Apex Park

Overview

A mountain biker’s mecca, Apex park has some very popular trails that won’t take you hours to reach. The park is located right outside of Golden near the Heritage Square parking lot. The restroom facilities are top notch and there is ample parking at the Colfax area lot along with extended spaced for those taking their Centaur friends out for a nice day on the trail. While we are on the topic of mystical creatures it’s important to note that you should feel free to bring your dog to the park but please do remember that the “Chocolate Fairy” leaves lots of bags in the area and no one wants to confuse your best friends dinner remnants with a glorious bag of free chocolate. The northern section of the park houses a protected area for butterflies and during the spring and summer you can gather some stunning pictures of butterflies doing butterfly type things. The tree cover in the park is sporadic so high exposure is likely on the trails within this park, plan accordingly and wear something to protect you from the sun.

Road Tolls in Apex Park
Road Tolls in Apex Park

9.6 miles of trails

Park Details

  • Hiking on all trails
  • Mountain biking on all trails (There are specific directions of travel on a few trails for Mountain bikers  on odd numbered days. Make sure you follow the signs.)
  • Centaurs Equestrians
  • There is a protected butterfly area along the Grubstake trail
  • Clean odor free restrooms
  • Dogs allowed but must be leashed
  • Ample parking
  • Park open 1 hour before and after sunset
  • Drinking or drug use in the park is prohibited
  • Weapons are not allowed
  • No overnight camping
  • Trails are well marked
  • No entrance fees

Emergency contacts:

Jefferson County Sheriff’s office @ (303) 277-0211

If the event is life threatening dial 911

Quick Reference Map

Downloadable map of the area can be found at Jefferson County Parks Free GPX files can also assist in planning your next hiking trip.

Argos Trail

Rocky path looking at Green Mountain
Rocky path looking at Green Mountain
Difficulty Rank (1 – 10)5 (Moderate)
Views Rank (1 – 10)6
Distance0.6 miles
Time Needed12 Minutes

Details:

  • Connects with Pick N Sledge, and Apex trail
  • Mountain bikers must follow specific directions of travel on certain days. Signs on the trail will indicate what you need to do.

Trailhead: S – Apex Trail | R – Argos

Trail Highlights:

  • Views of Denver
  • Views of Golden
Green Mountain from Apex Park
Green Mountain from Apex Park

Review:

When you start off in Apex park you are quickly presented with a couple hiking options, following the Apex trail which runs the length of the park, or taking the Argos trail for the first portion of the park. If you are looking to hike the park’s northern trails and looking for less tree cover and views of the Denver and Golden area, Argos will be a more efficient route than taking Apex to Pick n sledge, and up to the trails in the northern section of the park. The trail is moderately steep and nearly entirely exposed on the west side of the mountain. The trail is well marked and easy to follow with only a couple switchbacks.

Apex Trail

Difficulty Rank (1 – 10)5 (Moderate)
Views Rank (1 – 10)6
Distance2.6 miles
Time Needed1 hour

Details:

  • Connects with Argos, Pick N Sledge, Hardscrabble, and Enchanted Forest trails.
  • Mountain bikers must follow specific directions of travel in sections of this trail. Signs on the trail will indicate what you need to do.
  • Most of the hikes in the Apex park connect to this trail.

Trailhead: Starts at the parking lot

Trail Highlights:

  • Runs along Lena Gulch
  • Treed valley with a lot of natural beauty
Apex Trail
Apex Trail

Review:

This trail is moderate with a fair amount of elevation gain in places, but with enough flat hiking to not wear you out too much. Lena Gulch runs the length of the trail offering you ample opportunity to view wildlife partaking in the life giving waters that flow down the valley. Certain times of year will also offer a spectacular display of both wildflower and cactus in bloom. When hiking this trail keep in mind that it is very popular even on the weekdays, due to it being an absolutely beautiful hike and also being very close to Denver. I highly suggest you follow the trail to the end and take the Enchanted forest trail back to its junction with the Apex trail near the halfway point. All of the trails in this park are well marked and you should have no problems with navigation.

