Mayhem Gulch Juniper Loop Trail

MODERATE 156 reviews
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Mayhem Gulch Juniper Loop Trail is a 4.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Golden, Colorado that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
918 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

This is a mixed-use trail, part of Jefferson County Open Space. Pay attention to the maps and signs for what is allowed on which days. There is plenty of parking at the trail head, and rest rooms, along with access to Clear Creek. You can only HIKE on the ODD numbered weekend days. EVEN numbered weekend days are reserved specifically for BIKING. You can receive a $50 fine for biking/hiking on the wrong days.

hiking
1 month ago

Great day hike with some cool views. Parking was ample when I arrived today around 1:30 pm. Although it appears that the place become quite crowded on the weekends. The trail head begins at the western end of the parking lot and it marked well. The hike offers great high desert plant life and plenty of exposure to the sun- lather up! After some good switchbacks the trail reaches a junction, I opted to go for the route that begins to the east. Follow until another junction that will show the way to Juniper. There are two junctions that happen within a hundred yards or so, and for both keep to the left. They are well marked but hoping on the wrong trail will add some time to your day. At this point the trail is gentle and offered some great looks of snow dusted peaks in the distance. The trail makes its way back to mayhem and the same way down. There are many bikers hikers on the trail so be courteous out there! The whole trip took be 2 hours.

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty easy trail, but not much to see. There weren't many people there and the other dogs we passed (only 3, but my friend and I had 5) were all on leash and very well behaved which was wonderful!! Can imagine this trail would be very hot in the summer. Will be back again to explore more of the area!

trail running
3 months ago

I really enjoyed this trail! Saw lots of other runners. The first part has a good but manageable climb and the back loop is pretty flat and easy. There are decent views but also highway noise for a good chunk of the trail. Afterwards we crossed under Highway 6 from the parking lot to dip our feet in the creek, which felt great!

hiking
4 months ago

Great for an afternoon hike. Only a 45 min drive from downtown Denver. Hwy 6 is always busy, only traffic we ran into to get to the trailhead. plenty of parking. Tidbit - even days are for hikers & odd days are for bikers. We came across a handful of hikers but managed to still get away from the hustle and bustle. Gradual incline that traverse the mountain. Decent elevation gain but then the backside of the loop is easy. Single track mostly. I'd do this trail again over Lair of the Bear anytime.

hiking
4 months ago

Don't go for the "waterfall" only - it's just a trickle when I've seen it and easy to miss from one of the lower switchbacks. I love this hike. The switchbacks are perfectly spaced so it didn't feel quite like the gain was as much as it is. Check the status before you go. It closes for elk calving and also for a month of hunting. Spectacular view of Clear Creek Canyon.

hiking
4 months ago

Never saw the waterfall. :(

4 months ago

Decent trail and if used on a weekday you will be sharing with mountain bikes. Some areas are narrow and can create an uncomfortable situation as there is very little room to let a bike pass.

hiking
5 months ago

Great morning hike with great views

hiking
5 months ago

Does anyone know where the waterfall actually is?

5 months ago

Probably good for mountain biking and trail running, but not for hiking. Just a dirt trail with a lot of small rocks and almost entirely in the sun. Boring.

hiking
5 months ago

Good moderate hike and easy to access. We completed it in just under 2 hours, but want to go back and do more of Centennial cone.

5 months ago

I got dizzy from all the winding. whoever designed this trail is real artistic. idk if its "allowed" but keep an eye out for the tiny off-trail trails (if that makes any sense) they're pretty cool. found some petrified wood and really sparkly stuff

6 months ago

This is an okay fitness hike if you live in the area. There's nothing special to see (not sure why it's tagged waterfall), and the first and last 1.5 mi you get a lot of highway noise.

hiking
6 months ago

Pretty straightforward trail. Beautiful views. Nice, consistent incline/decline. We went early in the morning and maybe saw 5 other people the whole time even though it was a sunday morning. Overall, great hike. If you're going on the weekend, keep in mind the restrictions-hikers have odd numbered days, bikers have even

hiking
6 months ago

Good views at all points of the hike, and a quick one at that. Would rate this easy-moderate (more on the easy side).

hiking
7 months ago

I thought the approximate 5m loop was perfect! Exactly what I was wanting to do today. Moderate climb for the first half with the downhill trek on the way back. Reminder: this trail connects with to Centennial Cone Trail and is an Alternating Use Trail on the weekends. Hikers=Odd # dates and Bikers=Even # dates.

hiking
7 months ago

Didn't end up getting to hike this trail today because you can only HIKE on the ODD numbered weekend days. EVEN numbered weekend days are reserved specifically for BIKING. You can receive a $50 fine for biking/hiking on the wrong days. So idk how the trail actually is, full disclosure!

7 months ago

Kinda blah for me. The canyon drive there however was beautiful. I think instead I'll try starting on the north side next time.

hiking
8 months ago

Early April hike, no snow, very dry conditions.

I'd rate Mayhem Gulch and the Juniper Loop as a 'strong-Easy' or 'barely Moderate.' I completed the hike with my mother who isn't a hiker and is visiting from Canada, she needed to stop a couple of times as Mayhem Gulch (1.8 miles) is a steady incline with switchbacks, exposed to the sun.-- she was able to complete it with no major challenges. Juniper Loop is shaded and easier than Mayhem Gulch.

Lots of free parking (I'd estimate 50 spaces?). Views are nice and our mid-week morning hike was pretty relaxing, not too many mountain bikers.

3/5.

8 months ago

After the first 1.5 miles, it's a fairly easy walk. Still, worth the drive from the city and some pretty sights to look at.

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