“This wide service road provides brief views and mellow access to Chautauqua's southern trails.”
— Megan W
Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Wide, smooth surface. Well graded for easy cruising.
The area around the Enchanted Mesa Trail tends to be less crowded than the main Chautauqua Trail
and its nearest offshoots. For this reason, you have a better chance of spotting wildlife here and you may have a more tranquil outing.
Starting from the parking lot just south of the Chautauqua auditorium, head southwest on a wide, fine gravel service road. The ascent starts out pretty gently, briefly paralleling Bluebell Creek and then crossing it over a stone bridge. Immediately after the bridge there is an intersection with the McClintock Lower
and McClintock Upper
Trails. Head straight east to stay on the Enchanted Mesa Trail. Next, the trail curves around what looks like a large roof but is actually a drinking water reservoir. Continue upwards through open grassy meadows where you'll be treated with views of the Flatirons and surrounding peaks ahead and town/university views behind.
As the trail makes its way up and over the truly lovely mesa, the forest becomes denser and shade returns. Wildflowers make their homes here and change with the seasons. Pass the junction with the Enchanted-Kohler Spur
trail and ascend at a steeper grade until the Enchanted Mesa Trail ends at a T-intersection with the famous Mesa Trail
Flora & Fauna
Deer, occasional bears. Ponderosa pines, wildflowers.