Apex Spur Trail

Difficulty Rank (1 – 10)4 (Easy)
Views Rank (1 – 10)5
Distance0.2 Miles
Time Needed5 Minutes

Details:

  • Connecting Trails: Apex Trail
  • Short trail that can be used to connect with the Lookout Mountain Nature Center and Preserve

Trailhead: S – Lookout Mountain Road. or S – Apex trail | R – Apex Spur Trail

Trail Highlights:

  • Views of the valley
  • Ability to connect with different parks

Review:

This ohh so short spur trail runs from the junction of Apex trail and Enchanted Forest trail up to Lookout Mountain road, where just a short saunter down Lookout Mountain Road and a left onto Colorow Road will let you jump on the Lookout Mountain Trail. From there you can connect with the trails in the Lookout Mountain Nature Center and Preserve. For those that have to ask YES it is entirely necessary to saunter the entire way to the Nature Preserve. Remember this is a mystical area and I cannot be held responsible for those that deviate from the required gait.

Enchanted Forest

Enchanted Forest trail
Enchanted Forest trail
Difficulty Rank (1 – 10)5 (Moderate)
Views Rank (1 – 10)8
Distance1.4 miles
Time Needed30 Minutes

Details:

  • Connects with Apex and Hardscrabble trails.
  • Mountain bikers must follow specific directions of travel on this entire trail. Signs on the trail will indicate what you need to do.
  • Connects to the Apex trail in two places to form a loop trail.

Trailhead: S – Apex | L – Enchanted Forest

Trail Highlights:

  • Thick beautiful forest
  • Lena Gulch
Tangled roots on trail
Tangled roots on trail

Review:

This trail is very appropriately named, as soon as you start to see the signs you will feel as though you are being transported into another world. There is plenty to see and lots of small forest creatures enjoying the shade and protection of the forest. While there are some rather steep inclines in portions of this trail over all it is not too strenuous, and I have seen many a wee human frollicking under the shady cannopy of the forest. There are a couple of creek crossings that are mild and should be crossable without getting wet.

Hardscrabble

Difficulty Rank (1 – 10)5 (Moderate)
Views Rank (1 – 10)5
Distance0.3 miles
Time Needed7 Minutes

Details:

  • Connects to Sluicebox and Apex trail.
  • Little tree cover

Trailhead: S – Apex | R – Hardscrabble

Trail Highlights:

  • Great aerial views of the valley

Review:

Given the name one would anticipate a real struggle on this trail, but the elevation gain is moderate and not to technical at any given point. The modest tree cover along this trail creates several great spots worthy of a rest and gander upon the valley below, but the trail is in my opinion less difficult than most of the other trails that make up the northern section of the park.

Sluicebox

Difficulty Rank (1 – 10)7 (Moderate)
Views Rank (1 – 10)6
Distance0.7 miles
Time Needed14 Minutes

Details:

  • Connects to Hardscrabble, Pick N Sledge Bonanza, and Grubstake trails.
  • Technical if you are mountain biking
  • Steep
  • Little tree cover

Trailhead: S – Apex | R – Sluicebox

Trail Highlights:

  • Technical rocks for mountain biking
  • Fairly steep

Review:

Several switchbacks make up the core of this trail snaking up the side of the mountain. The elevation change is strong and the tree cover weak, so if it’s a hot day you will be getting your sweat on. The trail is more technical than some of the other trails in the park, but if you are hiking there is nothing too demanding about the trail aside from the elevation gains.

Pick N Sledge

Difficulty Rank (1 – 10)7 (Moderate)
Views Rank (1 – 10)6
Distance1.6 miles
Time Needed36 Minutes

Details:

  • Connects with Argo, Grubstake, and Sluicebox trails

Trailhead: S – Apex | R – Pick N Sledge

Trail Highlights:

  • Views of the remains of Heritage Square

Review:

Some technical sections with a good variety of hill climbs and flats make this a great trail for both hiking and biking. There is a fair amount of tree cover once you near the top of the mountain, but most of the trail is exposed so a hat or sunscreen is a good idea if you are taking this trail.

Grubstake

Difficulty Rank (1 – 10)5 (Moderate)
Views Rank (1 – 10)6
Distance1.0 miles
Time Needed32 Minutes

Details:

Connects with Sluicebox, Pick N Sledge, and Bonanza trails

Trail Highlights:

  • Forested on the north west portion of the trail

Review:

Grubsteak is a great trail if you are looking to make a loop trail with some elevation gains. Fortunately this trail has some tree cover towards the middle of the hike, which gives some relief from the sun on those warm summer days. There is a healthy population of Ebert squirrels in the area messing about, and the forest is beautiful at the top of the mountain where this trail runs. The forest is very similar to the Enchanted Forest Trail, but not quite as dense or steep.

