Hike to the Royal Arch

As you've all probably figured out, I love hiking! Ever since I moved back to Colorado I've been obsessed with finding and conquering new trails.

For me, hiking is almost a therapeutic experience. I love getting out of the city to breathe in some fresh air and stretch my legs. It is the perfect way to de-stress and mentally prepare myself for a new week. 

One of my favorite hikes recently was The Royal Arch Trail in Boulder. My best friend and her boyfriend were in town visiting, and I thought what better way to show them Colorado than with a beautiful hike?!

The Royal Arch trail starts at Chautauqua Park in Boulder, which is home to 5 different trails ranging in difficulty from easy to hard. The Royal Arch Trail is considered to be hard, mainly because there are lots of steep rocky parts. 

My boyfriend and I were a bit nervous to take our out-of-towner friends, as we weren't sure how they would do with the altitude. However, they did great and made it to the top without any difficulty. 

The hike started as a dusty dirt trail with a moderate incline. It was a really hot day, so this part was a bit tough as there were no trees to provide any shade. The trail led us towards the forest where there were many turn-offs to the different trails. 

As we followed the Royal Arch trail, we were surrounded by beautiful pine trees and passed by many cairns that marked the trail. Overall, the trail was very easy to follow.

Eventually we came to a part of the trail that consisted of steep rocky steps. This was definitely the most challenging part of the hike and I could feel the burn in my calves the entire time. However, the view was beautiful and the stairs made it a good challenge. 

After what seemed like forever, we finally made it off the stairs and the trail flattened out again for a bit. We made it up another steep section to a landing and I became excited thinking we had made it to the top. Little did I know that we had to descend down the rocky side to keep going. 

We hiked on for another half mile or so, and then we finally made it to the arch! It was a beautiful rock archway that reminded me of the ones I saw on my trip to Arches National Park in Utah. We walked though the arch and sat on the flat rocks that overlooked the view below. 

The view was gorgeous! We could see the town of Boulder below and Denver off in the distance. We sat on the rocks for a while, enjoying the view and giving our bodies some much needed rest after conquering all those stairs. 

After hanging out on the rocks for a while, we turned back the way we came to follow the trail back to the car. 

We all had a great time and were tired and hungry by the end. It was a really fun day and I can't wait to go back and do the hike again!