beware alternate schedule here. just showed up and no hiking allowed today. bikes only

Great hike, and a short distance from Denver. I arrived around 12:30pm on a Saturday and while the parking lot was full, there was ample parking along the street. The hike is mostly gentle the whole way through, I would consider this on the easy side of moderate. But there are a few places that get fairly rocky and require some thoughtful foot placement.The entire trail is exposed to the sun, so make sure to do whatever you need to to be comfortable in some UV exposure for a couple hours. Once reaching the junction of the loop, I made a left. The incline is steady and gentle throughout. As you are making your way around the loop, you will notice a few offshoot trails on indicated on the AllTrails map. One will lead you directly to the summit of Mount Galbraith. It isn't clear if this is a well-defined social trail or an official park trail, but it seems well traveled and in good condition. The trail indicated on AllTrails dead ends but the trail itself continues all the way to the high point. There is plenty of bare dirt and rock to step on as you make your way up so as to not disturb the lovely desert vegetation along the slope. The top makes a great place to rest and enjoy the views of the foothills to the west, and the flat seemingly endless desert to the east, with Denver nestled in there neatly. The way down from here gives you a few options, although it certainly seemed that the trails became more unofficial. I like to prioritize the official trails to allow for limited erosion and destruction of vegetation, so I would probably have been better off pulling a180 and heading down from the top the same way I came up, but I didn't. There is an alternate way down that appears to be a well maintained trail, but as you approach northwest end of the loop indicated on the map, it is clear that this is indeed a social trail, and perhaps not recommended. More research is needed on what trails are acceptable in this area and which are best to be avoided for the sake of preservation. My time to the top was 1 hour and 15 min with a few breaks to let the pup have a drink and to chat with friendly passers by. The way down was 40 min to the car.

I really liked this hike, and thank you Greg for the recommendation to start the loop to the L. I'm not sue about it being really steep, I've been on much worse for a short hike, but yes- this one catches elevation and it's BEAUTIFUL because of it. Very well sign posted and the trail is well worn/used. MOST people followed the leashed dog rule although there were quite a few running free, which I didn't have a problem with but my leashed dog was far from impressed. I LOVED the views of the valleys and on a clear day you can see the whole city of Denver and beyond. I'd recommend starting from this side over the other one because it had a true parking lot where the other route is in the middle of a neighborhood and you have to park on the side of the street which isn't ideal.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

This logged 10.8 miles for me. I went counterclockwise and it was a good mix of ups and downs. Saw about 10 people hiking/running/biking on a tuesday midday. Did this one solo and seemed safe. Never saw any animals or tracks. Id say its on the low side of moderate. I got caught in a thunderstorm though for about 2/3 of the hike so that was unfortunate. Will def do again on a sunnier day. Theres also 2 lots for parking. No fees. Just check the hike/bike days for the weekends. Otherwise weekdays are fair game! I posted the map too!

hiking
1 month ago

mountain biking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail! Heads up, our pup got bit by a rattlesnake on the trail. He didn't make a noise but we happened to see a small rattlesnake in a rock area on the loop. We got him to the hospital and they confirmed it was a snake bite. Keep your eyes open & be on the lookout.