Whatever Weds. Flatirons

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Have you heard of or been to the Flatirons outside of Boulder, CO? I had never heard of them before, but I ran across an article or review of them while researching “things to do in and around Denver”. The hikes sounded interesting and pretty so we added this destination to our itinerary.

It was just over an hours drive from our hotel so we got up early had breakfast at the hotel then headed out for Chautauqua Park in Boulder, CO. That’s where we’d find the Flatirons. They’re rock formations that back in the 1900’s were know as the Chautauqua Slabs, and later they were called the Crags… Wikipedia.

They do resemble clothes irons. They’re numbered 1 through 5. The big one in front is number 1.

The Flatirons

Upon arriving and reading the trail map we discovered a big sign notifying hikers that the trail we hoped to hike was closed for repairs, so Plan B. We hiked up this trail in the image above and caught the Bluebell-Baird trail which made a nice loop and a great stretch the legs hike.

Ready? Let’s go I’ll show some of what I saw along the way.

The wide open space soon changed to a dense forest.

Bluebell-Baird Trail

There were still some wildflowers in bloom. I think this is Narrow Goldenrod, but I’m not positive. Any one know for sure? I apologize for the missed focus. My iPhone and I weren’t having a good moment with focus. 😂

Narrow Goldenrod ?

We walked around a bend in the trail and on both sides of the trail were cairns! I can’t recall seeing so many in one place before!

Cairns, cairns, cairns!

There are so many! More than fit in my frame. The park had fenced off both sides of this area but, if you know me and rocks…you just know what happened next. Shhh! Don’t tell anybody, but I had to, HAD TO add a rock to a cairn. This one.

Added one rock on top. Cairn Bluebell-Baird Trail Chautauqua Park

Then before we knew it we out in the open again. Here’s a little view of Boulder, CO.

It’s all downhill from here. Before we finish up let’s take a look behind us shall we?

Flatiron 1

Geoolgy Fun Facts:

The Flatirons consist of conglomeratic sandstone of the Fountain Formation. Geologists estimate the age of these rocks as 290 to 296 million years; they were lifted and tilted into their present orientation between 35 and 80 million years ago, during the Laramide Orogeny. The Flatirons were subsequently exposed by erosion. Other manifestations of the Fountain Formation can be found in many places along the Colorado Front Range, including Garden of the Gods near Colorado SpringsRoxborough State Park in Douglas County, and Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Morrison.”~ Wikipedia

I’d like to go back to this park one day and hike the trail that was closed. From here we headed to Estes Park the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. More on that in a future post.

iPhone 7 Plus| PS CC 22.5.1

more to come…

51 thoughts on “Whatever Weds. Flatirons

  1. My kind of hike! Beautiful!! After California, Colorado is to me the second most beautiful stated! Is this a new blog? I like it. Your camera skills come out much better here:):) I will be even more irregular for the next coming months since I am learning pottery – to make a bowl is NOT as easy as they show on youtube, lol. In May went to a pottery workshop and I was smitten! But I had to save up for a while for the wheel and the kiln.

    1. Thank you so much, Jesh! It’s a new theme. I’m glad you like it!

      How exciting you’re learning a new art form! I tried ceramics years ago and had a blast and created a few pieces I love. Unfortunately the teapot I made broke, but the my Thanksgiving platter is still like new, and I love it! You’re doing even more actually creating your own pot! I know you’ll get it and make beautiful things.

      1. Thank you Deborah for the encouragement! My first two times I did not come further than half a bowl, haha. Wanted to do this for several years, but never took the step. It’s now or never:)

  2. Beautiful! I hear of and see pictures of the Flatirons on the local news all the time. They certainly have a cool and unique look. I just love your first composition. It would be nice if there were designated areas for cairns for those who feel the need! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Denise! I hope they fenced the cairns off so people wouldn’t destroy them. They’re really neat and I am often struck with an urge to create them or add to them when hiking. 😀

  3. I did know about the Flatirons but lovely to see them here. Right after college I lived and worked in Steamboat Springs for two years, then spent a year in Greeley going to grad school. I love it but I’ve very glad not to be living in Colorado these days although I’d love to visit lots of places again. Just don’t love driving through south to north (or vv) when passing through to Wyoming!

  4. What a grand adventure! All the photos are wonderful and the Cairns…😍😍
    I do know Estes Park. My sons used to go to wrestling camp there in Summers.

  5. Thanks for taking us along on your hike Deborah, it appears to be a a very interesting place. Sad the trail was closed, but I know the feeling as we have experienced the same usually after very bad weather, and especially when you have visited to walk those trails. The cairns are interesting:, what are they in memorial of or are they just for fun ?

    1. Thank you, Ashley! Thankfully, we were able to pick another trail and enjoy the area. Those cairns were such a surprise. There weren’t any signs that I found explaining them so I think it’s something that happened organically and fun.

  6. This looks like a wonderful place to hike and explore. I use the iNaturalist app to help me identify plants and animals/insects I capture with my phone. It’s free and fun to use.


    1. Thanks, Deb for the tip! I’ll look that app up.
      I’ve tried several free ones, but deleted them for different reasons. I’d really like to find one that’s as good as my birding ID apps that don’t cost a fortune.

      It was a neat and pretty place to hike.

    2. This is one of the plant apps I deleted. I haven’t got ID’s the one plant I uploaded, and I just reinstalled it and uploaded this photo and no ID help at all no instant recognition of the flower or plant. I don’t get it. ? The one I like and is super easy to use is Picture This but it’s pricey! I don’t want another $30 app that I only use a few times a year.

  7. I clearly need to visit Colorado someday. So much natural beauty. In the meantime, thanks for this preview of the wonders that await!

  8. I was going to say that they look like the rock formations in the Garden of the Gods. The geology out there is simply fascinating. I can’t help with the flower identification. I’m just going to assume that you’re correct. It looks like a very nice hike and you had a beautiful day. Thanks for taking us along.

  9. I love cairns! I’ve been to Bolder but never saw this area. You are bringing back lots of good Colorado memories. I couldn’t count the number of times we went to Colorado for short or long vacations. Of course, we lived next door so the trip was fairly easy. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Judy! It was my first time in CO I hope to get back to it one day there are other regions I want to explore too.

      I love cairns too! I can’t resist adding my own rock or starting a new one.

      Last night a good friend texted me to say she had news. She’s retiring and moving to CO in less than a month! It all happened really fast she said, but now I’ll have another friend to visit there! Of course if I drive it’s a 2 day trip one way! Blah!

    1. I’ve seen the Flatiron Building in NY! That was a must see item on my visit there.

      It’s quite interesting seeing those formations and also in Red Rock State Park and learning more about their formation. I seriously doubt I’ll remember the orogenous period name though. 😀

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