South Table Mountain Park

Overview

South Table Mountain Park is less traveled than its Northern Counterpart, but don’t count it out of your Front Range Hiking experience. The park has a large variety of trails form very steep with amazing views to very flat with stunning views. While the Eastern side of the park will have the less intense hill climbs, both will offer hikers and mountain bikers a good workout. Looking out from the mesa to the east you have Denver and to the West Golden, although you will need to do some hiking to see both as only one will be in view at any given time. Those that are looking for a nice steep hill climb should visit the Western portion, that is technically not part of the park for great views of the Golden area on some very impressive rock features at the end of a couple of steep trails.

9.2 Miles of Trails

Park Details

  • Hiking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Centaurs Equestrians
  • Picnicking
  • Sports field
  • Two actual parking areas
  • There is a small parking area for Golden Summit and Sleeping Elk trail not technically part of this park.
  • Porta-potti at Camp George west
  • Trails are well marked
  • No trees in this park
  • Weapons are prohibited
  • Overnight camping is not allowed
  • No entrance fees

Emergency contacts

Jefferson County Sheriff’s office @ (303) 277-0211

If the event is life threatening dial 911

Quick Reference Map

Free downloadable maps are available from Jefferson County Parks. You can also use the GPX files to help plan your next adventure in the Rocky Mountains. 

Ancient Palms Trail

Difficulty Rank (1 – 10)6 (Moderate)
Views Rank (1 – 10)5
Distance1.0 Miles
Time Needed12 Minutes

Details:

  • Connecting Trails: Basalt Cap Loop
  • Little rocky
  • Slightly technical if riding

Trailhead: S – Tertiary | R – Basalt Cap Loop | R – Ancient Psalm trail

Trail Highlights:

  • Views of Coors water retention ponds
  • Copious amounts of butterflies fluttering around
  • Large variety of birds

Review:

There is a small area off of Old Quarry road where this trail can also be accessed, but there is no actual parking area there and the on street parking is very limited. The trail starts off with a good increase in elevation and tapers off a bit in the middle of the trail. There are some good views of the Denver west area as you climb the side of the hill. Don’t take your eyes off the trail for too long however as this trail is rock strewn in parts and a little bit on the technical side if you are new to mountain biking. There is no tree cover in this area of the park, but there are an abundance of shrubs that house a thriving butterfly community, which turns out to be like a whole foods for birds in the area.

Basalt Cap Loop Trail

Difficulty Rank (1 – 10)3 (Easy)
Views Rank (1 – 10)6
Distance2.0 Miles
Time Needed38 Minutes

Details:

  • Connecting Trails: Tertiary, Cretaceous, Old Quarry, Ancient Psalms
  • Lots of birds
  • Can be very windy

Trailhead: S- Tertiary trail | R or L on Basalt Cap Loop

Trail Highlights:

  • Great Views of Denver

Review:

While there is a little workout to get to this trail the path itself is a nice easy stroll, just not through the woods as there are no trees on the mesa. The abundance of flat rocks at the top make perfect bowles that collect water and an abundance of birds in the area. If you are hiking the area during the spring, summer or fall there is a good chance you will encounter a rattlesnake sunning itself, remember to be alert and give them space. At certain times of day you may also see police racing around on the training track located at the south west side of the trail.

Cretaceous Trail

Trail leading up the side of South Table Mesa
Trail leading up the side of South Table Mesa
Difficulty Rank (1 – 10)5 (Moderate)
Views Rank (1 – 10)4
Distance0.5 Miles
Time Needed11 Minutes

Details:

  • Connecting Trails: Tertiary Trail, Basalt Cap Loop
  • No trees
  • Dirt trail not too rocky

Trailhead: S – Tertiary | L – Cretaceous Trail

Trail Highlights:

  • Lots of birds in the area

Review:

Decent elevation gain but not too steep. There is no reprieve from the sun on this trail, and wind is usually not a concern as the trail runs along the south side of the mesa. The views are not that great on the trail, but the others in the park that this trail leads to extend much better scenery. If you are riding and looking for a less technical climb this is the trail for you.

