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Lookout Mountain Trail

Windy Saddle Park

Denver Metro Area, Colorado

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Lookout Mountain Trail

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  • View east from the Windy Saddle Trailhead.- Lookout Mountain Trail
  • View east from the Windy Saddle Trailhead with hikers on the Chimney Gulch Trail.- Lookout Mountain Trail
  • View of downtown Denver from the Windy Saddle Trailhead.- Lookout Mountain Trail
  • Hiking from the trailhead at Windy Saddle. - Lookout Mountain Trail
  • View north from Lookout Mountain Trail across the Clear Creek Valley.- Lookout Mountain Trail
  • View northeast from Lookout Mountain Trail across the Clear Creek Valley.- Lookout Mountain Trail
  • Unidentified aster species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Lookout Mountain Trail
  • Lookout Mountain Trail.- Lookout Mountain Trail
  • Lookout Mountain Trail.- Lookout Mountain Trail
  • Clear Creek Valley.- Lookout Mountain Trail
  • Gaillardia (Gaillardia aristata).- Lookout Mountain Trail
  • Fremont's Geranium (Geranium caespitosum var. fremontii).- Lookout Mountain Trail
  • Many-flowered aster (Symphyotrichum ericoides).- Lookout Mountain Trail
  • View east from the summit of Lookout Mountain adjacent to the nature center.- Lookout Mountain Trail
  • - Lookout Mountain Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Access from downtown Golden. Views over the Denver Metro Area.
Cons: 
Limited views for much of trail. Limited parking.
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Region:
Denver Metro Area, CO
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
590.00 ft (179.83 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking
Total Distance: 
2.40 mi (3.86 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
6,900.00 ft (2,103.12 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

This moderate climb and very scenic hike connects Windy Saddle Park and Apex Park with Lookout Mountain Nature Preserve in between. These parks are an easy drive from Golden or Denver, and are all convenient from I-70.

Sights along the trail include abundant wildflowers, grassy meadows, ponderosa pine forests, numerous birds, mule deer, and other wildlife. The flat-topped Lookout Mountain earns its name by providing views into the mouth of Clear Creek Canyon, vistas over Golden and Table Mountain, and a vantage to Downtown Denver. Rocky Mountain Peaks are visible to the northwest and southwest.

The path parallels Lookout Mountain Road for about half of the distance and crosses it once. Passing cars create some distraction, but there is still plenty of nature in which to get immersed. Shade is scarce on some parts, so be sure to bring sun protection and water, especially in summer.

As a connector between parks, this trail intersects a few others, and is a great access point to the nearby interpretive Nature Center Loop at Lookout Mountain's summit. It is also part of the longer linkup that includes the steep and committing Chimney Gulch Trail, which starts in Golden and climbs 2,000 feet all the way up the mountain. The route is shared with mountain bikers, who should yield to hikers, but watch out for riders who may be less aware of trail etiquette.

As an all-day getaway or an afternoon road trip stop, trails along Lookout Mountain are a quintessential destination in the Denver area. Everyone from casual hikers and families to trail runners and mountain bikers will enjoy what this area has to offer.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(9 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(92 within a 30 mile radius)

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