Chimney Gulch

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10
miles

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Singletrack
↑ 1,600 ft
↓ 0 ft
5,822
elevation (ft)
5
avg mph
226
ridden
115
wishlist
1:29
avg time

Out & Back
AVERAGE RATING
3.97 out of 5
About This Trail
added by Siberian Gramcounter on August 19, 2004
actions now above photo
 
The first mile of this trail is the hardest. There are steep, pea-gravel switchbacks that will probably force all but the best riders off their rigs. This is mostly over when you cross the road the first time. The trail then becomes a relatively nice climb up the canyon (similar in feel to Apex Park next door). After another mile and a half, you will cross the road again, but just continue across and keep heading uphill. This next section is very pleasant and is under the cover of trees for those hot days. It is all fairly steep though, so dig deep to push on to the summit which is about a mile past the road. When you hit the picnic table you can look around and take some pictures as you will have a great view all around you. However, before you go back down...ride uphill onto the pavement and look for a small trail that is on the other side of the road and heads off between the road and a large fence. I recommend jumping on that singletrack and following it for a mile or so as it is fast, fairly level, and great fun. When you reach the end you will be at an intersection with Lookout Mtn Rd again, and this is where you can catch the descent into Apex park and loop at the bottom back to the Chimney Gulch parking lot. However, for this description, we turned around here and did our trail in reverse, making for a long, fast descent back to the car.
If you are feeling a bit lazy, you can catch Lookout Mtn Rd and blaze down the pavement to save time!
Rider Questions
 
Recommended Trails
Lair O' The Bear / Bear Creek Trail
Mount Falcon Park
Apex Park
Slickrock
Green Mountain
Deer Creek Canyon
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Recent Trail Check-ins
35 check-ins
 
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  jkey6
3 weeks ago
on Oct 19, 2014
 
jkey6 on September 14, 2014
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: This trail is an all-up, all-down type trail. I liked the mix of buffed out flowy sections and rocky technical parts. I parked on hwy 6 right across from School of Mines and linked up this trail with Lookout Mtn Trail for a total of 1,800 ft and 9 miles. There are plenty of classic JeffCo switchbacks with erosion bars that rob your momentum, but that is to be expected on any of the front range Golden trails. The lower section leaves you exposed to a lot of sun due to the lack of trees but about half way up you are awarded tree cover and relatively tacky dirt. Loved it! Minus one star for the frustrating switchbacks.

Similar Trail: Apex, White Ranch

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tetontom on September 1, 2014
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Review: I can only comment on the trail as a climb; from the top we took the road-side singletrack to Apex.
A challenging climb, for sure! But no extended hike-a-bike, no super-loose gravel grovelling, no muck, no fall-line erosion gullies, etc... Just a good old-fashioned lung-busting leg-burner!
I think everyone is going to have to get off their bike in at least a couple places (I may be wrong here...), but most fit riders should be able to clean 99% of the trail. I got stung on a few steep steps at the tight switchbacks...
ALSO, take advantage of the new(?) singletrack that parallels the road over to the top of Apex trail! Make a loop; we parked at Heritage Sqare, rode the paved bike trail down to the base of Chimney Gulch, and finished at the car. Great 2.5 hr tour!
LOTS OF HIKERS

Similar Trail: Mt Falcon, Centennial Cone

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John Krajewski on June 28, 2014
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Review: EnjoYed the ride. More people coming up while I was going down than I care for but very enjoyable.

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Mountaineer19 on June 14, 2014
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Review: I start from the turnoff on the westside of highway 6th. The turnoff is between 19th st to the south and highway 58 to the north. You park and then start a climb. You will cross a road and the trail continues on the other side were you have a gorgeous view of Clear Creek. Not to far further there will be a junction. Beaver Brook trail runs on top of Clear Creek and will go all the way to Genesee Park, I haven't taken it this far. Beaver brook is pretty rocky because of recent rock slides due to heavy rains. But this ride is gorgeous with a bit of exposure. Then just turn around and head back to your car when your done.

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winslow on June 7, 2014
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Good trail

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Jared13 on May 25, 2014
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Review: Just under 2,000 ft elevation gain in five miles, but that shouldn't eliminate the trail. Technical switchbacks and great views await your ascent. The second trail listed in the below reviews was closed when I was there, but the descent on Chimney is still a lot of fun! There is some decent rocks/chunk scattered throughout the trail.
I rode around noon on a weekday and the trail had traffic, but not too much traffic.

