16.5 miles
3,154 ft
-3,156 ft
1 mile
High Point

When climbing up Argos and Pick-n-sledge trail on ODD numbered days, keep a lookout for downhill traffic.

A climb up the Apex system with several challenging tech sections followed by a long and fast, flowing descent.

This route takes a loop approach to combine several of Golden's top trails ending with a long and fast flowing descent down Chimney Gulch.

Starting near the bottom of Chimney Gulch, allows for several good parking options. This also allows to for a good warm up along the paved US 6 Trail as you make your way to Apex Park.

The climb up Apex provides several steeper sections scattered with technical step-ups and rocky cruxes, eventually coming to a great overlook of Golden and a high point to start off the first descent down Bonanza Trail. You will then re-climb a short section to complete the first mini loop prior to heading further west along the Apex Trail to the second descent down the highly entertaining Enchanted Forest Trail. You will then re-climb a short section of the Apex Trail thus completing the second mini loop. This time you will top out the Apex Trail then head north along Lookout Mountain Trail where you will start your final 1800' descent down Chimney Gulch Trail

Thanks to countless sweaty hours from volunteers within the community and the Golden Giddyup the Chimney Gulch trail has seen great improvements creating a wonderful downhill trail.

Detailed Description
Ape' Ney - Apex to Chimney is a 17 mile popular expert route located near Golden Colorado. This mountain bike only route can be used one direction and has a hard overall physical rating. This route includes 14 trails. This route climbs 3,154 ft with a max elevation of 7,564 ft then descends -3,156 ft.
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19 Reviews & Comments

  • + 0
seanlah (Mar 14, 2023 at 8:47)
Mostly boring, wide bench cut. A couple difficult but uninteresting rock gardens. Requires some fitness to climb but very little rider input whatsoever to decend. Excellent view from the top at Windy Saddle.
  • + 1
Zarbia (Feb 3, 2023 at 8:18)
Is This trail and area rideable in late February weather and trail condition wise?
  • + 0
Jrhockney (Oct 23, 2022 at 20:38)
This is my kind of black Trail. It's overall difficulty probably averages out to blue/black since there are quite a few long sections of blue moderately steep climbing split up by the blackish Rock Garden sections that aren't very long. Most of the black sections you can probably just hit with speed without too much front wheel lifting but the speed required will definitely take some black level endurance going uphill. Going down this is arguably a blue downhiller Trail since they're almost always steeper and more technical than regular blue trails and the berms make it more downhiller friendly besides a few tight switchbacks that are a bit questionable at normal downhiller speeds. Overall, a great Trail that has just enough space between the hard parts for a good biker with good endurance to potentially clear in one shot.
  • + 1
chuckmallott (Aug 5, 2022 at 6:39)
Trail Sluicebox
Rode this going downhill ... several stretches of rock garden, but not too bad ... several switchbacks. Pretty fun overall.
  • + 1
chuckmallott (Aug 5, 2022 at 6:37)
Trail Hardscrabble
Great little trail - I rode it going downhill and it was a blast.
  • + 1
chuckmallott (Aug 5, 2022 at 6:36)
First part is really nice through the wood ... the 2 punchy climbs were completely unwelcome to me as I had just spent 2 hours climbing to get up there. Was expecting this to be all downhill. Smile (my fault) The second part is lots of rock garden, but still fun.
  • + 0
Pkfire (Jul 14, 2022 at 21:39)
Very overrated.
  • + 0
MikeyRocks-68 (Apr 10, 2022 at 10:51)
How long does this route take?
  • + 1
gregs22 (Dec 17, 2021 at 10:49)
One of the best trails in Golden but also one of the most popular. A rollercoaster ride through the trees with roots, rocks and berms. This trail basically has it all. It's borderline black not because the descending is especially hard or technical (there are a couple spots of chunk) but there are a couple of super punchy climbs with roots/rocks that you will probably be in the wrong gear for. This trail stays snowy/icy/muddy longer than most so check ahead.
  • + 1
JoshCO (Aug 9, 2021 at 20:52)
Trail Argos
There are no longer day or direction restrictions on the trail. Needs to be updated.
  • + 0
Jeankspencer (May 1, 2021 at 14:03)
Agree. Counter clockwise would be better
  • + 2
cmcquade (May 13, 2021 at 21:03)
Both Chim-pex (up chimney down apex) and this version are great rides. Try both you may be surprised... This route you get the enchanted forest DH followed by a longer descent from top of lookout mtn down chimney which is a blast faster then apex less chunk.
  • + 2
srstudent (Sep 15, 2020 at 20:28)
The management plan has changed and needs to be updated. This trail is downhill only, bike only on even calendar days and *no bikes uphill or downhill* on odd now.
  • + 3
provin1327 (Sep 16, 2020 at 10:16)
An updated description with details about the new management plan has been submitted and is awaiting approval.
  • + 0
rzicc (Sep 3, 2020 at 16:17)
this might be the dumbest way to do this ride...
  • + 1
trentpaulk (Sep 4, 2019 at 11:44)
A blue trail with one section that’s maybe kinda black-ish. Also, what NorCalNomad said below.
  • + 3
NorCalNomad (Aug 17, 2019 at 10:06)
Even though you CAN ride uphill on all days, this trail sucks to ride uphill on. And on even days you’re kinda blowing it for everyone who wants to go downhill.
  • + 0
Jheub (Jun 22, 2019 at 11:47)
Pretty muddy, wet, lots of puddles. The rain last night/this morning did a number on it.
  • + 0
jfsport73 (Jun 29, 2017 at 11:33)
Cant go donw on odds day!!
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  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Difficulty rating
    Black Diamond
  • Route Type
  • Bike type
  • Direction
    One Direction
  • Physical rating
  • Ridelogs
More Stats for Ape' Ney - Apex to Chimney mountain bike route
  • Altitude min
    5,706 ft
  • Altitude start
    5,710 ft
  • Altitude end
    5,705 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    8 miles
  • Distance down
    7 miles
  • Distance flat
    1 mile
Avg: 5 (1 votes)
Trail Conditions
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  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
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youtuber Enchanted Forest & Magic Mountain
Enchanted Forest & Magic Mountain
9:20 | 83 | comments: 0 | favs:
Oct 4, 2022
Chimney gulch
Chimney gulch
2:29 | 67 | comments: 0 | favs:
Sep 12, 2022

Recent Trail Reports Along Route

Enchanted Forest
Mar 13, 2023 @ 7:14am
Mar 13, 2023
Ice in the shaded areas
Mar 11, 2023 @ 11:26am
Mar 11, 2023
All four seasons in one ride. Tis the season for getting sloppy!
Mar 9, 2023 @ 1:46am
Mar 9, 2023
This section to the road above Enchanted entrance is sloppy.
Chimney Gulch
Nov 7, 2022 @ 8:19am
Nov 7, 2022
95% clear as of 11/6. Brief patches of slush, not unrideable.
Lookout Mountain (Beaver Brook)
Oct 1, 2022 @ 1:27pm
Oct 1, 2022
more reports »
  • By cmcquade & contributors
  • #15300 - 3,437 views