Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
2.40 mi (3.86 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Access from downtown Golden. Views over the Denver Metro Area.

Cons

Limited views for much of trail. Limited parking.

Trailhead Elevation

6,900.00 ft (2,103.12 m)

Net Elevation Gain

590.00 ft (179.83 m)

Features

Big vistas
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking

Location

Field Guide + Map

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