Trailhead: Golden Gate Canyon Road Trailhead at Mount Galbraith
Closest City / Town: Golden, Colorado
- From Golden, drive north on State Highway 93.
- Take Golden Gate Canyon Road west approximately 1.5 miles to the parking area and trailhead.
- The parking area is located on the left (south) side of the road.
Hiking Distance: 4.2 miles roundtrip
Description: The main trailhead for Mount Galbraith Park, a Jefferson County Open Space icon, is located at 6,200′ in elevation. The hike tops out at 7,200′, so expect to gain 1,000′ in elevation along this trek.
There is only one trail – Cedar Gulch Trail – that heads out of the Golden Gate Canyon Road Trailhead. Follow Cedar Gulch Trail 1.3 miles until you reach an obvious trail junction. The Cedar Gulch Trail offers great views of North Table Mountain, South Table Mountain, Golden, Coors Brewing Factory, and Denver.
When you reach the trail junction, avoid the Nightbird Gulch Trail by taking the Mount Galbraith Loop Trail. This loop around the summit of Mount Galbraith is 1.6 miles. The southern portion of the loop is very exposed to the sun; be sure to bring adequate sun protection (sunscreen, hat, etc.). On the other hand, the northern portion of the loop meanders through a beautiful stand of trees and harnesses a decent amount of shade. The northern portion of the loop does retain snow during the winter and may create travel difficulties.
Once you complete the loop, descend 1.3 miles via the Cedar Gulch Trail.
This trek can be tackled just about any time during the year, although snowpack does take awhile to melt off of northern slopes. Dogs are allowed on the trail; mountain bikes and horses, however, are not permitted in the park.
Worth Noting: At one point in time, Brannan Sand & Gravel had plans to extract minerals from a large area of Mount Galbraith. However, those intentions were abandoned when the company sold the property to Jefferson County in 1995. Mount Galbraith was expanded in 1999, when Golden Properties donated 75 acres along the eastern boundary.