Apex Trail

Apex Open Space Park, Colorado

Distance2.8mi
Elevation Gain1,710ft
Trailhead Elevation6,165ft
Top7,495ft
Elevation Min/Max6165/7495ft
Elevation Start/End6165/6165ft

Apex Trail

Apex Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Golden, Colorado. It is within Apex Open Space Park. It is 2.8 miles long and begins at 6,165 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 5.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,710 feet. Apex Park and another parking are near the trailhead. This trail connects with the following: Kinney Run Trail, Argos Trail 0.7mi, Enchanted Forest Trail, Pick N' Sledge Trail and Hardscrabble Trail.

Apex Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Apex Park offers a network of trails within a short drive of Boulder, Denver, and Golden. Hence, it can get crowded on weekends. But don’t let its proximity fool you into believing that Apex Park doesn’t have some of the toughest trails surrounding the metropolitan area. Delivering rocky singletrack, steep climbs, and exposed hillsides, Apex Park is sure to deliver quintessential Front Range riding. Be sure to
wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water while on the trail.

The route described below covers the northeasterly sections of Apex Park. To add roughly 3 more miles of singletrack to your ride, continue heading west through the park on the Apex Trail to its terminus at Lookout Mountain Road. From its terminus, I highly recommend returning via the Enchanted Forest Trail. Terrain: Singletrack with a good deal of large, loose rocks and sand."

"Awesome singletrack; close to Denver; excellent, steep climbing with great views of Denver and the Front Range. Tread: 0.3 mile on paved roads, 0.5 mile on doubletrack, and 4.6 miles on singletrack.

Mountain terrain requires preparedness. Get in good shape before you attempt any of these rides, and know your limits. Keep your bike running smoothly with frequent cleaning and maintenance. Do a quick check before each ride to ensure that tires, rims, brakes, handlebars, seat, shifters, derailleurs, and chain all survived the last ride intact and are functioning properly. Always carry at least one water bottle (and don’t forget to fill it)."

"Another thigh builder, this trail climbs along the old Gregory Wagon Road to Lookout Mountain. I recommend this trail for a quick evening training run. It's rocky in many places and your technical skills need to be above average.

The trail is similar to the Dakota Ridge Trail, except you will encounter fewer bikers and it has more varied trail surface. Personally, this trail has a higher "fun" factor than the Dakota Ridge Trail. Terrain: Sandy hardpack with many small loose rocks, numerous waterbars, roots."

"This run combines the two runs previously described, but throws in the Enchanted Forest Trail to finish off the loop. To start, follow the description for the Grubstake to Hardscrabble Loop. When you get to the Hardscrabble/Apex Trail junction, instead of turning left and running down the canyon, turn right and gently climb up the canyon. Initially the trail passes through a nice open meadow before joining back up with the creek, passing through interspersed aspen groves, meadows, and creek-side growth."

"This is a great ride if you don't mind a climb. After you reach the top, you start a fast downhill. Watch out for the switchbacks; some have loose rocks and may be difficult to clean. Terrain: Loose dirt and gravel, occasional medium sized rocks, waterbars.

From the trailhead, bike west on Apex Trail, up past the
Pick ‘n Sledge Trail to the Sluice Box Trail (1.4). Travel north on the Sluice Box Trail, back and forth, up the loose switchbacks, until you reach the junction of the Sluice Box Trail and Pick ‘n Sledge Trail (2.0). At this point, Grubstake Trail continues onto the north. Take the Grubstake Trail north, to reach the highest point of this ride, Indian Mountain (2.2)."

"Situated below Lookout Mountain, and surrounded by ever-increasing urban sprawl, lies this beautiful piece of open space. Apex Park is a quick getaway into a beautiful deep gulch that offers hikers great views, beautiful wildflowers, cacti, yuccas, and a pine forest—all a mere 15 miles from downtown Denver.

From the parking area go down the steps and pick up a park map
at the kiosk. Follow the wide gravel path down past the restrooms and picnic area to a bridge. Cross the wood footbridge over Mt. Vernon Creek and follow the Village Walk Trail up and to the right. Mt. Vernon Creek is quite picturesque and is surrounded by tall cottonwoods and willow bushes. The Village Walk Trail climbs up a gentle grade through an open meadow filled with colorful wildflowers in the late spring and early summer months. The trail makes a sharp left at the top of the hill and climbs up to the Mt. Vernon townsite."

"Located in the foothills above Golden, the Apex Trail is one in a network of trails that climb the east face of Lookout Mountain. The relatively low altitude makes this a great conditioning hike in spring, when similar trails at higher elevations are still snowbound.

It can also help you gauge whether you and your pet are ready for hiking in the mountains. The 1,000-foot elevation gain and rocky terrain make an excellent test of your and your pet’s stamina. During the Colorado gold rush, this trail was a toll road known as the Gregory Wagon Trail."

"The run up and back down the Apex Trail is the most straightforward found at the park. From the trailhead, it follows a seasonal creek as it winds up through the foothills, and reaches its terminus at Lookout Mountain Road. The first part of the run is a bit rocky, with a few technical sections. At just over the half-mile mark, the Pick N’ Sledge Trail branches off to the right. Continue up the Apex Trail as it follows the creek through shaded sections. After 1.5 miles the steep switchbacks of Sluicebox Trail climb the hill to the right as the Apex Trail briefly passes through an open section with tall willows."

Apex Trail Reviews

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5/6/2018
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3/11/2010
I tohught the scenery was beautiful, very little foot or bike traffic. very peaceful and well worth doing for anyone.
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12/5/2009
Great trail! Just long enough to feel like you got out and stretched your legs but not so long that you lose an entire day--if that's important to you. This would be a good family hike if your kiddos can handle the distance; the terrain isn't horribly challenging.
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8/16/2008
This is a great uphill challenge, and a fun technical ride on the way down. The single track is well groomed with some rocky parts that might force some off their bikes. There are a ton of different trails but the ones at the top are worth the uphill to get to them. They have great views and a fast pace and provide a great downhill with technical and switchback challenges. Good ride and workout!
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6/5/2007
Red rocks trail is one of my favorites. The views are excellent and the red rocks are beautiful--lots of wild flowers too. It tends to be a bit crowded, but a great place to go that's not too far from the city.
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5/12/2007
I have been riding the Apex trail for quite a few years now, and still find it to be one of my favorite trails. The enchanted forest area is a great side trail to ride on. It can get crowded at times, but is still worth it. It is very technical at parts, but will make you a better rider if you ride it alot. I really like to ride up Chimney gulch trail in Golden and across the top and then down Apex. Makes a nice loop.
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6/17/2004
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6/15/2004
So far, this is my favorite ride in the Denver Area. It is moderatley difficult, but the downhill and enchanted forrest are awesome.
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2/6/2003
There are so many great things about this trail: it's only a couple miles outside Denver, it's relatively short (ideal for after-work rides), it's challenging, and the people that frequent the trail are usually extremely helpful. This is a very technical trail...but that makes it great for practicing your technical skills! There are a few choices of trails within Apex Park which makes it nice for a "change-up" once in a while. I highly recommend checking out the "Enchanted Forest" in this trail system, as it is one of the most beatiful areas. Note, this is also has some extremely advanced sections and you have a pretty steep climb ahead of you to even get to it! Also be aware that this is near residences so there are a lot of hikers and pet owners. Please be a curteous trail-user!
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Apex Trail Photos

Trail Information

Apex Open Space Park
Nearby City
Apex Open Space Park
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate
Skill Level
Hiking, Mountain Biking
Additional Use
Jefferson County Open Space/Apex Park map
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Sep 2018