Royal Arch, Boulder Mountain Parks, Colorado
Even long-time residents of Boulder are sometimes surprised to learn that Boulder’s Mountain Parks are home to a beautiful arch. Royal Arch’s position on the eastern flanks of Green Mountain means you cannot see sky through it (which would make it obvious it is an arch) from anywhere within the city limits. To appreciate its beauty, you have to flex a little boot leather by hiking the steep, rocky Royal Arch trail, which starts at Chautauqua Park. The arch is hidden until you are almost upon it. Once there, it’s an easy scramble through the bottom of the arch to a small, sloping platform on the south side that is perched above a precipitous drop. That platform was covered with snow and quite slippery when I shot this photo after a March snowstorm, and I was very careful not to step backwards into the void as I fiddled with the controls of my 4x5 field camera.