This 10.1-mile point-to-point begins in Genesee Park and turns downhill toward Beaver Brook—there’s a set of steep downhill switchbacks at mile 1—and follows the bottom of the river briefly before turning up the route’s first major climb. There is a rest-worthy rocky outcropping at mile 1.8, but the trail winds along the hillside past several outcroppings offering equally great views of Clear Creek, Centennial Cone and distant, snow-covered peaks.
There is another major climb just before mile 6, but near the top of the hill, you’ll catch motivating views of Golden’s radio towers and Lookout Mountain. Beaver Brook Trail’s eastern reaches are rocky and there are a few hand-over-hand and stone-hopping sections through outcroppings before the trail hits Windy Saddle. The final 2 miles follow well-worn multi-use trails though Chimney Gulch, skirting several houses and crossing a flood-control ditch before ending at the trailhead lot off US-93.
Drop a shuttle car if you can, but if you’re planning this hike as an out-and-back consider starting at Windy Saddle and hiking west (uphill) first, or adding the Gudy Gaskill trail loop as a turn around.
-Mapped by Kristy Holland and Lisa Ventimiglia
TO TRAILHEAD: Leave a shuttle car at the trailhead on the west side of US-93, just south of the US-6 junction in Golden. To access the Genesee Park trailhead, take I-70’s exit 253. Turn right on Genesee Dr., and immediately right again onto Stapleton Rd. The trailhead is 1.3 miles ahead.
Beaver Brook Trail
Distance: 10.09 mi
Total Time: none
Speed: 0.0 mph
Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none
Speed: 0.0 mph
Pace: 0:00 / mi
Points of Interest
Location: 39.716166, -105.310736
Though relatively low elevations make this trail accessible much of the year, the road is closed below this point during winter. Expect to trek an additional 0.6 mile if the main trailhead is off limits.
Location: 39.719909, -105.318286
Follow either branch of the Nature Trail downhill from the trailhead. The upper branch is dotted with interpretive signs, but both lead downhill to the beginning of Beaver Brook.
Location: 39.721882, -105.319760
Bear left just before the picnic area and descend a steep set of steps. This marks the end of the nature trail and the beginning of the Beaver Brook Trail. Look for red and white blazes marking the way.
Location: 39.731230, -105.326572
Stay straight at this 3-way junction with the Chavez Trail. This flat, signed section of trail follows the river for a few minutes and rolls over a rocky face before turning right, uphill and into the woods.
Location: 39.731223, -105.324544
It's possible to jump the distance across this rocky creek. The trail is marked on the creek's far side and heads uphill to the right. In this area, you'll also see yellow diamond blazes in addition to the Beaver Brook ones.
Location: 39.733498, -105.321905
It is over 500 feet from Beaver Brook's banks to this rocky outcropping at mile 1.85. Stop to rest, admire the view and peek at cars on US-6 just north of here. The trail continues uphill another 0.7 mile to the route's high point.
Location: 39.732373, -105.315542
A small bench flanks Charm Spring to the left side of the trail. The trail winds gently through relatively open forest and occasional rocky outcroppings with stunning views to the north across Clear Creek.
Location: 39.730397, -105.305988
Stay straight on the Beaver Brook Trail at this mile 3 trail junction. The Gudy Gaskill Trail loops 2.48 miles toward Clear Creek Overlook and joins the Beaver Brook trail 0.75 miles east of here.
Location: 39.728331, -105.302474
Follow the doubletrack uphill for 100 feet and turn left, back into the woods, up ahead.
Location: 39.728117, -105.295527
The Gudy Gaskill Trail re-connects to Beaver Brook at mile 3.8. The trail continues gently downhill following the contour of the hill and dropping briefly into stream-cut ravines.
Location: 39.730728, -105.269894
There are a few unstable logs thrown over this creek crossing at mile 5.8. From here, the trail heads up and to the left for one of the hike's toughest climbs.
Location: 39.734452, -105.265846
After climbing out of the ravine, look east for your first glimpse of Windy Saddle, Golden and North and South Table mountains before the trail turns back into the woods. Signs up ahead indicate private property lines on both sides of the trail.
Location: 39.731488, -105.257558
The eastern side of the trail gets increasingly rockier. Expect to use your hands to climb through several outcroppings.
Location: 39.733759, -105.250436
A 100-foot section of trail traverses a pile of rocky debris. The trail is marked by wooden posts on either side making it easy to pick your way across.
Location: 39.735063, -105.248530
Continue straight at this 3-way junction to join the Lookout Mountain Trail headed toward Windy Saddle.
Location: 39.736804, -105.245392
A busy overlook and a great place to watch the sunset, you'll reach Windy Saddle at mile 7.5. Continue across the road, head downhill for 150 feet and join the Chimney Gulch Trail to your right. Chimney Gulch follows the ravine to the trailhead.
Location: 39.740033, -105.238689
Watch for mountain bikers and other users on this multi-use section of the trail. Up ahead, you'll see another small parking area and cross the road again for the final .8 mile to the trailhead.
Location: 39.744723, -105.233445
After the road crossing, the trail borders a neighborhood. Turn left for a few feet on this dirt driveway and turn right to follow the switchbacking singletrack downhill to the trailhead.
Location: 39.750424, -105.229282
This small gravel lot off Golden's main thoroughfare doesn't have any facilities and is approximately a 20-minute drive from the Genesee Park Trailhead.
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