Trailhead: Heritage Square Parking Lot
Activities: Hiking, Mountain Biking
Closest City / Town: Golden, Colorado (Denver)
- Take I-70 to the Morrison Exit (Exit 259);
- Get off on the Morrison Exit, and then hang a right (north);
- East access is on the northeast corner of the Heritage Square parking lot;
- The trailhead is well signed.
Hiking Distance: 4.4 miles (roundtrip)
Description: The Pick N’ Sledge route is a classic mountain biking trail. The trail stays relatively clear of snow during the winter due to its southern exposure; that said, it borders on being unbearably hot during most summer days. Be sure to bring plenty of protection from the sun if you choose to hike this trail.
From the Heritage Square parking lot, head 1.5 miles up the Apex Trail. Next, take a right (heading north) on the Sluicebox Trail. Follow the Sluicebox – uphill – for .7 miles. Hang a right (east) onto the Pick N’ Sledge Trail. Follow the Pick N’ Sledge Trail 1.5 miles. The trail is relatively flat the first .5 mile, but then drops steeply after that. Finally, hang a left (east) on the Apex Trail, and follow it back to the parking area.
Worth Noting: Apex Park is full to the brim with historical value. The Apex and Gregory Wagon Road was carved through Apex Gulch and was one of the primary early routes to the gold camps of Central City. Apex City, where tolls were collected to travel the Road, was located at the bottom of Apex Gulch near the present location of the Heritage Square Shopping Center.
The mining supply town was constructed on top of an ancient Indian campground. The location provided the perfect lookout for approaching enemies and buffalo herds. Additionally, it provided greater shelter during the winter from storms that ravaged the mountains and plains.
Other Information: This hike can be made longer by linking up with the EnchantedForest Loop, which is also located in Jefferson County’s Apex Park.
Community Member Trip Reports: Kelly S. (July 15, 2016)