Chimney Gulch Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"The area surrounding Lookout Mountain, aside from being great for mountain biking, is also a well-known hang gliders’ stomping ground. But for those of us who prefer the terra firma to the terrifying, the Chimney Gulch Trail is all we mountain bikers need to know about the Lookout Mountain area. The first part of this route takes riders over red dirt singletrack and through patches of scrub oak. The exposed terrain and many switchbacks make this initial approach a tough one. The next part of the trail climbs steadily as it snakes its way up Chimney Gulch to Windy Saddle. The last section of this route follows through dense stands of pine and aspen on its way to the top of Lookout Mountain. In short, Chimney Gulch offers a lot of bang for your buck. The initial descent from Lookout Mountain runs over a smooth bed of pine-needle singletrack before continuing over rocky and exposed terrain. A great option is to combine this ride with Apex Park. Terrain: Singletrack that runs over exposed hillsides, around tight switchbacks, and through deep forests. Riders will also have to ride on a dirt drive and paved road for a short while."
--Stephen Hlawaty, Mountain Biking Colorado's Front Range (Falcon Guides).
"A steep hike leads into and up Chimney Gulch, located a mile from downtown Golden. Excellent views of Denver, the plains, and up Clear Creek Canyon can be seen from Windy Saddle. The trail climbs through Chimney Gulch and along steep hillsides covered with wildflowers, cacti, yuccas, and mixed pine forests. This is a year-round trail that is especially beautiful during the early summer months.From the parking area cross CO 26 and access the fire road on the east side of the highway. Pass through a gate and climb up to a trail marker at the 0.8-mile mark. Go right at the trail marker and climb along the crest of the ridge. The Dakota Ridge Trail cuts through a forest of small juniper andponderosa pines and stays on the west side of the ridge. Reach a trail marker and the top of the ridge."
--Bob D'Antonio, Hiking Colorado's Front Range (Falcon Guides).
"Chimney Gulch has seen a fair amount of trail work, and sections of the trail have been relocated. The trail is now a little friendlier for mountain bikers. The climb is still hard and technical and will require strong legs and lungs. Tread: 7.0 miles on singletrack."
--Bob D'Antonio, Mountain Biking Denver & Boulder (Falcon Guides).
"The Chimney Gulch Trail was relocated in 1996 and now makes the ascent up Lookout Mountain easier and entirely on single track trail. This lesser known tail is typical of many rides next to the foothills- straight up, to start, with a fast descent to end the ride. Unlike with some Front Range trails, you can choose from several different trail combinations for your return. Terrain: Pavement, sandy to rocky hardpack, waterbars."
--Tom Barnhart, Front Range Single Tracks (Fat Tire Press).
"This ornery loop on rough, wide single-track trails offers bumps and thrills and a long climb—from the very bottom to the very top of Lookout Mountain. Instead of rolling back down the same trail, this route uses the rugged Apex network to loop back to the start.This is one of those what-goes-up-must-come-down rides. The first 3.4 miles of trail are uphill, with very few breaks. The 1,700-foot climb, on a wide single-track, is relentless but not monotonous. Around every bend you’ll find something a little bit different. The trail is moderately stacked with rock obstacles and about a half-dozen severely chunky sections that will satisfy those who enjoy interesting technical problems."
--Robert Hurst, Best Bike Rides Denver and Boulder (Falcon Guides).
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