Note: If you are using the Jefferson county parks map the milage is longer than the trail actually is. My assumption is that the extra mileage from Tertiary trail from the road up to the junction was added to Cretaceous trail rather than Tertiary trail.

Fossil Trail

Difficulty Rank (1 – 10)4 (Easy)
Views Rank (1 – 10)3
Distance0.8 Miles
Time Needed16 Minutes

Details:

  • Connecting Trails: Old Quarry
  • Parking area at trailhead

Trailhead: S – Fossil trail

Trail Highlights:

  • Views of Golden

Review:

Easy trail that leads down to a small parking area with tall grasses flanking both sides of the trail. There are a lot of birds all over the area singing in the swaying grass. The views are not great on the trail, and there is no tree cover to speak of like the other trails in the park so plan appropriately when visiting this area.

Old Quarry Trail

Difficulty Rank (1 – 10)4 (Easy)
Views Rank (1 – 10)7
Distance2.4 Miles
Time Needed45 Minutes

Details:

  • Connecting Trails:Fossil trail
  • Wide dirt road
  • No trees
  • Mostly flat

Trailhead: S – Fossil | R- Old Quarry trail

Trail Highlights:

  • Views of Denver
  • Views of Golden

Review:

This trail is more like a dirt access road than an actual trail. The path is nice and wide to its easy to pass in both directions of travel. If you continue to follow the trail iw will lead to the cliff overlook and two trails that are not part of the Jefferson County parks department. I highly suggest that if this trail if on your list that you follow it out to the end and the views from the rock precipest are the best in the area. There is private property at the top of the mesa so stay on the trail, besides you don’t want to startly mister rattlesnake in the high grass off the trail looking for lunch no do you.

Camp George Parking to Trail System

Difficulty Rank (1 – 10)2 (Easy)
Views Rank (1 – 10)3
Distance0.5 Miles
Time Needed7 Minutes

Details:

  • Connecting Trails: Tertiary Trail
  • Flat trail
  • Skirts sports field
  • Runs along Denver West Parkway

Trailhead: S – Camp George west parking

Trail Highlights:

  • Camp George West sports fields

Review:

This trail starts at one of the two designated parking area for the park. The trail is very flat and skirts a sports field before running along Denver West parkway. There is not much to look at along the way and it can be a bit loud with the traffic, but the parking lot offers plenty of parking spaces and an outhouse restroom to take care of business before hitting the trail.

Tertiary Trail

Difficulty Rank (1 – 10)6 (Moderate)
Views Rank (1 – 10)5
Distance0.7 Miles
Time Needed16 Minutes

Details:

  • Connecting Trails:

Trailhead: S | Camp George Parking Lot trail to Park | C – Tertiary Trail

Trail Highlights:

  • Views of Denver
  • Decent hill climb

Review:

Tertiary is the more technical of the trails that lead to the summit of the mesa, and while there are a few trees here and there, most of the trail is exposed along the southeast side of the mesa. There are a good many rocks along the trail and some steep climbs in places, but overall the trail is rideable if you are of moderate skill on a mountain bike and in decent shape.

Golden Summit Trail

Difficulty Rank (1-10)7 (Hard)
Views Rank (1-10)6
Distance0.7 Miles
Time Needed30 Minutes

Details:

  • Connecting Trails: South Table Top Mesa Trail, Sleeping Elk Trail
  • Steep trail

Trailhead:S – Small 2 car parking area of Belvedere Street and 19th St.

Trail Highlights:

  • Great view of the rock ledges
  • Great workout

Review:

Golden summit trail starts at a large steel gate on Belvedere St. The switchbacks are well traveled and easy to follow, however, there are no trees shading this trek, and high winds are likely. Once you reach the top you will travel through a opening in the top of the mesa and be offered several different trail options. Some lead out to the cliff ledges, while a couple trails lead to radio towers and private property. If you head left and follow the labyrinth of small trails you will gain the foot of the largest rock outcropping on the mesa in the northwestern area of the park. There is a set of concrete steps that have seen some weather over the years leading up to some of the best views in the area. The South Table Top Mesa trail is unmarked here but leads into the actual park.

Flat top of the South Table Mesa looking down on Golden Colorado
Flat top of the South Table Mesa

Sleeping  Elk Trail

View of South Table Mesa
View of South Table Mesa
Difficulty Rank (1-10)7 (Hard)
Views Rank (1-10)6
Distance0.6 Miles
Time Needed26 Minutes

Details:

  • Connecting Trails: Golden Summit Trail

Trailhead: S – Small break between houses off of Belvedere St. on the Northeast side of the road.

