Chimney Gulch

3.97 out of 5
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↑ 1,600 ft
↓ 0 ft
elevation (ft)

Out & Back
Trail Description
About this trail
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!
added by SiberianGramcounter
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Directions to Trailhead
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Trail Q&A
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Recommended Trails
Recommended Trails
Lair O' The Bear / Bear Creek Trail
Mount Falcon Park
Apex Park
Buffalo Creek
Green Mountain
Deer Creek Canyon
Monarch Crest Trail
Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
what's this?
Recent Trail Check-ins     (401 total check-ins)
  RD3R   on Oct 6, 2019
  teables   on Oct 6, 2019
  Jon_Gotow   on Sep 25, 2019
  NatGio   on Sep 24, 2019
  Hsteimer   on Sep 22, 2019
Photo & Video Gallery (38)
Trail Photos & Videos (38)
Reviews (36)

Granny Gear

June 12, 2019
Jeff Garon Granny Gear  
Review: Very tough uphill climbing... lots of rocks and difficult to stay on. I opted for the road climb after the first section. Downhill was fantastic though on the trail, with lots of smaller jumps and technical challenges to enjoy.


July 22, 2015
stillfat Gnarly  
Review: Loose, steep, unshaded and filled with hikers walking packs of dogs. Bring your legs and a positive attitude. Better ways to access Apex.


January 3, 2015
b45t4rd0 Gramcounter  
Review: It's a killer on the way up. There were some hike a bike moments. Took this from Highway 6 all the way up to Lookout Mountain. It was well worth the effort for the downhill. This is one of the better flowing downhills that I've encountered on the front range. Yes the uphill is a killer but well worth it. I rode this on a fatty on 1/3/2015. Good times.

Similar Trail: They compare it to Mt. Falcon which is also on the list.


September 14, 2014
jkey6 Gnarly  
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


September 1, 2014
tetontom Trailblazer  
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!


Similar Trail: Mt Falcon, Centennial Cone

Granny Gear

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


June 14, 2014
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.

Granny Gear

June 7, 2014
winslow Granny Gear  
Review: Good trail


May 25, 2014
Jared13 Epic  
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.


September 25, 2013
Review: Great trail if you like tons of trail runners, dogs, clueless hikers playing "outdoorsman", and families with small kids. One of those trails you HAVE to hit when there's low-use. Since it's not a trail 'network' everyone is in the same out-and-back.

Trail Conditions
Trail Conditions          < / > embed