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Abert's Loop

Intermediate
 4.2 (6) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Tour of Apex Park through multiple biomes with a good variety of terrain.


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Map Key

7.9

Miles

12.8

KM

Loop

7,339' 2,237 m

High

6,168' 1,880 m

Low

1,750' 534 m

Up

1,751' 534 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

51%

Max Grade (27°)

Dogs Unknown

Features River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Magic Mountain and Enchanted Forest are both bikes only on EVEN days, no foot traffic. It is open to foot traffic and horses on ODD calendar days.

Overview

This hike takes you through the best of Apex Park, starting with a tough climb up through Enchanted Forest. Hitting five different trails, this route winds through old growth forest, ponderosa pine, and meadows and has stunning views of the city from Grubstake Loop.

Need to Know

Wonderful facilities at the trailhead, including a filtered water bottle filler and clean toilets.

Lots of mountain bikers on this trail, so keep your head up around those turns and listen for the bells.

Get there early! This one is close to civilization and gets busy late morning.

Description

Starting at the Apex trailhead bypass, climb the rocky Apex Trail to the junction with Enchanted Forest. Continue on Enchanted Forest through dense forest and meadows on a climb that seems relentless in spite of a few magnanimous drops. This section of trail is less rocky, but there are roots and other foot-level obstacles to be mindful of.

Meeting up with Apex again, you get a reprieve as you descend to the mostly flat Hardscrabble Trail. Things get a little more challenging as you meet Sluicebox, whose switchbacks climb once again over rocky terrain. The downhill challenge begins at Grubstake Loop, which winds through ponderosa pine forest (Abert's squirrel spotted here, hence the name) and around Indian Mountain, finally climbing through wildflower meadows along the east facing ridge where you'll find spectacular views of Golden and Denver. This is the most exposed part of the entire route. The last leg is a gentle downhill on Argos Trail back to Apex Trail and the parking lot.

Contacts

Shared By:

Nick Fedoroff

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 6 votes

#3

in Apex Park

#2971

Overall
  4.2 from 6 votes
5 Star
17%
4 Star
83%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#3

in Apex Park

#394

in Colorado

#2,971

Overall
29 Views Last Month
3,110 Since Jul 14, 2019
Intermediate

14%
14%
14%
43%
14%
0%

Photos

Looking back down the Apex trial after crossing  one of the bridges.
May 23, 2015 near Golden, CO
On this trip I was showing my man child a great hike. Enchanted Forest is awesome.
Apr 4, 2017 near Golden, CO
Snow covered trail leading into the Enchanted Forest area.
Mar 2, 2018 near Golden, CO
Apex Trail looking north
Jul 16, 2019 near Golden, CO
After the break off from Apex- heading up into the forest
Mar 31, 2015 near Golden, CO
Going up the Apex Trail.
May 23, 2015 near Golden, CO

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All Clear 94 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Nov 19, 2021
Cynthia B.
Sep 23, 2021
T H
From home 9.5mi
Aug 11, 2021
Joe Harper
8mi — 2h 42m
Dec 26, 2020
Linc Hulbert
Icy at beginning 8mi — 4h 30m
Nov 21, 2020
Sean Milich
May 19, 2020
Matt Kohn