- Physical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
- Technical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
The 1st Flatiron hike is the most popular trail in Boulder. This hike is popular for a reason, it’s a great hike! Starting just outside of town, this short hike takes you to one of Boulder’s most recognizable natural features, the 1st Flatiron. This large blade of rock is beautiful and impressive. Make sure to bring your camera on this hike!
Join our newsletter
Get a weekly dose of discounts and inspiration for adventure lovers
Route Description for 1st Flatiron
Starting from Chautauqua Park, pass by the Ranger Station and begin at the trailhead for Chautauqua Trail. Hike up hill, with the Flatirons directly in front of you along a wide gravel path.
At the second major junction, the trail connects with Flatirons Loop Trail, and after a short distance, take a right onto 1st / 2nd Flatiron Trail. The trail becomes narrower, rockier and steeper from this point on, as it quickly gains elevation.
Hike aross a scree field along the well-defined path to the beginning of the steep switchbacks. Once at the base of the 1st Flatiron, you will pass a split in the trail and a bridge which is used for climbing access.
Part-way up the hike, there is one semi-technical section of hiking, where there are steps carved into the rocks for ascending a short rocky gully. Continue along the switchbacks, ping-ponging between the 1st and 2nd Flatirons, until finally reaching the saddle between the two.
From the saddle, a spectacular view of the 3rd Flatiron becomes visible. The trail ends at an overlook on the backside of the 1st Flatiron. From the overlook, a view of Longs Peak (4,346 m) and Indian Peaks Wilderness is off in the distance. To descend, hike back the way you came.
The Flatirons in general, are very popular and attract large groups of people. Its proximity to Downtown Boulder and Colorado University, make it a heavily trafficked trail. Despite its popularity, it is still an amazing hike and a must-do when in Boulder.
Find more amazing hikes around Boulder:
Insider Hints for 1st Flatiron
- You have to pay to park at the Chautauqua Park, but as we mentioned in ‘Getting There’ you can find additional parking along Baseline Road.
- Heavy foot traffic and erosion hasn’t been great for this trail even with continual trail maintenance from local volunteers. Please don’t cut short the switchbacks and remain on the trail.
Getting to the 1st Flatiron Trailhead
This hike begins at Chautauqua Park at the base of the Boulder Flatirons. Take Baseline Rd. towards Flagstaff Mountain, parking is available along Baseline Rd. or in Chautauqua Park.
1st Flatiron Elevation Graph
Weather ForecastCheck Area Weather
1st Flatiron Reviews
Add a comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.
- Chautauqua, Bluebell and Baird Trail
- Bluebell, Woods Quarry, and Enchanted Mesa Loop
- Royal Arch, Bluebell and Meadow Loop
- Boulder Mesa Loop Trail
- Baseline Trial
- Bluebell Mesa Trail
- Boulder Mesa Trail
- Chautauqua and Bluebell Loop Trail
- Chautauqua Trail
- First and Second Flatirons Loop
- Flagstaff Mountain
- Royal Arch Trail