The Flatirons picture1 of 2
The Flatirons2 of 2
Ed Freeman/Getty Images

Key Info

Flatirons Loop

Price & Hours

Free
Sunrise-sunset daily

Details

Hiking, Natural Wonders, Free Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
5.0

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 5.0Atmosphere

These jaw-dropping rock walls flanking Green Mountain have become the symbol of the city, with many Boulder businesses sporting their image as a logo. Flatirons One through Five are the most prominent, but there are also several smaller formations  with more creative names  to explore. Altogether, these picturesque slopes are the most popular rock climbing areas around (you can even see markings left by some of the first climbers, dating back to the 1940s, on Number Three). But for those of you who aren't quite comfortable entrusting your life to a harness, you can still take in the Flatirons from one of the area's hiking trails – recent visitors said there's a trail for every age and skill level. For information about Flatiron trails, visit the City of Boulder website.

Previous visitors say that no trip to Boulder would be complete without spending time admiring the rocks. But if you plan on hiking, travelers recommend coming prepared: The trails can be steep in places, not to mention slippery. And don't forget your camera – reviewers said you'll want to capture the stunning views.

Overlooking Boulder from the city's southwestern edge (near Chautauqua Park), the Flatirons are free to visit every day from sunrise to sunset. If you decide to drive, you'll have to pay a $5 parking fee (the lot is located on the west side of Highway 93). To avoid the fee, consider taking the bus. According to the city, many trails are accessible via the bus (visit this page on the city website to see which routes service the area). Taking public transportation may also help you avoid the parking lot congestion that past visitors have encountered on the weekends. 

See all Hotels in Boulder »

More Best Things To Do in Boulder

Chautauqua Park1 of 10
Pearl Street Mall2 of 10
Type
Time to Spend
#2 Chautauqua Park

Perched on the southwest edge of the city, this tiny extension of Boulder Mountain Park offers some of the city's most photo-worthy vistas. Originally established in the late 1800s as a verdant retreat, this National Historic Landmark now hosts a handful of community events like concerts and festivals. Even when there isn't anything marked on the social calendar, Chautauqua is still a place to go for a breath of fresh air: Numerous paths and gardens await hikers, bikers, picnickers and dog walkers, while more adventurous travelers explore the rugged mountains nearby.

Visitors are blown away by the park's landscape and its facilities, which include lodging, dining and auditoriums. However, some reviewers were less satisfied with the crowds and limited parking. Because of the park's accessible location just minutes from downtown Boulder, Chautauqua sees more visitors than some of the city's other hiking spots like Eldorado Canyon State Park and Flagstaff Mountain. If you can, try to get to the park early before your fellow hikers start clogging the trails.

Read more
John Kieffer/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Boulder »

Explore More of Boulder

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

The 12 Best Key West Tours

Explore everything from busy streets to tranquil waters on one of these guided adventures.

Gwen PratesiFebruary 28, 2020

The 10 Best New Orleans Cemetery Tours

These tours will enlighten you and frighten you in the best possible way.

Holly JohnsonFebruary 27, 2020

The 16 Best Amsterdam Tours

Dive into this famously liberal city and its beautiful countryside with the help of a guided tour.

Lyn MettlerFebruary 26, 2020

The 16 Best Prague Tours

Take an informative journey through Prague's history, food and more on these trips.

John RodwanFebruary 25, 2020

The 10 Best Jamaica Tours

Enjoy the laid-back Jamaican lifestyle and the island's beauty on these immersive excursions.

Lyn MettlerFebruary 18, 2020

The 22 Best Scotland Tours

Explore castles, lakes, national parks and more on these top-rated excursions.

John RodwanFebruary 14, 2020

The 12 Best Travel Strollers for 2020

U.S. News rated the best travel strollers, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerFebruary 13, 2020

The 14 Best New York City Food Tours

Take a bite out of the Big Apple on these foodie-focused NYC excursions.

Ann HensonFebruary 10, 2020

The 11 Best Swamp Tours in New Orleans

Experience the backyard of the Big Easy on one of these trips.

Marisa MéndezFebruary 6, 2020

The 50 Best Hotels in the USA 2020

U.S. News ranked 4,099 top properties for 2020. Check out the 50 best.

Mackenzie RocheFebruary 4, 2020