|   Rate it:

Level: Advanced
Length: 10 mi (16.1 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +553/553 ft
Total: 302 riders

Mountain Biking Chimney Gulch

****   Add a review
#125 of 1,344 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#820 in the world

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!

First added by Siberian on Aug 19, 2004. Last updated Apr 30, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
This trail starts just below Lookout Mtn in Golden. The easiest way to get there is to take Hwy 6 North from I-70 for about 2 miles. Just before you reach the Hwy 58 intersection you will notice a small dirt pullout on the left side. Jeffco Open space has a great map of this park/trail. The park is called Windy Saddle.
I Rode It!   Add to another list

Chimney Gulch Trail map

Add to or improve this map // Share this map on your website

Local Info

Club Sponsor


Local Bike Shop

Trail checkins

Matt Miller (on Nov 22, 2021)
What's this?

Upcoming Events

Add one

Trail conditions

Good (on Oct 6, 2019)
login to update

Camping & Lodging

Coming soon!

Chimney Gulch videos

Add a video
2010 0520 BOMB Chimney-Apex
These videos have been shared by members of the Singletracks community. Report inappropriate content here.

Mountain Bike Trails Near Golden, Colorado

Intermediate | 8 mi
Intermediate | 10 mi
Advanced | 6 mi
Advanced | 8 mi

Rider questions

Add a review



  • Jeff Garon

    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.

    Reply | Thank
  • stillfat

    Loose, steep, unshaded and filled with hikers walking packs of dogs. Bring your legs and a positive attitude. Better ways to access Apex.

    Reply | Thank
  • b45t4rd0

    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.

    Reply | Thank
  • jkey6

    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.

    Reply | Thank
  • tetontom

    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!

    Reply | Thank
  • John Krajewski

    EnjoYed the ride. More people coming up while I was going down than I care for but very enjoyable.

    Reply | Thank
  • Mountaineer19

    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.

    Reply | Thank

  • *****

    Good trail

    Reply | Thank
  • Jared13   ✓ supporter

    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.

    Reply | Thank
  • MaelstromWBC

    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.

    Reply | Thank
  • bikerchickxtr

    Excellent climb, especially for an after work ride as the gulch can get quite hot in the mid-day sun.

    Reply | Thank
  • [email protected]

    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.

    Reply | Thank
  • Broadway

    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!!

    Reply | Thank
  • tymonster3

    Great Climb! Connecting to Apex park through the Lookout Mtn. trail is a great way to go.

    Reply | Thank
  • davefourtwenty

    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.

    Reply | Thank
  • davefourtwenty

    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.

    Reply | Thank
  • Beaker

    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!

    Reply | Thank
  • Corey Maddocks

    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.

    Reply | Thank
  • seanjordan221

    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.

    Reply | Thank
  • John Fisch

    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.

    Reply | Thank