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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

First/Second Flatirons Trail

May 19th, 2009 · 5 Comments

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“What is your favorite hike?” I asked my chiropractor yesterday.

“It’s the trail that climbs up between the First and Second Flatirons,” he replied. The four Flatirons are the very symbol of Boulder.

That was enough to get me there today. I had seen the trail on maps, but assumed that it was only for rock climbers.

The trail does climb steeply from Chautauqua Park for 1,450 feet to the saddle between the First and Second Flatiron. The climb took me four hours this morning, although it was only a 3 mile round trip.

At the start of the hike the trail runs through fields of flowers. Ahead are the Flatirons. We count the Flatirons from north to south, so the First Flatiron is in the one at the right. My goal was the saddle between the First and Second Flatirons.

Boulder\'s Flatirons

Boulder's Flatirons

The further I hiked the steeper the trail became. Half-way up the trail crossed this boulder field. Down below is the trail I came up through the flower field and beyond that the well-named city of Boulder:

Do You Wonder Why We Call Them \"The Rockies?\"

Do You Wonder Why We Call Them "The Rockies?"

The peak of the Second Flatiron is, surprisingly, not at all flat:

The Peak of the Second Flatiron

The Peak of the Second Flatiron

At the saddle I met Steve from Golden. He asked me as a favor to take his photo. I asked him to return the favor, and he did. Here I am at the saddle with the peak of the First Flatiron in the background:

At the Saddle Between the First and Second Flatirons

At the Saddle Between the First and Second Flatirons

The saddle was my destination today. I left climbing the Flatirons themselves to people who enjoy putting their lives in danger.


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Posted in: Mountain Climbing

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jim Williams // Sep 16, 2009 at 8:30 am

    This is also my favorite hike in Boulder Mountain Parks. I’ve hiked it many times and never tire of the trail or the beautiful views.

  • 2 Fran Stearns // Apr 1, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Perhaps this is the route the aboriginals traveled from the west when they deposited the Clovis cache now in Professor Bamforth’s possession at U of CO?

  • 3 Steven // Jul 26, 2013 at 8:37 am

    That is entirely possible, but since there are other, much easier, nearby routes over the mountains to the general area of the Park where he lives, it would not necessarily be the route that I would think of.

  • 4 David Mendosa // Jul 26, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Dear Steven,

    Thank you for your comment. But it comes too late. Sadly, Fran passed away earlier this year.



  • 5 Steven // Jul 26, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Wow. Bummer.
    Thanks for the update, David.