The things that we do today and everyday become our habits for life. Traveling, adventures and the outdoors can change you like no other experience, and they are outside our back door. Let’s go adventuring. Why not? Its summer and we live in Colorado so I feel it’s time to bring out the bikes. Breaking out my mountain bike always comes with heaps of anxiety and questions every summer season. Will I superman over the handle bars today? If so how many times? Just a few of the positive thoughts that circulate through my brain before dropping into my first single track descent.
Luckily breaking the bike barrier doesn’t mean I have to travel out into the far off wilderness. Great single track riding can be found a mere 30 minutes west of downtown at Apex Park. The Apex Trail starts from the lower parking lot at Heritage Square. Follow the trail up the canyon and you will find various options and paths that offer different difficulties for every stage of rider. The Apex Trail is the main route. Be sure to take note of the date, odd number days require riders to follow an uphill and downhill flow indicated on trail maps. All of the trails are well-marked and allow riders to decide on the length of their particular route.
The Apex Trail follows the old path of the Apex and Gregory Wagon Road which was one of the main thorough-fares to the gold fields of Central City during the late 1800’s and operated as a toll road. The tolls were later destroyed by flooding and Apex Gulch was declared as public land. Traces of the old road can be seen as you travel down the single track.
Biking up the Apex Trail to the summit of the canyon will spit you out onto Lookout Mountain Road. If you want to add an extra mile or two to your ride continue on Lookout Mountain Road towards the top, a slight right, and you will end at Boettcher Mansion and the Lookout Mountain Nature Center on top of Lookout Mountain. Climbing down the north facing ridge across Lookout Mountain Road from the Nature Center Parking Lot will give you sweeping views of Golden, the Front Range, Boulder, as well as a bird eyes snapshot of Clear Creek Canyon.
On the way back down the trail dive to the right and ride the Enchanted Forest. The Apex Trail is very exposed running down the center of the canyon and this trail will offer much-needed shade and no added mileage while riding the scenic canyon walls. Up level your ride and try Hardscrabble, Grubstake or Sluiceboxtrail. Be on alert for wild life, especially if riding at dusk.
- 15 Miles west of Denver
Where to park?
- Apex Park Trailhead located in the lower parking lot of Heritage Square, exit I-70 W at Morrison and take Highway 40 West
- 2.3-20 Miles round trip, trail dependent
- Up to 1,500 ft
- Biking, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Dogs allowed, Photo-OP
- Golden, Heritage Square, Lookout Mountain, Boettcher Mansion, Lookout Mountain Nature Center, Clear Creek Canyon