Trail Highlights:

  • Great views of the mesa
  • Great workout

Review:

Much like the Golden Summit trail the Sleeping elk trail is devoid of trees, but thick with bushes. Both trails rank about the same for steepness and most people hiking the area will take one trail up and the other down. One thing to note on this trail is that near the summit of the mesa there is an area where you will need the use of your hands to scamper over a rock ledge that is about 4 feet tall, nothing too serious, but if you have mobility or stability issues I would avoid this trail.

South Valley Park

Overview

The views within the South Valley Park are stunning, and it is easy to see why those with deep pockets have chosen to make this valley their homes. The sandstone spires that dot the trails of the park are picturesque to say the least. All of the rock spires in the park are fenced off to keep would be climbers at bay which severely distracts from the natural beauty of the area. For an aerial view of the park take the Lyons back trail, Grazing Elk trail, or head over to Deer Creek Park for great views of the whole area. The trails in the park are easy with little elevation gain, and there are paved paths for those that are looking for a great place to take their road bikes or strollers. While there are not many opportunities for a picnic in the area there is an abundance of trails. If you are looking to make some trail connections, Deer Creek and Hildebrand Ranch Parks are a very short distance away and have interconnecting access trails.

7.4 Miles of Trails

Park Details:

  • Dogs are allowed but must be leashed.
  • Hikers allowed
  • Mountain Bikers Allowed
  • Centaurs Equestrians
  • There is an outhouse at the southernmost parking lot
  • Flush Toilet facilities and water fountains at northern most parking lot
  • All of the trails are well marked and easy to follow
  • Picnic area at northern parking lot
  • Camping is not allowed in the park
  • Park hours are one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset.
  • Little elevation change on all trails
  • Hunting or firearms are not permitted
  • Beautiful red sandstone pillars
  • No Entrance fees

Emergency contacts:

Jefferson County Sheriff’s office @ (303) 277-0211

If the event is life threatening dial 911

Quick Reference  Map

A static copy of the parks map can be downloaded to your phone from Jefferson County Parks

As always free GPX files are available to help you plan your next trip.

Cathy Johnson trail

Difficulty Rank3 (Easy)
Views Rank3
Distance Rank2.1 Miles
Time NeededAbout 40 Minutes

Details:

  • Connecting trail: Columbine trail
  • Light elevation gain/loss
  • No tree cover
  • Closest parking area: There is parking at the trailhead off Deer Creek Canyon Rd. or South Valley Rd.

Trailhead directions: Starts from either parking pull off

Trail Highlights:

  • More of a service road than a trail

Review:

This is a dirt road or more of an access trail than a true hiking trail, but its flat surface and the fact that there is little elevation change makes it a great option if you are looking for a trail run that is close to Denver. The trail runs through a canyon between the hog back and the South Valley Park on the west side of the ridge. The views are nice along the trail but are nothing in comparison to the scenery on the west side in South Valley Park. There is no tree cover on the trail but you can get some reprieve from the sun if you jump on the Columbine trail when the opportunity arises.

Columbine Trail

Difficulty Rank4 (Easy)
Views Rank3
Distance Rank1.1 Miles
Time NeededAbout 23 Minutes

Details:

  • Connecting trails: Cathy Johnson Trail and the Lyons Back trails
  • Small change in elevation
  • Scrub oak for most of the trail offers some shade.
  • Closest parking area: There is parking at the trailhead off Deer Creek Canyon Rd. or South Valley Rd.

Trailhead directions: S-Cathy Johnson Trail either direction

Trail Highlights:

  • Scrub oak and views of the Valley between the ridges

Review:

Sporting a little tree cover, this Columbine trail is located about 1/2 mile in from either the north or the south entrances for the Cathy Johnson trail. The trail offers much better views than the Cathy Johnson trail and is a popular trail for mountain bikers and hikers alike. There is not much in the form of elevation change, but this is a decent place to strut through the woods nonetheless.

