Golden Gate Canyon Loop is a 8.1 mile loop trail located near Golden, CO that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and camping and is accessible from May until October.
We did a run on this trail yesterday. More people around 11 but it was pretty clear otherwise. Somewhat steep hill up that opens to a beautiful meadow. Lots of leaves already dead and falling. Probably good for colors for just a few more days.
Fabulous. My friend (17) and I (17) did this and took us approximately 5 hours to complete. Bring plenty of water as it is long and tiring but beautiful. We parked at Kriley Pond and headed our way up on the Blue Grouse Trail which lasted about a mile and turned onto the Mule Trail the whole way. You do have to pay for a park pass ($7)
We did a 6 mile loop, starting at Bootleg parking lot, headed up Coyote Trail which has great views of some 14ers on the way up. Once reaching the top, the trail goes through an easy slope down across a meadow filled with plenty of Aspen. Coyote meets Mule trail - we took a right and looped all the way back to our car. We were a bit early for wildflowers - they will be gorgeous in 2 weeks. Hummingbirds everywhere! They must have just arrived back and were zipping around like crazy, I've never seen so many in one area in my life. This trail is easy and covers a lot of different terrain so gives good variety. Would be great in the fall.
Golden Gate Canyon State Park may be Denver's best not-very-well-kept secret. Close to town and quite accessible featuring 36 miles of intersecting trails ranging from easy to moderate/difficult (with a tiny bit of scrambling on a couple), it's a great go-to destination for day trips when you want to get away but didn't plan enough in advance for a real trip into the mountains. You can always find something new in Golden Gate Canyon.
Families will appreciate the visitor center and the group of quick intersecting trails including a nature trail around the visitor's center and wildlife viewing. There is good trailrunning on the east, less-trafficked side of the park. Hikers and campers focus on the west and central valleys.