Boulder is known for its Flatirons, the sky-carving, purplish rock faces on the south end of town that wow you as you roll up Highway 36 from Denver. Why not hike to the top of one? Don't be scared off by the hordes of people at Chautauqua Park, where this and several other popular trails begin – the crowds will fizzle out the farther up the wide, gravelly Chautauqua Trail you hike. Before long, you'll come to a fork at the Bluebell-Baird junction; keep right and follow the signs for Flatiron #1. Here it gets more dicey, switchbacking tightly over an uneven, rocky path. You'll duck under and around several hanging boulders until you reach what you'll think is the top. But then comes the real bonus, as you swing around to the opposite side of the rock top and scope sensational views of the Continental Divide. Round trip is 2.9 miles. Be careful in the late fall and early spring, because there are many sunless spots where snow and ice can linger.

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