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MaelstromWBC on September 24, 2013
0 out of 1 readers found this useful
 
Review: Great trail if you like hike-a-bike, tons of trail runners, dogs, and bikes coming down into your face.

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bikerchickxtr on June 25, 2013
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Excellent climb, especially for an after work ride as the gulch can get quite hot in the mid-day sun.

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mahanjoe@gmail.com on May 21, 2013
2 out of 4 readers found this useful
 
Review: Dont know how this trail is 10 miles...the official map shows it as 2.5 one way. If you are an avid biker...this trail is not steep. Sustained in the beginning...yes, but not steep. I also would only give this a 2 star rating because of the traffic...hikers, bikers, dogs and runners...all of whom have no idea who to yield to. Maybe a good trail for the front range...but dont make a special trip for it.

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Broadway on August 5, 2012
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Very tough climb from the bottom(especially if you aren't use to Golden's altitude). 1400 ft climb to the top if you go all the way up Lookout Mountain trail too. Coming back down is worth the effort!!

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tymonster3 on June 3, 2012
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Review: Great Climb! Connecting to Apex park through the Lookout Mtn. trail is a great way to go.

Similar Trail: Apex

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davefourtwenty on October 24, 2011
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Steady and steep climb with a couple of very small technical sections that you can go around if you like. This is a good after work ride.

Similar Trail: Centennial Cone

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davefourtwenty on August 30, 2011
0 out of 3 readers found this useful
 
Review: This is a great trail for beginners as it's pretty much smooth single track the whole ride. The views are awesome especially around sunset so if you are looking for a quick ride in the evening and you're in the area this is a good one. There are really only two areas on the entire ride that offer any technical so if are looking for that this probably isn't the ride for you. For those that don't like technical riding these sections are very short and easy to bypass.

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JohnsXCbike on June 13, 2011
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Steep climbing for the first mile or so, I had to walk my bike quite a bit. Was nicer once u got into the trees further up. Downhill was fast and fun, fairly technical in a few small sections, and a little steep for my taste b/c I had to brake almost the entire way down. Had a lot of hikers, but overall pretty fun.

Similar Trail: apex?

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Beaker on June 12, 2011
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: The uphill to the nature center seemed to never end. The first mile or so really gets the legs and lungs burning. The last mile or so is really fun in the trees. But why oh why ride this as an out-back?! We connected with Enchanted Forest/Apex for a great DH. The top of Apex is relatively easy and then near the bottom the real fun hits. Great Loop ride!

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maddslacker on March 14, 2011
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Review: The first part of this trail is steep, with switchbacks about every two bike lengths it seems. After crossing the paved road, it opens up a bit, but is still steep.

Similar Trail: Apex

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seanjordan221 on August 31, 2010
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Lots of fun. If you are an intermediate rider and want to step your game up.... This is the place. SO much fun. I hauled my crap rig a good part of the way on foot, but the decent was AWESOME.

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John Fisch on July 12, 2010
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: This is a classic front-range trail with a killer switchback climb. There are a couple rock gardens on steep switchbacks that provide a real challenge if you're already winded. The bottom half is fully exposed, so it's not the best choice at high noon on a hot, sunny day. However, the top half is nicely wooded and the scenery pretty grand. Once on top, you can retrace your route for a screaming downhill or take the Lookout Mountain trail to Apex Park for a great downhill there (this will require a few miles of city bike path and busy street to complete the loop.

Similar Trail: Apex Park

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c_morrish@hotmail.com on May 2, 2010
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: One of my favs. You can ride this somewhere in the area of an hour, so its a quick ride with some good climbs and awesome downhill. Nothing too technical but some areas will test you. get some really nice views on this trail.

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Rock_Jock on September 27, 2009
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Steep and rocky; a great training spot and motivator. I'm determined to get better, and am clearing more obstacles each time. Nice views of Golden for when I'm catching my breath.

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kuala_tahan on September 16, 2009
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Pretty huge climb, steep switchbacks at the beginning, then you just keep climbing and climbing until you hit the top. The descent should be incredible, but it's a super crowded trail (even on a Tuesday after work), so you can't pin it back and let fly, you need to be real cautious coming around corners and such. Which sucks, because it's nice singletrack. The climbing should be worth it for the descent, but because you can't scream down it, makes this a pretty average trail.

Similar Trail: White Ranch

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nathanho on July 1, 2009
0 out of 1 readers found this useful
 
Review: It hurt my heart! Not bad for being so close to Denver.

