Chimney Gulch Trail

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Moderate
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
3.5-4.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
10.5 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
535 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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Directions to Trailhead

The Chimney Gulch Trail is a great adventure that travels through several Colorado ecosystems. Hike through grassy plains, ponderosa pine forests, and up to the summit of Lookout Mountain, which delivers awe-inspiring views of the Clear Creek Canyon and mountainous Colorado landscape.

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Route Description for Chimney Gulch Trail

​The Chimney Gulch Trail is a scenic adventure that sits on the city limits. If you are seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle, then we have the perfect excursion for you. Traveling through diverse terrains, the Chimney Gulch Hike exhibits all the best that Colorado has to offer, rolled all into one epic day hike. Make sure you wear layers, as the various ecosystems warrant differing temperatures. We would also recommend sturdy footwear as sections of the terrain are rocky and rugged! This versatile path is also shared with bikers, so be mindful of your fellow adventurers and step off the single-track trail to let them pass. It is also worth noting that rattlesnakes are abundant in this area, so keep an eye and ear out for them as you progress the route.

Hike through luxuriant meadows, ponderosa pine forests, and up to a Front Range summit that reveals breathtaking views of Colorado’s Clear Creek Canyon. This epic adventure gradually ascends through the various terrains all the way to the summit—we won’t kid you; it’s a butt burner. Get in your daily steps as you climb up the scenic path among other like-minded outdoor enthusiasts. As you trek, keep your eyes out for deer grazing in the meadowlands and birds soaring above. This is a perfect hike for those who enjoy summit hikes but don’t have the time to drive out into the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Conveniently located on the border of Golden, Colorado, this trail presents the perfect excuse to get out into nature.

Embark on your adventure along the Chimney Gulch Trail from the trailhead off Highway 6. From here, the climb up to the summit begins immediately. The initial section of the hike will guide you through meadowlands and exposed terrain. Enjoy sights of Mount Zion as you cross over Clear Creek and past the Colorado School of Mines tunnels. Soon after your departure from the trailhead, you will have to cross over Lookout Mountain Road. Be mindful of vehicles and cycling traffic as you cross the intersection before reconnecting with the Chimney Gulch Trail. Ascend the meadow-cloaked trail, noticing sights of Lookout Mountain looming in the south.

As you ascend, the path will guide you through a few switchbacks as it climbs through increasingly forested terrain. You will again have to cross over the Lookout Mountain Road which will lead you to a parking lot. From here, take the Lookout Mountain Trail through the coverage of ponderosa pines. At the next junction, keep left, navigating another set of switchbacks up the route. Soon, you will confront yet another intersection where you will want to keep right, guiding you to the panoramic overlook.

From the lookout point atop Lookout Mountain, enjoy expansive views of the Clear Creek Canyon, North and South Table Mountains, sights of the city, and distant vistas of the snow-capped Front Range peaks. Revel in the scenery and when you are ready to return, simply retrace your footing along the path all the way back to the trailhead, marking the end of your Chimney Gulch adventure.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the Chimney Gulch Trail?

The Chimney Gulch Trail can be customized to your liking, but from the trailhead on Highway 6, the path travels about 10.5 km to Lookout Mountain.

Are dogs permitted on the Chimney Gulch Trail?

Yes, dogs on-leash are allowed on the Chimney Gulch Trail.

Insider Hints for Chimney Gulch Trail

  • The Chimney Gulch Trail travels through exposed terrain, so wear layers and sunscreen on warm days
  • Bring plenty of water, this path and elevation gain will tire you
  • If you venture this trail in the winter or autumn, make sure to wear microspikes or snowshoes
  • Beware of rattlesnakes as you track through the arid terrain

Getting to the Chimney Gulch Trail Trailhead

The Chimney Gulch Trail departs from the trailhead off Highway 6.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    Year-round

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage

    Good

  • Crowd Levels

    Extreme

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Chimney Gulch Trail Elevation Graph

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Chimney Gulch Trail Reviews

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