Chimney Gulch Trail from Highway 6

HARD 276 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

Chimney Gulch Trail from Highway 6 is a 6.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Golden, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
6.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,742 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

This trail is an advanced climb to the top of Lookout Mountain. It crosses Lookout Mountain Road several times. Be careful crossing the road. Watch for cars and road cyclists. To add more to this ride, you can hook it up with the top of Apex trail near the top of the Enchanted Forest trail. Prescribed trail difficulty: Advanced due to technical singletrack and good climb. 95% singletrack, 5% dirt driveway/crossing roads. Prescribed trail: From the parking lot, take the singletrack heading up toward Lookout Mountain. In about 0.8 miles you will come to a section that looks like someone's dirt driveway (because it is). Go left and the singletrack trail will then continue to your right. Follow this for another 0.2 miles and you will come to your first crossing of Lookout Mountain road (about 1 mile from the trail head). Be very careful crossing the road, watch for car and bicycle traffic. Continue up the Chimney Gulch trail for another 1.5 miles where you will cross the Lookout Mountain road once again. Go to the parking lot across the road and the singletrack continues. In about 0.2 miles, you will intersect with the Beaver Brook trail (hiker only). Don't take this. Take a hard left and continue on the trail. In about 0.8 miles you will be at the top of the climb and on the Lookout Mountain trail. Continue on the Lookout Mountain trail by crossing the road (Colorow Road) and taking the singletrack just to the right of the entrance to the Lookout Mountain Nature Preserve. Take this trail for another 1.1 trails as it follows Colorow Road to the intersection with Lookout Mountain Road. Turn around at this intersection. Descend the way you came, back to the parking lot. Extra notes: If you want to make a longer ride, continue on the Lookout Mountain trail as it parallels Colorow Road and hook this ride up with the Apex ride. The top of the Apex ride is about 1.1 miles away from the Lookout Mountain Nature Preserve.

hiking
8 days ago

Close to Golden, so quite busy. Close to the road leading to Lookout Mountain. So nowhere you really can’t hear the road. The views are nice though. Does get hot. Many mountain bikers, so stay alert.

hiking
13 days ago

The trail tends to not be fully marked. Better to be completed in the morning rather than in the afternoon, great bouldering available!

hiking
16 days ago

Hiked this in about 2.5 hours with a 20-minute lunch break at the top of Lookout Mountain. 7.4 miles total to the top of Lookout. Plenty of parking spots available on Sunday afternoon. Warning: encountered two rattlesnakes on the descent (within the final mile). Both rattlesnakes were sunbathing in the middle of the trail. One snake moved into the brush as soon as it heard us. The other was more aggressive - after it started up the side hill, it turned and lunged at the nearest person and was rattling and hissing before assuming the coiled position in the middle of the trail. We had to wait it out about 10 minutes before the snake moved into the brush and we could safely pass. Keep an eye out!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. No tree cover for the first two miles or so, which means you return to that at the end of the loop. Be prepared for it if you’re hiking in the heat. The portion near the top is nicely shaded. Beautiful views all around. I wouldn’t rate this hard. Definitely moderate, but I am not in great shape and I was fine on this trail. I clocked this trail around 7.5 miles.

hiking
1 month ago

Alrighty not the best hike for the afternoon. Very hot for summer as the initial ascent up until you cross the actual road, there is no shade. Breezier and shaded up top. We also met a park ranger at the top in the parking lot that connects this trail to the look out mountain and beaver brook so its nice to know that there are knowledgeable and helpful people around. Also this is a popular mountain biking trail too so if its a mixed use day, be aware of mountain bikers, especially on the switchbacks.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this with my sister, and we are both very active. Took about 3 hours total and we ended up going 7.4 miles. The views throughout were great, but the best at the top of lookout mountain. Would definitely do it again. It's so hot with limited shade I would recommend starting early, and be cautious with your pets.