Coyote Song Trail

Difficulty Rank2 (Easy)
Views Rank6
Distance Rank1.5 miles
Time NeededAbout 32 Minutes

Details:

  • Connecting trails: Lyons Back, Grazing Elk, Swallow, and Valley View trails
  • Very little elevation change
  • Very little tree cover
  • Closest parking area: South lot

Trailhead directions Starts at parking lot

Trail Highlights:

  • Amazing rock formations
  • Vivid red rock formations
  • Meadow views
  • OneSunChasers favorite trail in this park

Review:

True this is an easy trail and it’s very close to Denver, but the views are amazing. There are red sandstone pillars everywhere you turn. The valley is truly beautiful so make sure you bring your camera along for the trip. The trail has little in the way of elevation change making it a fantastic trail for the elderly and those with small children. The trail runs from the Valley road in the northern reaches of the park down to the southern parking lot.

Grazing Elk Trail

Difficulty Rank4 (Easy)
Views Rank6
Distance Rank2.5 miles
Time NeededAbout 52 Minutes

Details:

  • Connecting trails: Coyote Song, Valley View, and Rattle Snake Gulch trails
  • Slight elevation changes
  • Very little tree cover
  • Closest parking area: There is a parking pull off just after Grizzly Dr. on the south side of the road

Trailhead directions: Cross Deer Creek Canyon Rd. | S-Rattlesnake Gulch on the north side of the road | Either R or L on Grazing Elk Trail

Trail Highlights:

  • Sweeping views of red rock formations
  • Views of prairie

Review:

Nice flat trail with great views of the surrounding rock formations and the meadows that surround them. This is a good hike or bike ride for those that are looking for a nice stroll but don’t want the hustle and bustle of the rest of the park. I have seen deer on this trail several times and they are not at all bothered by the presence of people, it in fact it sometime takes some effort to keep them at a distance as they will walk right up to you to check out what’s going on. There is no tree cover on this trail so protection from the sun is a must.

Lyons Back Trail

Rock steps on Lyons Back trail in South Valley Park
Rock Steps at South Valley
Difficulty Rank5 (Moderate)
Views Rank4
Distance Rank0.2 miles
Time NeededAbout 6 Minutes

Details:

  • Connecting trails: Coyote Song and Columbine trails
  • Moderate elevation change
  • Partial tree cover
  • Closest parking area: North lot

Trailhead directions S-Coyote Song Trail | L-Lyons Back Trail

Trail Highlights:

  • Great overview of the park

Review:

While rated as moderate the short 0.2 mile stent will not leave your breathless from exertion but the views might. Lyons Back trail also offers a great connection to the Columbine trail that runs on the east side if the ridge. The trail presents a unique view of the surrounding park, but the power lines that run up the trail spoil the natural beauty that this valley exudes.

Prairie Falcon Trail

Difficulty Rank3 (Easy)
Views Rank4
Distance Rank0.5 miles
Time NeededAbout 10 Minutes

Details:

  • Connecting trails: Coyote song, Swallow trails
  • Little elevation change
  • Very little tree cover
  • Closest parking area: North lot
  • Trailhead directions: S-Sparrow Trail | R or L on Prairie Falcon Trail (Right leads to South Valley Rd.)

Trail Highlights:

  • Meadow Views
  • Rock Spire views

Review:

Prairie Falcon trail is a great trail if you are looking to get to Swallow trail and make your way to the more northern parking lot. The trail is very flat, and can be used to make some loop trail options in the park. The trail also runs through a meadow with a wetlands area and eventually leads out to the road. There is no tree cover to speak of on this trail, but the views of rock spires are plentiful.

Swallow Trail

Difficulty Rank2 (Easy)
Views Rank4
Distance Rank0.8 miles
Time NeededAbout 17 Minutes

Details:

  • Connecting trails: Prairie Falcon Trail, Coyote Song trails
  • Hiker only trail.
  • Minor elevation change
  • Little tree cover
  • Closest parking area: North lot

Trailhead directions: Trail starts from parking lot

Trail Highlights:

  • There is a private reservoir with no public access next to this trail.
  • Great Meadow views
  • Great views of the rock spires

Review:

If you are looking for an easy stroll with great views this is the trail for you. The trail has little elevation change, good views all around save for power lines and houses in the distance and a plethora of bird life stirring in the scrub oak along the trail.

Valley View Trail

Difficulty Rank1 (Easy)
Views Rank3
Distance Rank1.2 miles
Time NeededAbout 24 Minutes

Details:

  • Connecting trails: Coyote Song, Grazing Elk trails
  • Gradual elevation changes
  • No tree cover
  • Closest parking area: South lot

Trailhead directions Trail runs along the west side of South valley Rd.

