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Chautauqua Trailhead

Chautauqua Trailhead



People enjoy open space for physical, emotional and mental health. Remember to always be courteous. Don't forget to: 

  • Plan visits ahead of time and don’t park illegally at full trailhead areas.
  • Remember to “keep the space in open space.” Maintain 6 feet of distance from people not in your household.
  • Leave No Trace. Stay on trail and walk through mud. If you step off trail to let others pass, immediately step back on trail. 
  • Protect first responders. Know your limits and don’t take unnecessary risks.
  • Visit  to see current trail closures, historical data that shows areas of high and low open space use and trails that are wider than 6 feet. See when trails are busiest through our  Visitation Data Explorer .


Because parking is very limited in the Chautauqua Park (Grant and Baseline streets) area, visitors are encouraged to carpool, walk or bike. There are bike racks located throughout the site. There is also a parking lot at the trailhead near the Ranger Cottage, as well as limited street parking around the Chautauqua Lawn.

Overflow street parking can be found along Baseline Road and further north. However, if parking in nearby neighborhoods, please make sure to respect private residents who live along these public streets. All parked vehicles should be 5 feet from a driveway, 15 feet from a fire hydrant, 20 feet from an unmarked intersection, and 30 feet from a stop sign. Also, please make sure to dispose of your trash properly and help care for this important place.


Please check for Trail & Area Closures.

Or view the interactive trail map (includes trail closures) and the interactive wildlife closures map

You are responsible for knowing and complying with all closures and OSMP rules & regulations.


Please keep your car doors locked and your car windows rolled up at all times while leaving your vehicle parked at OSMP trailheads. Also consider leaving important valuables at home or take them with you while visiting open space. To report suspicious activity please call City of Boulder Dispatch 303-441-3333 or Boulder County Dispatch 303-441-4444. For crimes in progress, call 911 immediately.

Chautauqua Ranger Cottage Photo of Ranger Cottage

COVID19 closure:  OSMP's Ranger Cottage is closed. Learn more about city-related COVID19 closures. Other OSMP-related closures can be viewed at

At the Ranger Cottage, you will find park maps, brochures and information. Learn more about the Ranger Cottage.

Other Chautauqua Area Information

Chautauqua Association

The Chautauqua Association provides lodging, concerts, cultural events, educational programs, recreation, historic preservation, and dining. 303-442-3282

City of Boulder Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation maintains and accepts event reservations for the Chautauqua Lawn. 303-413-7200


View Chautauqua Trail Map pdf

Chautauqua Trail (0.6 mi; 440 ft) goes up a drainage to end at a junction with Bluebell-Baird Trail.

Mesa Trail (6.9 mi; 410ft.) starts at the first turn at the top of Bluebell road (the emergency access road) that goes south from the trailhead. Long, sinuous, hilly and varied, it meanders south through forests and meadows beneath the Flatirons with connections to nearly all canyon trails along Boulder's Front Range. Near its southern end the Mesa Trail branches off twice to the Shadow Canyon Trail, but the main Mesa Trail goes eastward to end at the South Mesa Trailhead.

Baseline Trail (0.4 mi; 60ft) follows Baseline Road west to end at its first turn on the way up Flagstaff Mountain. Bluebell-Baird (0.7 mi; 340 ft.) branches southeast off the Amphitheater Trail and climbs a ridge, then follows the ridge south past the Chautauqua and Bluebell Mesa Trails to end at the Bluebell Road just behind the Bluebell Shelter.

Royal Arch -   (0.8 mi; 880 ft.) starts near the Bluebell Shelter at the end of Bluebell Road leading south from the Trail Head. It goes into Bluebell Canyon, then climbs some switchbacks to gain a ridge. The trail drops into the drainage on the outer side of the ridge, climbs past the lovely Tangen Spring, then more steeply to end at Royal Arch.

Woods Quarry (0.3 mi; 230 ft.) starts about 0.4 miles up the Mesa Trail and ends in an abandoned quarry.

First-Second Flatiron Trail (1.1 mi; 960 ft. ) starts from the Bluebell-Baird Trail, goes south to two trail signs, then west to begin switching back and forth between the First and Second Flatirons. It ends at the saddle between the First Flatiron and Sunset Rock.

Second-Third Flatiron Trail (0.3 mi; 300 ft.) starts from the Bluebell-Baird Trail, goes south to two trail signs, then southwest to the base of the Second Flatiron, then east to end at the junction of the Flatiron Trail.

Third Flatiron Climbing Access Trail (0.5 mi; 650 ft.) starts on Bluebell Road near the Bluebell Shelter. Goes northwest, then southwest and climbs to the junction of the Second-Third Flatiron Trail. Continues up to a talus field and the junction of the Third Flatiron Descent Trail. Ends at the start of the Third Flatiron Standard East Face climbing route. Third Flatiron Descent Trail (0.2 mi; 480 ft.) starts in the saddle to the west of the summit of the Third Flatiron. Begins to descend north, then east, down through a talus field to end at the Third Flatiron Trail.


This area is identified as being popular with people using wheelchairs. See the Accessible Trails Page for details.


Located at Chautauqua Ranger Cottage, on the east side of front porch, and at the top of Bluebell Road.


Located at the Bluebell Shelter.


Bicycles are not allowed on the trails in the Chautauqua area.


Chautauqua Area Dog Regulations Map

Learn about bringing your dog to OSMP. All dogs must be leashed in the Trailhead Leash Area. Beyond the trailhead, dog control requirements vary from trail to trail, so carefully watch for dog regulation signs at trailheads and trail intersections. On most OSMP trails in this area, dogs must be on a hand-held leash at all times unless they meet the voice and sight control standard and display a City of Boulder Voice and Sight tag. Dog excrement removal is required by law. A dog station is available to aid in the collection of dog excrement.


Horses are allowed on most trails. On-trail riding is encouraged to protect rare plants and wildlife habitat. Learn more about riding your horse on OSMP.


Black bears and mountain lions inhabit this area. Many other wildlife species are common including birds of prey, mule deer and coyotes.


  • The City of Boulder began preserving wild lands over 100 years ago! In 1898, Boulder residents approved a bond issue to purchase 80 acres of land to be used as a "Chautauqua." Over the next 22 years, Flagstaff Mountain, Bear Mountain, Royal Arch, and Green Mountain were added to the early protected land system. Chautauqua Dining Hall and Auditorium was built in 1898. Chautauqua Ranger Cottage was built in 1987.
  • Check out the self-guided Cultural Resources History Hike - Chautauqua Historic Loop.