Whether your closet looks like a Patagonia outlet store or you view hiking as a prelude to a coma-inducing brunch, Boulder's Flatirons should satisfy your hiking needs. The rocky Boulder foothills are easily accessible from busy Chautauqua Park, and a variety of trails offer challenges for experts and beginners alike, but each features access to the same winding terrain and sweeping vistas of Boulder. One of our favorites? The 3.5-mile Royal Arch trail, a moderately strenuous but totally doable climb that peaks at an impressive rock arch, from which you can see practically to Kansas. No matter which trail you choose, though, the area's opening salvo alone -- a slow, steep climb out of the open park and into the denser hiking areas -- will burn enough calories to make it through that brunch guilt-free.
Best Place to Take a Hike, Best of Denver 2009
Trading Post Trail
The 1.4-mile Trading Post Trail at Red Rocks is the perfect length and difficulty -- short, easy and at a relatively low altitude -- for anyone seeking a nature-y afternoon respite from the bustling streets of Denver. Plus, the gorgeous red rocks and the adrenaline-inducing rattlesnake warning signs are sure to impress out-of-town guests. The trail starts and ends at the Trading Post, where you can grab a snack or make a pit stop before you start hiking. And the hike itself, near the coolest concert venue in the country, is as photogenic as all get-out, so don't forget your camera.
Best Hike for Impressing Out-of-Town Visitors, Best of Denver 2009
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