The Flatirons Trifecta


On Saturday, two friends and I hiked the 3 tallest peaks on Boulder’s Flatirons: Green Mountain to Bear Peak to South Boulder Peak. We wanted to hit all three peaks in one trip so we packed lots of water, woke up early, dropped one car off at the “finish” point (the trailhead for the last peak) and drove up to Chautauqua to start at the trailhead of the first. Roundtrip, the hike was about 9.5 miles.

From Chautauqua, we followed Baseline Trail to Gregory Canyon to Ranger Trail all the way to Green Mtn’s 8,100 ft summit (~2.9 miles). I’m glad we chose to start with Green and make our way south to Bear then South Boulder Peaks because this hike is well shaded, smooth, and the grade isn’t all that steep (opposed to South Boulder). It took us just about 1:30hr to reach the summit.

After downing some H2O and grub, we followed Green Bear Trail (0.8 miles) to Bear Peak West Ridge Trail (1.8 miles) to reach Bear Peak (8,461 ft). The saddle was more down and up than I expected it to be and we were exposed to more sun (it was hot!), but I loved this part… Does this not remind you of Jurassic Park?!

As we got closer to Bear Peak’s summit, the trail turned more into a rock scramble (fun!) and it got pretty steep.

Though the big rocks are a bit slippery on the top (careful!) this was my favorite summit of all three. Gorgeous views of the rockies to the west, and Boulder to the east.

A 30 minute lunch and I-love-this-view break later, we followed the signs towards Shadow canyon to make the short(er) 0.7 mile trek to South Boulder Peak (8,549ft).

The views from South Boulder are equally as incredible but the summit itself seems a bit larger, so there was plenty of room to roam around.

From the top, we followed Shadow Canyon Trail (1.9 miles) down to Towhee trail (1.4 miles) all the way back to the trailhead for SB peak, where my car happily awaited our tired legs.

Shadow Canyon is no joke though, it’s pretty steep and after all the miles and hours we’d been hiking, I was glad we were only going down that trail.

What an awesome day, I had such a blast! Round trip, it took us about 6 hours (including 3 30-min breaks on each summit). By the end, my legs were complete jello and the next day they were crazy sore. SO worth it, a total blast, and I highly recommend the “trifecta” to anyone!

(number 13, complete!)

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