Trail Highlights:

  • Great Meadow views
  • Great views of the rock spires

Review:

Skirting the South Valley road along the entirety of the park, this trail is perfect for those on wheels, or those that are not looking to walk in the dirt. Essentially this is not so much of a trail as it is a bike path off of the main road.

All the information listed in this post is also available in an E-book which can be purchased from Amazon. Please consider purchasing a copy, or one of the other outdoor guides we have available!

Front Range Hikes

Looking for Free Colorado Camping?

Dedisse Park

Dedisse Park Overview

A part of Denver Mountain Parks system, Dedisse Park is nearly 30 miles west of Denver a little west of Evergreen, The Park offers several shelters that you can reserve for picnics by contacting the Denver Parks and Recreation permits office. There are a lot of little trails that meet up with the Dedisse trail within the park. Good tree cover makes for lots of shady spots to kick back and relax in the mountains; the hard part will be picking the bench you want to take in the views from.

3.6 Miles of Trails

Dedisse Park Details:

  • Dogs are allowed but must be leashed.
  • Hikers allowed
  • Mountain Bikers Allowed
  • Centaurs Equestrians
  • Climbing
  • No camping allowed in the parks
  • Park entrance is one hour before sunrise
  • Park closure is one hour after sunset
  • No hunting or firearms allowed
  • No Entrance fees

Emergency contacts:

Jefferson County Sheriff’s office @ (303) 277-0211

If the event is life threatening dial 911

Evergreen Parks and Recreation @ (720) 880-1021 (7AM-7PM)

Denver Parks & Recreation Permit Office @ (720) 913-0700

Quick Reference Park Map

Dedisse Trail

Difficulty Rank6 (Moderate)
Views Rank6
Distance Rank2.3 Miles
Time NeededAbout 1 Hour

Dedisse Trail Details:

  • Connecting trails: Evergreen Lake Trail and Hidden Fawn Trail
  • Within Dedisse park parts of the trail are not marked well and there are many small paths
  • Good picnic shelters along the trail in Dedisse Park
  • Decent elevation change
  • Partially treed
  • Closest parking area: Lower lot off of Highway 74 as you enter the park

Trailhead directions: Right off of the road in several places.

Dedisse Trail Highlights:

  • Views of Evergreen Lake
  • Views of Upper Bear Creek
  • Creek Crossings via bridges
  • OneSunChasers favorite trail in this park

Dedisse Trail Review:

This is my second favorite of the Denver Mountain Parks hike within this guide. There is a good amount of elevation change and a lot of switchbacks to take you down or up depending on your direction of travel, so the trek is not too steep anywhere along the path. The trail is fairly well marked aside from all the little trails near Upper Bear Creek and on the north side of Upper Bear Creek Road. Along the way there are great views of the valley Evergreen High school sits in as well as views of Evergreen Lake and the golf course. There is a fair amount of tree cover, but there is also a long stretch where you will be exposed to the elements so dress appropriate for the weather and wear something to protect you from the sun.

Evergreen Lake Trail

View of Evergreen Lake
View of Evergreen Lake
Difficulty Rank2 (Easy)
Views Rank5
Distance Rank1.3 Miles
Time NeededAbout 25 Minutes

Evergreen Lake Trail Details:

  • Connecting trail: Dedisse Trail
  • Slight elevation change
  • Very little tree cover
  • Closest parking area: Evergreen lake parking lot

Trailhead directions: Start by boat ramp either R or L

Evergreen Lake Trail Highlights:

  • Lake views
  • Mountain Views
  • Close to great places to eat in Evergreen

Evergreen Lake Trail Review:

Evergreen lake trail circumnavigates the entirety of Evergreen Lake, and while this is more of a walk than a hike, I feel that the connection the trail makes to Alderfer/Three Sisters Park warrants its inclusion in the guide. The south side of the path is quite, while the northern side skirts Highway 74 and can be a bit on the loud side. Near the east side where Evergreen Lake flows back into bear creek again there is a great little place to hang out and explore. The western side of the path is a beautiful wetlands area that is teeming with birds in spring and summer.

All the information listed in this post is also available in an E-book which can be purchased from Amazon. Please consider purchasing a copy, or one of the other outdoor guides we have available!