Boulder sits at the edge of the Great Plains, where they abut the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Hiking in the foothills is popular in this college town and there are a number of options hikers can choose from. Flagstaff Mountain is Boulder’s fourth-highest peak. You can hike to the summit from the town, but it is the only foothill that lets you drive up the mountain to its summit, which offers great views of the Continental Divide, picnic areas, and an amphitheater.
Being lazy and having bad knees, I chose the drive up instead of hiking up the steep incline. The drive up the mountain starts near the Chautauqua. As you climb you'll see nice views of Boulder (see above photos), with the buildings of the University of Colorado dominating the view. There are also great panoramic views of the plains and foothills, as you can see in the photos below.
Last weekend's One Clue Mystery photo (shown below) featured one angle of view from the road up Flagstaff Mountain. The view is to the south, towards the Flatirons. It was recognized, as always, by George G.
The structures you find near the summit of Flagstaff Mountain, such as the Sunrise Amphitheater, were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. The amphitheater remains an important gathering place for events like Easter Sunday sunrise services and weddings.
Be sure to walk from the parking area to the summit, so that you can see the Rocky Mountain Peaks in the distance.
You can make your exploration of Flagstaff Mountain as long or short as you want it to be. If possible, do some hiking and enjoy the views.