The Apex Trail is similar to the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books many of us read as kids. On this trail, you have several trail options: Peel off to an “Enchanted Forest,” drop down to a valley or trek up the ridgeline for wide-open views of Denver and Golden. Getting bored, however, is notan option.
Way back when (1860’s) some trails in the area were former toll roads that led to gold fields in Central City. The frontier settlement sat at what is now the Heritage Square Shopping Center. Before the frontier era, the land was an ancient Indian campground. Indians strategically chose this location because they could head west to hunt for deer or elk or into the eastern plains for buffalo.
The Apex Trail starts the adventure. After .4 miles you can have the choice to hike into the northern side of the mountain on the Argos trail or stay Western on the Apex Trail. If you choose the Argos Trail you will pick up the Pick ‘N Sledge trail with the option of completing the Grubstake Loop. Both Hardscrabble and Slicebox hook back to the main Apex Trail. If you bypass the north side and stay straight on the Apex Trail you will meet the Enchanted Forest after about 1.5 miles where you are likely to spot wildlife! The Enchanted Forest trail connects back with the Apex Trail after 1.4 miles.
On odd numbered calendar days bicyclists must all travel one way on portions of the trail. On even numbered days riders can take the trail whichever way they want. The trail distances total 9.1 miles. The base of the trail is at 6,400 feet and the highest elevation is 7,400 feet.
Directions: Head West on 6th Ave. from I-25. After passing under I-70 turn left on Highway 40. After about a mile turn into the Heritage Square Parking Lot on your right side.