With a 7am planned departure, we were ahead of the game as we backed out of the garage at 6:45am. A clear blue sky could only mean that a great day of hiking in the Flatirons was in our near future.
The trail of the day was Royal Arch Trail in Boulder, with the trailhead located at Chautauqua Park. Royal Arch is a short – 3.2 miles roundtrip – but strenuous hike, so we planned to be back in Boulder in time for lunch. Just a few steps into our hike, we spotted ultrarunner, Anton Krupicka. We recognized him from a recent magazine article and TV documentary. Why didn’t I take a picture??!!
Our trail began in an open meadow, wondered betwixt the forest, crossed Tangen Spring and finished along steep rocky terrain at our destination – Royal Arch. With much of the trail still icy and snow covered, we were prepared with trekking poles and Microspikes, even though weather at the trailhead was sunny and in the 70s. (Thank you CMC for our excellent training!) The Arch has a 20′ span and looks out over the urban view of Boulder. Directly underneath the Arch was a perfect spot for a morning snack and to enjoy the peaceful view.
After enjoying our summit, we headed back down trail. Even though the trail is short, it is a fun and involved hike, especially when icy and muddy. We made good time and arrived at the trailhead before noon. We packed up the Subaru and headed to The Sink to enjoy our well deserved lunch.