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Royal Arch Trail

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

0.9 mile 1.4 kilometer point to point
49% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 905' 276 m
Descent: -105' -32 m
High: 6,896' 2,102 m
Low: 6,096' 1,858 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 22% (12°)
Max Grade: 60% (31°)

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Trail shared by Brian Smith

A technical trail that rewards with great views and a natural arch.

Brian Smith

Features Birding · Cave · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

From its inception at the end of Bluebell Road, Royal Arch Trail starts climbing to the southwest at the bottom of a drainage. This trail is rocky and becomes steadily more technical as it ascends. Soon after starting out, the Flatirons Loop will branch off to the right. At about the halfway point, things get a little steeper and more difficult. Loose rocks, tight switchbacks and areas of built steps will have your legs working hard.

Eventually, you'll reach a sort of false summit just to the south of the third flatiron. Take in the views of boulder and the surrounding sandstone formations for a moment and then start the short, somewhat scrambling descent. The trail will level out momentarily as it passes through another drainage before it turns upward once more. This is the final approach to the arch.

Be prepared for more tight switchbacks and big steps. You'll have no doubt in your mind that you've made it once you do - the arch is a spectacular sight. From below the arch, there are great views of Boulder as well as the backside of the third flatiron. This is the terminus of the trail and it must be retraced back down as there are no other trails from this point.

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May 6, 2016
Mary Jesse

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 18 votes

#333

Overall
  4.4 from 18 votes
5 Star
44%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
6%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#65

in Colorado

#333

Overall
79 Views Last Month
2,127 Since Jan 11, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
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35%
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65%
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Photos

One of the best picnic spots in Boulder!
Nov 7, 2016 near Boulder, CO
Royal Arch and the Flatirons.
Sep 27, 2016 near Boulder, CO
Royal Arch.
Aug 21, 2018 near Boulder, CO
The Royal Arch on a wintery day.
Jan 2, 2015 near Boulder, CO
Royal Arch Trail can be an icy, slippery, awesome adventure after a decent snowstorm.
Jan 2, 2015 near Boulder, CO
Relaxing under the Royal Arch.
Aug 26, 2017 near Boulder, CO

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