Boulder Colorado is a veritable mecca for endurance athletes and Chautauqua Park is a perennial favorite for all kinds of training regimes. Rugged trails, breathtaking scenery, and harrowing rock walls greet athletes of all disciplines. To get to the park take Baseline Road in Boulder Colorado west to the top of the hill. The parking lot for all trail heads is on the left at the Ranger Station. On nice days get there early to make sure there is a spot to park. Proceed up Bluebell Road to access the trail system where there is access to the Flatirons, the Royal Arch, Fern Canyon, Bear Peak, Mallory Cave and the Mesa Trail.
Runners will enjoy the Mesa Trail with its gentle climbs, stream crossings and beautiful pine forest. The Mesa Trail is a great place to train for a trail marathon. If a more challenging route is desired, take the turn onto the Fern Canyon Trail. Expect a very tough climb to the top of the saddle and an even more wicked climb to the top of Bear Peak. Continue over the top of Bear Peak after taking in the breathtaking view of the city of Boulder and make it a loop by returning on the Bear Canyon Trail. The out and back trail to Mallory Cave is also accessible from the Mesa Trail where there is some challenging rock climbing to the cave itself. Technical mountain climbers can hone their skills on the steep rocks walls of the Flatirons. The Royal Arch Trail is replete with stunning views of the Flatirons and the city of Boulder. Be sure to climb into the arch itself to complete the ascent to the top.
Whatever your mood, the Chautauqua Park trail system has the perfect trail for the day.