past, the recent reconstructions have completely changed the trail, and it feels like an entirely new hike getting to the arch. However, the destination is just as great as it always has been, and the new trail provides a fresh new take at one of Boulder’s most beloved trails.
You can get to the trail through the Chautauqua trailhead, which is located at the intersection of 9th St. and Baseline Rd.