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propwash on June 13, 2009
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: This was a sweet ride, cant wait to go back. I rode up chimney gulch and down apex.

* Review edited 6/13/2009

Similar Trail: mount falcon

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erchlt on August 26, 2008
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: this trail was amazing like everyone said it was up until about 4 weeks ago now they have "cleaned" it up and taken out most of the rocks and difficult sections, they also WILL ticket you now for speeding and failing to yield even if the trail is 10 feet wide and a very safe pass is possible. I had loved this trail but now i skip it i am very diappointed :(

Similar Trail: apex, enchanted forest

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raleighman91 on August 26, 2007
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: PRettty sweet trail i really enjoyed it i cut out the first mile tho

Similar Trail: lookout mountain

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lubes17319 on June 29, 2007
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Nice! Just moved out west & hit this for the 1st time. Up, up & away it goes, my out-of-shape body & 32x18 gear made for a bit of hike-a-bike to the top, but well worth it! 20mins from Capitol Hill, so this will be an early morning weekday regular for me to get back into shape.

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Lancefan on December 1, 2006
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: The climb on this trail is great. My favorite section was right after the Windy Saddle. For a different return route continue on the single along the road after the nature trail until you meet back up with Look Out Mountain Road. Then take a right onto a single track trail between 2 houses. The descent is amazing. I also suggest that on the way down you take the Enchanted Forest Trail

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hugocorn on August 15, 2006
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Wow...what a climb. A really great trail, but no joke, be ready to climb, climb, climb. There is really very little relief until you get all the way to the top. It is true that the first mile or so is the worst, but when you get past that, it isnt exactly smooth sailing. I consider myself an average rider and it took me a solid hour and fifteen minutes to get to the top (if you start all the way at the bottom.) The other option (if you arent in the mood for a huge climb) is to turn off of 6th avenue onto 19th street and follow 19th street up until it turns into lookout mountain road and then you'll eventually see a couple parking lots that are right off of lookout mountain road that will start you higher up on the trail, (essentially you can skip half the climb, but you only get half the down time too.)

Similar Trail: Apex

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c3667 on October 18, 2005
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: This is a great training trail ! the first mile is a b#@#$ bit after that it is really fun. I especially like the tree sections after the second lookout mountain rd crossing.

Similar Trail: Apex , Mt falcon

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jbersch on October 18, 2005
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: A very fun trail. Pretty much an insane climb up from the very beginning and then a monster downhill. Great views of Golden on the way up and spectacular views of the western mountains await you at the top (especially if you ride along Lookout Mtn. Trail) to the top of Apex. I went Monday late afternoon and it was fairly crowded but not a problem. A bit more fun than the climb at Apex. Longer too, minus all the logs. I rode up Chimney and went down Apex. Great ride.

Similar Trail: Apex

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HACBIKES on July 27, 2005
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Fun trail but has a lot of traffic. When we rode the downhill I passed/stopped about 10 to 15 times because of all the traffic. Chimney's climb is a very big challenge with a lot of switchbacks and a bunch of rocks but is yet a very fun climb. The downhill is fun but could be more fun without all the traffic. Overall I would recomend you do this ride at least once.

Similar Trail: Foutainhead, VA

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JJonas on May 31, 2005
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Since this trail gets so much traffic, I've found that starting pre-dawn usually avoids the crowds and the heat. The last time I did this ride, I added a couple of loops through Apex before returning the way I came for a total vertical of ~4,000 ft.

Similar Trail: Apex, White Ranch

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Pain_Is_Relative on October 28, 2004
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: This is now one of my favorite trails on the Front Range. It is technically and aerobically challenging. The best part about the trail is that it is a good measuring stick regarding my overall training level. The uphill section will take a good rider about 50 minutes to reach the top and then you have the choice of going back down or you can take further trails South West. This ride is a weekenderís must do. Be careful, the trail is a hot spot for week warriors, bikers and hikers alike.

Similar Trail: Walker Ranch

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Guest on July 29, 2014
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: I hurled my guts out halfway up and was too wiped out on the way down to hold proper downhill stance on the bike and flew over my handlebars. This one is for the seasoned guys with legs and lungs of steel! There is aproximately 1600 ft of elevation gain from the trailhead to lookout mountain, 3 MILES!
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Chimney Gulch MTB Trail 3.97 out of 5 based on 33 ratings. 33 user reviews.
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