Chautauqua Meadow and Ranger Cottage
Click the map at left for a larger PDF map (535 KB).
Chautauqua Park (Grant and Baseline streets, Boulder).
Download the Circle Hikes Guide (791.89 Kb), a brochure with map and description of trails in this area.
New trail and trailhead opened Jan. 7, 2013!
The new Chapman Drive Trail and Trailhead opened on Jan. 7, 2013. This trail is an extension of the current Chapman Drive Trail that begins at Realization Point on Flagstaff Drive. The new trail section allows visitors to go from Boulder Canyon Drive, at the Red Lion Inn, all the way to Flagstaff Drive. More information on the new trail is available on the West Trail Study Area Implementation page.
Visit the OSMP Photo Gallery to download beautiful views of Chautauqua and the Flatirons.
Please check for temporary or seasonal closures and advisories.
At the Ranger Cottage (see photo at right), you will find park maps, brochures and information. It is staffed according to the following schedule:
May - September:
9 am - 4 pm Weekdays
8 am - 6 pm Weekends
9 am - 4 pm Weekdays
8 am - 5 pm Weekends
November - April:
9 am - 4 pm Daily
Parking lot at the trailhead and street parking around Chautauqua Park. There are two bicycle racks in the parking lot.
Chautauqua Trail (0.6 mi; 440 ft) goes up a drainage to end at a junction with Bluebell-Baird Trail.
Mesa Trail (6.9 mi; 410ft.) starts at the first turn at the top of Bluebell road (the emergency access road) that goes south from the trailhead. Long, sinuous, hilly and varied, it meanders south through forests and meadows beneath the Flatirons with connections to nearly all canyon trails along Boulder's Front Range. Near its southern end the Mesa Trail branches off twice to the Shadow Canyon Trail, but the main Mesa Trail goes eastward to end at the South Mesa Trailhead.
Baseline Trail (0.4 mi; 60ft) follows Baseline Road west to end at its first turn on the way up Flagstaff Mountain. Bluebell-Baird (0.7 mi; 340 ft.) branches southeast off the Amphitheater Trail and climbs a ridge, then follows the ridge south past the Chautauqua and Bluebell Mesa Trails to end at the Bluebell Road just behind the Bluebell Shelter.
Royal Arch (0.8 mi; 880 ft.) starts near the Bluebell Shelter at the end of Bluebell Road leading south from the Trail Head. It goes into Bluebell Canyon, then climbs some switchbacks to gain a ridge. The trail drops into the drainage on the outer side of the ridge, climbs past the lovely Tangen Spring, then more steeply to end at Royal Arch.
Woods Quarry (0.3 mi; 230 ft.) starts about 0.4 miles up the Mesa Trail and ends in an abandoned quarry.
First-Second Flatiron Trail (1.1 mi; 960 ft. ) starts from the Bluebell-Baird Trail, goes south to two trail signs, then west to begin switching back and forth between the First and Second Flatirons. It ends at the saddle between the First Flatiron and Sunset Rock.
Second-Third Flatiron Trail (0.3 mi; 300 ft.) starts from the Bluebell-Baird Trail, goes south to two trail signs, then southwest to the base of the Second Flatiron, then east to end at the junction of the Flatiron Trail.
Third Flatiron Climbing Access Trail (0.5 mi; 650 ft.) starts on Bluebell Road near the Bluebell Shelter. Goes northwest, then southwest and climbs to the junction of the Second-Third Flatiron Trail. Continues up to a talus field and the junction of the Third Flatiron Descent Trail. Ends at the start of the Third Flatiron Standard East Face climbing route. Third Flatiron Descent Trail (0.2 mi; 480 ft.) starts in the saddle to the west of the summit of the Third Flatiron. Begins to descend north, then east, down through a talus field to end at the Third Flatiron Trail.
ACCESSIBILITY This area is identified as being popular with people using wheelchairs. See the Trails Accessibility Guide (TAP) 2.56 Mb.
Located at Chautauqua Ranger Cottage, on the east side of front porch, and at the top of Bluebell Road.
Photo - Spring in the meadow means wet, slippery trails which are very susceptible to erosion and permament resource damage. Please hike through the mud and stay on trail, don't go around the mud and destroy the vegetation on the trail's margin. Your boots will dry quickly, but the damaged meadow may take years to recover.
Located at the Bluebell Shelter.
Bicycles are not allowed on the trails in the Chautauqua area.
All dogs must be leashed in the Trailhead Leash Area. Beyond the trailhead, dog control requirements vary from trail to trail, so carefully watch for dog regulation signs at trailheads and trail intersections, and check the Dog Regulations by Area page before your trip. On most OSMP trails in this area, dogs must be on a hand-held leash at all times unless they meet the voice and sight control standard and display a City of Boulder Voice and Sight tag. Dog excrement removal is required by law. A dog station is available to aid in the collection of dog excrement.
Horses are allowed on all trails. On-trail riding is encouraged to protect rare plants and wildlife habitat.
Black bears and mountain lions inhabit this area. Many other wildlife species are common including birds of prey, mule deer and coyotes.
The City of Boulder began preserving wild lands over 100 years ago! In 1898, Boulder citizens approved a bond issue to purchase 80 acres of land to be used as a "Chautauqua." Over the next 22 years, Flagstaff Mountain, Bear Mountain, Royal Arch, and Green Mountain were added to the early protected land system. Chautauqua Dining Hall and Auditorium was built in 1898. Chautauqua Ranger Cottage was built in 1987.
Before You Go
Please know OSMP rules and regulations.
Please study our six Leave No Trace" Principles to protect the land.
Dog owners: see our special dog page.
Hikers and climbers: Please be aware of all area closures.
Mountain bikers: follow this link for trails where you can bike.
More Useful Links:
Trailhead Summary Matrix
Trail system overview
Stay Safe, Know the Hazards
Wheelchair Accessible Trails guide
Last Updated on Friday, 10 May 2013 14:39