The Lookout Mountain Trail is a short trail on the Colorado Front Range that casual hikers can enjoy. It is close to other trails such as the Chimney Gulch Trail, as well as the Lookout Mountain Nature Center and Preserve. This makes the trail a good option for couples and families, as there are a lot of options for exploration.
How to Get to the Lookout Mountain Trail
From U.S. Highway 6 near Golden, CO, drive up the Lookout Mountain Road to the Windy Saddle parking lot to begin at the base of the trail. To start from the top of Lookout Mountain, continue driving to the summit.
Hiking the Lookout Mountain Trail
Begin from the parking lot at Windy Saddle, and hike uphill. Soon there will be a trail intersection. Follow the trail sign left to continue on the Lookout Mountain Trail. The route continues following the terrain and switchbacking uphill until it ends at the Lookout Mountain Nature Center and Preserve. The trail tread is composed of dirt, and can be uneven at times with rocks. Mountain bikers also use the trail, although pedestrians have the right-of-way. Total length of the hike is about one mile one-way. However, the Lookout Mountain Trail continues south parallel to the Colorow Road for about a mile. View the Windy Saddle park map for more information on this route.
Sights Along the Trail
With the bottom of the trail beginning at Windy Saddle, there is a great view of snowy peaks of the Colorado high country. The trail itself cuts through pine trees, and at one point passes by a boulder field. At the top of the trail there are picnic benches and overlooks of the surrounding terrain. The Lookout Mountain Nature Center and Preserve has a staffed visitors’ center, which is operated by Jefferson County Open Space. Volunteers and staff present environmental programs, and there are displays, restrooms, and water fountains. The Boettcher Mansion is also next door to the nature center.
Trail Connections from the Lookout Mountain Main Trail
There are several trail connections that visitors can use to extend their hikes. At Windy Saddle, the Chimney Gulch Trail continues all the way down to U.S. Highway 6. There are also some short trails in the Lookout Mountain Nature Center and Preserve.
When hiking the Lookout Mountain Trail, keep these things in mind:
- The trail is not only used by hikers, but also by mountain bikers. Trail signs indicate that hikers have the right of way, but still be careful, especially when turning blind corners.
- Dogs need to be leashed at all times.
- Wear sturdy shoes and appropriate clothing for hiking. Carry a water bottle.
- Consider bringing a hiking stick or trekking poles for walking on uneven terrain.
With different options for hiking trails and sights, the Lookout Mountain Trail makes a great afternoon outing for a family.