Nightbird Gulch Trail to Mount Galbraith Loop

MODERATE 322 reviews
#2 of 3 trails in

Nightbird Gulch Trail to Mount Galbraith Loop is a 4.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Golden, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,243 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

no shade

hiking
7 days ago

Good hike. Would like to crest the peak next time

hiking
1 month ago

We arrived at the trail at 930 am, totally sunny, trail is 90% in the sun and hot.

It took us 2 hours up around the loop and back.

I'd say this is correctly categorized as a medium. Quite a bit of rock stepping and there were two spots where we almost went off trail on the back side.

I'd do it again.

hiking
1 month ago

Hot hot day for a hike! Good trail, pretty rocky and maaaaaan, the exposure is rough! Bring lots of water and sunscreen! But it's a nice hike and we enjoyed ourselves. Until we almost melted into the trail. :)

hiking
1 month ago

Did this trail twice over the weekend, once with my two dogs. We only did about half the trail with the dogs because they’re long-haired breeds and there’s no shade from the sun. First time, we started and 8am and ran into quite a few people, although all friendly. Second time I went at 4:30pm and only encountered 1 person. The whole trail took me just under two hours to complete. Both times I went I ran into rattle snakes so I would advise you to stay alert. I enjoyed this trail and would hike it again.

1 month ago

This trail didn’t get my heart pumping super hard so I agree w the easy designation but I will say it’s a pretty technical trail. There’s lots of large rocks you have to navigate around for a fair amt of the trail. I would advise against this trail if you have knee issues or it’s wet and highly recommend taking hiking poles w you if you have them. The trail is completely unshaded so pack lots of water, a hat and sunscreen! Lots of pretty sights of Golden from above.

hiking
1 month ago

Don’t be deceived by the fact you’re starting in a residential neighborhood! Hiking up the gulch meant there was little to no traffic, despite it being ‘kind of a holiday weekend’. Once I got to the Galbraith loop there were more people but everyone was respectful and happy to let each other pass! The whole hike up is full sun which is a bummer but there’s a little cover on the loop. I’d say wear boots it’s not just dirt pack trail. Really enjoyable! Took about 2.5hrs.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a good short hike, especially if you don’t like sharing the trail with mountain bikers. There’s a sign warning about bears and mountain lions in the area so you might want to bring a noisemaker if you’re worried.

1 month ago

loved it! gorgeous views. my only issue is the people not having their dogs on a leash

hiking
1 month ago

Limited parking since trailhead is in the neighborhood off Iowa. Switchbacks up along open hillsides up into foothills, no shade at all, with cooler and cooler views of golden and table mountain and foothills surrounding as you get higher. Nightbird gulch is like a secret secluded spot nestled in the foothills with tons of birds and other wildlife around. Loop around mount Galbraith was easy and gets you some cool views of mountains west and then back around while circling the peak. Lots of great big rock lookout spots. Hot in the sun! Great workout with great views!!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail with views and wildflowers throughout. My pup loved it too! Pretty quiet in a Monday afternoon, saw maybe 5 other groups in the 2 hours it took us. Would wear hiking boots next time rather than sneakers, as it was a bit rocky in parts.

2 months ago

Started at 8:40am and finished around 10:40. Full sun the entire time at those hours, very few shady areas. Quiet trail today, only ran in to a few other hikers. Love that it’s close to Denver and well maintain and marked, very easy to follow.

hiking
2 months ago

Non-strenuous and enjoyable hike. You won’t be alone but it’s not extremely crowded either.

2 months ago

Great views, late afternoon climb meant little direct sun while hiking and fewer people. Beautiful wildflowers and hike!

trail running
3 months ago

It's a bit odd in that it starts in a residential neighborhood but this was a nice hike and with the exception of a few technical bits, an easy trail run. We started early and encountered very few people (until the Mt. Galbraith loop). I'm guessing lots of people come out later on the weekends so keep that in mind if congestion bugs you. This is also an exposed trail with little to no shade until you hit the loop so be sure to pack your sunscreen.

hiking
3 months ago

Despite of the rain, I ran into 6 different group of hikers. Since not much of shades, best do complete this trail is fall, winter and spring or rainy day like today. Parking is a challenging part, as the trailhead is basically in the residential area.

hiking
3 months ago

Good hike. The loop gets a little crowded but the trail up to it was pretty quiet. Some small muddy spots, but overall the trail was dry. A good amount of rocks to navigate. The loop is shady but the trail there and back is completely exposed so it'll get hot in the summer. Will definitely go back when the wild flowers have had more time to bloom

hiking
3 months ago

Bring sun protection, the Nightbird portion is exposed, there is more cover once you get to the Mt G. loop. Took me about 3 hours with a few small breaks. Great leisurely hike with a couple areas to get your heart up!

3 months ago

Good trail, had a little bit of everything- slight inclines in open areas to rocky climbs in the trees. Great view from the top!

4 months ago

It’s not even a trail. You park on a residential street, walk 3,000 ft up the mountain to a dead end with no trail. Waste of time.

5 months ago

It was really beautiful! There’s still some snow/icy parts once you get close to the loop. That made it really hard to hike at times, feeling like you’re going to wipe out. Otherwise it was great!

hiking
5 months ago

It was very snowy in spots, which made for dangerous conditions (because most of the trail skims the side of the mountain) in which you could very likely slide down or hurt yourself. Without the snow, this trail would have been one of my favorites in a long time. Not too difficult and great views of Golden (and Denver when you get high enough). Lots of fun!

5 months ago

Quick access from Golden- yes it starts in a neighborhood. We went on 2/24 and it was crazy windy, with a ton of snow blowing around. We lost the trail and weren’t able to finish. Ice present on trail but good shoes should be enough to get you through.

I will agree with what others say about it being a very exposed hike. It’s doesn’t really feel ”secluded”, but for how close it is to Golden it’s still worth the trip if you’re looking to not drive very far. Terrain was fun- some parts easy, some parts rocky.

5 months ago

Wonderful hike! Took about. 3hrs in total and make sure to take plenty of water as it’s quite a work out going up! Icy in areas, crampons would be ideal, although we just had good waking shoes and managed ok. Great views over Denver, rather exposed for most of the walk but a nice bit toward the second half through the trees. Would definitely recommend!

hiking
6 months ago

Primarily exposed hike with little tree coverage. A little bit of snowfall meant that we barely had company on this popular trail. Still issues with dogs off-leash. This one is good for some front-range exercise, but the views and scenery aren’t much in terms of wow-factor. The nightbird trailhead is in a neighborhood, so please be respectful and street park safely. You can always access the loop from the cedar Gulch side if necessary.

6 months ago

Love this trail! As soon as you get over the first hill the traffic/city noise dies almost completely (only making an appearance at a couple of crests; otherwise it’s pretty quiet). A couple rocky spots but nothing too bad as long as you’re careful. I frequently take my dog with me on this trail - there is quite a bit of dog traffic but we have yet to have problems with unleashed pets.

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Led a group up Nightbird Gulch to Mount Galbraith loop 1/27/18. The snow last week left many icy patches, so this is best done with some yaktrax and a couple of poles. The whole thing took about 4 hours, and it was busy, even in January. Great hike.

hiking
7 months ago

8 months ago

Easy access, well maintained trail. But houses and roads in view most all the time.

9 months ago

Great trail with very diverse terrain and ecology.

Load More