Arapahoe Ridge Park, Boulder, CO a.k.a. Rock Park

We haven’t gone to the park recently because it’s been beastly hot (i.e. above 80 degrees). Last week wasn’t too bad but I spent much of the week wandering around to various libraries looking at their ILS (catalog system). Fortunately, mom was around to watch Calvin since preschool had their summer conference and was closed Wednesday-Friday. This morning I took mom back to the airport. When I arrived back home I was shocked to see it was still in the 70s. I had planned to do USEFUL THINGS but decided we needed to grab the opportunity to go to the park while the weather was bearable.

Today I decided we’d go to Arapahoe Ridge Park. I saw a post about it on 8Z Real Estate that sounded interesting1

ArapahoeRidgePark

In some ways, the park is very traditional. It actually has a real merry-go-round which I didn’t realize still existed in any Boulder parks.

merrygoround

What really makes this park stand out though is the rock cave and tunnel system. It’s a man-made structure that has numerous tunnels kids can wiggle through as well as a large cave area that can fit quite a few children. Most parks we’ve visited have one or two mothers with their young kids. However, when we arrived at this one there was a swath of older neighborhood kids who were hanging out in the cool cave area.

rockcave

The tunnels were fun looking but definitely sized for children, not adults. One father was playing tag with his kids. He did manage to wiggle through the tunnels without getting stuck but his kids had a definite advantage.

rocktunnel

Calvin enjoyed clambering on top of the rocks.

rockwalking

rocksitting

Calvin called the little cave a house.

inrockcave

rockhole

The park also has an older-style playground which apparently use to have a slide but, according to the 8z site, was removed because it allowed the kids to go too fast. What remains is a tic-tac-toe feature, which Calvin got me to play with him, and 3 steering wheels.

steeringwheels

Summary:

Features Rock cave and tunnels, bucket swings, tennis court, ball field, tic-tac-toe feature, steering wheels, spring riders merry-go-round, grill, shaded picnic table, shaded benches
Surface Material Pea Gravel
Restrooms No restrooms 🙁
Water fountain None
Shade Shaded shelter with picnic table. There are also several shaded benches. However, most of the play equipment, except in the rock cave, is out under the sun
Picnic area There is one covered shelter with a picnic table
Parking Parking was a little odd. There doesn’t appear to be any official parking lot so we ended up parking in one of the cul-de-sacs that were close to the park.
Pros
  • Rock cave/tunnel
  • Merry-go-round
Cons
  • No bathrooms of any kind.


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  1. The 8z post says there is a baby bucket swing as well as a regular swing. All I saw were 2 bucket swings, no regular ones.

2 thoughts on “Arapahoe Ridge Park, Boulder, CO a.k.a. Rock Park

  1. Jaeger

    When I was eleven or twelve I walked to the park with my siblings and played there while my mother was busy preparing the house for a party of some description. (I believe it was a post-move house-warming party.) While crawling through the tunnels carved into the rocks I jumped down into the large cave area and managed to bang the back of my head on the rock, causing it to bleed. We walked back home after that and my mother had the party while I took a bath to wash the blood out of my hair.

    Despite that experience (or, perhaps, because of it) I remember the park fondly, though since it was a much longer walk than our neighborhood park we rarely visited it.

    Reply
  2. Suzan Logan

    The park looks vaguely familiar to me but I don’t remember Ted getting hurt there. Maybe Doug walked to the park with the kids while I was cooking for the party.

    The rock/cave area really looks fun!

    Reply

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