hiking
1 month ago

Great find today! Needed to bring more water but loves the views.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike with really easy access. You do get some of the road noise for the first mile or so, but then it gets quieter. The second half of the hike has some nice shade, but the beginning can get quite hot. We enjoyed this as a July hike, but Winter or Spring would definitely be the time to do this! Note that this particular trail doesn't go all the way to the top of Lookout Mountain/Buffalo Bill's grave, but you could really easy extend it to do so. Also: after the second road crossing, be sure to go left through the parking lot and pick the trail back up there. There are a couple of other trails across the road to the right that lead elsewhere. If you don't have as much time, you could also park at one of two parking lots on the way up and do only a portion of the trail.

hiking
2 months ago

My first time to Denver was in late April and I only had a single Saturday to do something in the outdoors.

I looked all over to find a trail that had a little bit of everything, and let me tell you this trail exceeded my expectations.
Great amount of elevation gain and length, streams, wild flowers, small amounts of rocks, wildlife such as birds and deer all over.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike with a little bit of everything--river, views, and a constant uphill for a good workout. Definitely heavily trafficked, but to be expected for something so close to town. Saw lots of deer with their antlers growing in!

3 months ago

It is a good trail to get your blood pumping with beautiful views and smell of nice flowers and wildlife.

Decent 3 hr hike. Reach little early to get the parking. Nice view on top.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice high-moderate hike. Good views. Decent number of bikes on the trail.

hiking
4 months ago

Pretty solid hike! We started at the trailhead and broke off to Beaver Brook toward the top... a little slick in some areas, but not bad - micro spikes or yaktrax are optional.

4 months ago

Great hike! A little windy today at the top but was beautiful!

5 months ago

Moderately hard...best view is when you reach the top. There are two other nice trails it leads into: Beaver Brook Trail and the Lookout Mountain trail.

trail running
5 months ago

The view was okay. Weather was incredibly nice (67F in February!) but it was icey and muddy some point. A lot of traffic with hikers, runners and bikers. Since I have done Lookout mountain before, I didn't go all the way to finish this map. Still got 1.5 hour of hike done.

hiking
6 months ago

Started from the bottom and it was more beautiful than even the pictures I took. Highly recommend this trail! Beautiful views of Denver in the distance and just incredible landscape.

6 months ago

Great hike. Decent work out. Dog friendly! Great view of downtown Denver and the mountains.

8 months ago

The perfect three hour hike if you have things to do in the afternoon. Beautiful views of Golden and the view from the top of Lookout Mountain is well worth the trip.

hiking
9 months ago

foothill hike city feel but beautiful views at the top

trail running
9 months ago

Learned a tough lesson last night. Decided to kick out one of the tougher legs of Golden Hell Week with a night run last night up Lookout Mountain. Chimney Gulch was mostly clear and not too bad until the parking lot. Then, the trail turned mostly to a sheet of ice. I regretted not wearing spikes but forged ahead all the same, at some points crawling on all fours (up) and crab walking (down). Don't be fooled by early trail conditions.

Still, this is one of my favorites generally and I highly recommend it. Just be prepared.

9 months ago

If you are a hardcore trail runner this is a great one!

9 months ago

Fun close in hike. Go all the way to Lookout. You’ll experience dry high plain areas lower and then alpine higher. Decent temperature swing too.

hiking
10 months ago

10 months ago

Challenging but not hard. Fair number of mountain bikers. Start early. View from Lookout is spectacular.

trail running
10 months ago

Wasn't as steep as I expected, great place to trail run. Good elevation climb but not crazy steep or super rocky. The first section is completely exposed, the second section (between the two intersections with Lookout Mountain Road) is part woods/part exposure, the third section is almost all woods. Be sure and cross the road at the top and run around the Nature Preserve, easy and flat but very pretty.

hiking
10 months ago

Great day hike!!

11 months ago

Just did 8miles. Great trail. However it's marked at the trail head as Chimney Gulch. Great views and switch backs. We are from Ohio, we bike, rub, and work out.. This trail was moderate. We had some good beer afterwards at the Golden brewery

hiking
11 months ago

My friends and I really enjoyed this! Great for my first time

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