This loop rewards you with great views of the surrounding foothills, downtown Golden, and the greater Denver area. Be ready for a steady climb at the beginning and some short rocky sections, but it is well worth the effort!
The hike starts on the Apex Trail
which is the main trail connecting many of the Apex Park trails. Start on the east (bottom) off of the Heritage Park parking lot where there is plenty of parking located just outside of downtown Golden. The Apex Trail
is a steep ascent in a rugged valley, but as you are only on the trail for a short section before turning onto Argos Trail
, just take it as a warmup for the rest of the hike.
Bearing right shortly after the beginning of Apex Trail
will bring you to Argos Trail
which is a short, easy trail that winds up to its endpoint and intersection with Pick N' Sledge
. It is a steady climb, but not steep.
Continue right on Pick N' Sledge
which offers a switchback-filled route through the trees. This trail has great views of Golden and the greater Denver area as you ascend, but those views disappear quickly as you get deeper into the park. Overall, it's a great trail; it is a bit rocky, but not so bad that you can't look up and take in the views.
Near the end of Pick N' Sledge
, take a right onto Grubstake Loop
to continue your tour through Apex Park. This trail provides some easy hiking through open spaces and a few forested areas. There are a series of switchbacks that are just moderate enough for enjoyable running or hiking for those who choose. Enjoy the descent on this trail until it intersects with Pick N' Sledge
where you can retrace your steps down Pick N' Sledge
, Argos Trail
, and Apex Trail
back to the trailhead.