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…

100 million yrs of erosion created this land…

Continuing down the main road in Arches National Park my friend Theresa and I were in awe of this landscape with its huge rock formations, vast views, and the wonderful colors of the Southwest.

Here some of the Petrified Dunes covered in Sage brush that gently roll through this part of the park:

“Nature and Science
The forces of nature have acted in concert to create the landscape of Arches, which contains the greatest density of natural arches in the world. Throughout the park, rock layers reveal millions of years of deposition, erosion and other geologic events. These layers continue to shape life in Arches today, as their erosion influences elemental features like soil chemistry and where water flows when it rains.

Arches is located in a “high desert,” with elevations ranging from 4,085 to 5,653 feet above sea level. The climate is one of very hot summers, cold winters and very little rainfall. Even on a daily basis, temperatures may fluctuate as much as 50 degrees.

The plants and animals in Arches National Park have many adaptations that enable them to survive these conditions. Some species are found only in this area. The diversity of organisms reflects the variety of available habitat, which includes lush riparian areas, ephemeral pools, dry arroyos, mixed grasslands and large expanses of bare rock.”
~Moab Adventure Center

 

 

Marking the many trails both well trod, and those that are not are Cairns like this one . Theresa and I found these invaluable as we missed one on the Trail to Delicate Arch and NOT seeing one after a little while I knew we took a wrong turn.

Here’s a closer look at The Three Gossips, and Sheep Rock. I zoomed in on this shot to try get more of the details. This view is from the La Sal Mountains Viewpoint.

In the next blog post we’ll continue down the road to The North and South Windows area where we hiked a little of the Primitive Trail and shot the sunset.