Tuesday, May 26, 2015

the Royal Arch

The Royal Arch is located in the Flatirons.  I drove to Chatauqua Park and met a meetup group by the ranger station.  I was a little nervous going into this hike, being rated moderate to strenuous and I knew there were lots of stairs.  Before I moved to Colorado, I never had any breathing problems, but now, I think I have asthma so the hikes and snowshoeing turn out to be less fun as I struggle to catch my breath.  But, with an upcoming trip, I figured I needed the warm up.

I went from being in the front of the pack at the beginning to the last one within 20 minutes of our hike, and last I stayed all the way. I was essentially hiking alone, which is fine when you can't maintain conversations anyway.  I stopped for a lot of breaks and sips of water.  The elevation gain was 1,205 feet with a lot of 'stairs'.

It took me 80 minutes to get to the arch.  It was pretty, but crowded, not just with the meetup group (who apparently had a long lunch up there) but also with lots of other hikers who passed me along the way.  I ate a bar, took a few photos, rested about 10 minutes and then the group headed back down.   I was able to talk to a handful of people on the way down, and down only took about 20-25 minutes.  I am glad I went, and for the first hike of the season, it will only get better.

The trail is 3.2 miles round trip, very popular, and a good hike.  I suggest you give it a try!


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