With spring in full swing and summer just around the corner, Flagstaff Mountain’s summit area has been transformed. Deep snow and cold winds have been replaced by wildflowers and spring showers. Flagstaff Summit Road, which closes every year for the winter season, has thawed out and is ready for visitors once again. Right on cue, the Flagstaff Nature Center opened to the public on May 1st.
The Flagstaff Nature Center is housed in a log cabin, just steps from the mountain’s summit (7,283 feet). It is maintained by the City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks. Built in 1981, the cabin has undergone a series of eco-improvements and upgrades over the years. It is open and staffed by trained volunteers from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, May through September. The best part: admission is free!
Come visit the nature center to learn about local wildlife, plants, and the history of OSMP. Explore a variety of educational displays and interactive activities for all ages. The Nature Center is a great place to take out-of-town guests, and it’s a valuable resource for locals, too.
To make an afternoon of it, pair your visit to the Nature Center with a hike on one of Flagstaff’s summit trails. The Ute-Range View Loop (1 mile total) is a peaceful hike through ponderosa pine and windswept grasses. The Boy Scout Loop (2 miles total) ends at a rocky outcrop with jaw-dropping views of Indian Peaks Wilderness and beyond. Both are suitable for hikers of all levels. A portion of the Ute Trail is wheelchair accessible.
Flagstaff Nature Center is located at the end of Flagstaff Summit Road. Follow Flagstaff Road for 3.5 miles up to Realization Point. Turn right on Flagstaff Summit Road and continue 0.5 miles to the parking area. There are restrooms and several picnic tables.
Flagstaff Nature Center receives funding from the City of Boulder, the Great Outdoors Colorado fund, the Dr. Scholl Foundation, Boulder Valley Rotary Club, and a 1995 ballot initiative.