Chautauqua Park and and its extensive trail system is perhaps the most popular mountain park in Boulder and part of the open space and mountain parks network that make this Front Range city such a great recreation destination. In addition to the hiking trails, the park offers a wide open lawn with shade trees and picnic tables, a visitor center with nature exhibits, and a playground. There is also a dining hall that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has an afternoon happy hour featuring local beers. The diverse amenities and recreation opportunities make this park a great family destination for Boulder locals and visitors alike.
This park, situated at the base of Boulder's iconic Flatirons, is the main access to many scenic trails like the Chautauqua Trail, First and Second Flatiron Trail, Royal Arch Trail, and Gregory Canyon--just to name a few.
The origin of the park's name, and what makes it a national historical landmark, is its original founding in 1898 as the Colorado Chautauqua. The Chautauqua Movement was a nationwide push to establish community centers for entertainment, family activities and adult education. Out of a competitive selection process, Boulder was chosen as the first site in Colorado to have a chautauqua.
It has served this same purpose for over 100 years, continuing to this day. In fact, it is the only chautauqua in the Western United States that still operates in its original form and function.
Facilities include a visitor center, lodge, auditorium, general store, dining hall, and historic homes. While exploring the area, notice what events are coming up. Community activities, concerts, and educational programs are all held regularly. You can learn more and get event specifics by visiting The Colorado Chautauqua Association.
Parking is often full during the summer, even on weekdays. Be prepared to look for parking on neighborhood streets outside the park, or take the bus from downtown.